George Gershwin was born this day, September 26, in 1898. He died too soon but left us with so much, and my feeling is that hi-brow critical consensus is coming around to the idea that, yeah, guy was one of the great composers. American music would be impoverished without him.
The current Metropolitan Opera production of Porgy and Bess, which I saw Monday’s opening night, is a must-see. There’s the tremendous score, of course, and the talent in this cast, lead by Eric Owens and Angel Blue, is astonishing. Much like The Wire, it takes a story like this to get all these great African-American opera singers on the same stage. They could do Verdi and Wagner pretty godammned well too.
Anyway, enjoy George’s chops below, and I recommend this collection above all others.
I'm a writer and editor here (musician otherwise), with bylines in The Wire, Down Beat, New York Classical Review, VAN, Music & Literature, Grove Dictionary of American Music, Signal to Noise, and many others. I'm also the Music Editor at the Brooklyn Rail. Contact me for any of your word needs.