Composers of Today: A Comprehensive Biographical and Critical Guide to Modern Composers of All Nations

By David Ewen | Go to book overview
melodies. One of these, Of Thee I Sing --a brilliant and pungent satire on politics--won the Pulitzer Prize in 1931, the first musical creation to carry away this coveted theatrical award for the year's best play. In 1934, Gershwin appeared on a long series of radio broadcasts in programs of his own music, conducting his own orchestra and playing the piano. These broadcasts have done much to make Gershwin one of the best known song composers in America today. George Gershwin lives alone in a beautiful fourteen-room duplex apartment on East Seventy-second Street. It is furnished modernistically, equipped with everything from a private study and a gymnasium to an art gallery. There his wants are attended to by a valet and a secretary. Gershwin spends his mornings painting. It is his latest fad, and he paints with a tasteful and talented brush.During the day he is always rushed-- meeting people, talking over contracts, being interviewed. He does not compose until very late at night when he undresses himself to a state of almost complete nudity, sits at the piano and, chewing upon his cigar, begins to work at his music. While composing he smokes profusely; he insists that his apartment be deathly still. Often he composes until early morning, writing and revising, crossing out and erasing until, the following morning, his manuscript looks a hopeless smudge of hieroglyphics.He is very fond of athletics--being a good boxer, a fine tennis player and an excellent golfer. He rarely touches cards, but when he does it will be to play hearts. His musical preferences are for the most part orthodox; he is enormously fond of the masters, but his favorite composers are Debussy, Stravinsky, and Alban Berg. He firmly feels that in his latest work--the musical score to Porgy for the Theatre Guild--he has produced some of the best music of his career.Principal works by George Gershwin:
ORCHESTRA: Rhapsody in Blue; Piano Concerto in F; American in Paris; Cuban Overture; Variations on an Original Theme.
OPERAS: 135th Street; Porgy.
THEATRE: George White's Scandals, 1919- 1921; Lady be Good; Oh-Kay; Treasure Girl; Girl Crazy; Of Thee I Sing; Strike Up The Band; Let 'Em Eat Cake, etc.
An entire library of song successes, the best known of which include: "Someone to Watch Over Me," "Somebody Loves Me," "The Man I Love," "Of Thee I Sing," "Wintergreen for President," "Soon," "Embraceable You," etc.
About George Gershwin:
Goldberg Isaac. George Gershwin.
Gamut 2:30November 1929; Sackbut 13:207 July 1933.
Important recordings of music by George Gershwin:
VICTOR: An American in Paris ( Shilkret); Rhapsody in Blue ( Whiteman).
COLUMBIA: Concerto in F ( Whiteman); Piano Preludes ( Gershwin).
Many songs recorded by popular dance orchestras.

Umberto Giordano 1867-

UMBERTO GIORDANO was born at Foggia on August 27, 1867. His father was an artisan who wished his son to follow his trade. The marked musical talent which Umberto displayed from early childhood, coupled with the protests of art-loving friends, tempted the father to permit the boy to receive such musical instruction as could be procured in Foggia.

____________________
Giordano: jôr-dä'nō

-84-

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