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Gershwin for Beginners

Published on Tuesday 8 May, 2012

Coming to prominence in the 1920s, the music of George Gershwin was the soundtrack to glamorous flappers, prohibition cocktails and the novels of F. Scott Fitzgerald.

Later in the century with the rise of technicolour his music was used to score the lush 1950s Hollywood musical An American in Paris starring Gene Kelly. During the 1970s Woody Allen used Gershwin’s music in the opening scene of Manhattan. As a result, the sound of Gershwin is part of the popular history of America. 

The highest earning composer of all time, George Gershwin has never stopped extending his musical influence over pop music; he continues to be recorded and reinterpreted by artists who bring new heartbreak, happiness and hedonism to his original compositions. Gershwin’s most successful song Summertime has been recorded over 25,000 times, most notably by Ella Fitzgerald, Janis Joplin and Scarlett Johansson. Sinead O’Connor, Amy Winehouse and Lady Gaga have all recorded hugely differing versions of Someone to Watch Over Me. That’s why Gershwin is extraordinary, because his music is as vital and exciting today as it was when he first wrote it. 

Here's a Spotify playlist put together by our Music Director John Pryce-Jones (you will need a Spotify account to play it)

The views expressed in blogs are those of the author and not necessarily of Northern Ballet.

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