Product

Michael Tilson Thomas / San Francisco Symphony - George Gershwin: The 100th Birthday Celebration

Number of Discs
2
Release Date
1998
Artist
Michael Tilson Thomas / San Francisco Symphony
Format
CD / Album
Label / Studio
RCA
Duration
01:51:06

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The San Francisco Symphony Orchestra's celebration of George Gershwin's centenary takes the form of a two-CD set culled from two performances, comprising four separate pieces. The most impressive is the first, an extended version of "Catfish Row Suite," Gershwin's orchestral treatment of themes from Porgy and Bess (so titled to avoid confusion with Robert Russell Bennett's Porgy and Bess suite), with interpolations of several songs from the opera, sung by Broadway stars Audra McDonald and Brian Stokes Mitchell. Both singers are well suited to the material, and Mitchell in particular gets into the different parts; it's hard to believe the singer on "Bess, You Is My Woman Now" and "There's a Boat Dat's Leavin' Soon" is the same person. Purists may question the performance of the "Second Rhapsody" that follows, featuring conductor Michael Tilson Thomas on piano, since, as annotator David Wright puts it, "Following the precedent that was hinted at in Gershwin's own recorded rehearsals of the work, Mr. Tilson Thomas has inserted a cadenza he has written in the Gershwin style." Of course, there are different ways to approach this material, and if there were any doubt about that, it is dispelled in the orchestra's relatively calm reading of "An American in Paris"; Tilson Thomas' American is a leisurely tourist. Garrick Ohlsson sparks the orchestra with his piano playing on the "Concerto in F," which concludes the album, bringing things almost up to the standard of the "Catfish Row Suite." ~ William Ruhlmann

Disc 1:
1) Catfish Row, symphonic suite (from Porgy and Bess, opera)~Catfish Row/Summer (09:45)
2) Catfish Row, symphonic suite (from Porgy and Bess, opera)~Porgy Sings (05:30)
3) Catfish Row, symphonic suite (from Porgy and Bess, opera)~Fugue (01:48)
4) Catfish Row, symphonic suite (from Porgy and Bess, opera)~Bess, You Is My Wom (05:51)
5) Catfish Row, symphonic suite (from Porgy and Bess, opera)~Hurricane (04:11)
6) Catfish Row, symphonic suite (from Porgy and Bess, opera)~My Man's Gone Now (04:31)
7) Catfish Row, symphonic suite (from Porgy and Bess, opera)~There's a Boat Dat (02:10)
8) Catfish Row, symphonic suite (from Porgy and Bess, opera)~Good Mornin' Sistu (07:49)
9) Second Rhapsody, for piano & orchestra ("Rhapsody in Rivets") (17:34)

Disc 2:
1) An American in Paris, tone poem for orchestra (18:23)
2) Concerto in F, for piano & orchestra~I: Allegro (13:31)
3) Concerto in F, for piano & orchestra~II: Adagio - Andante con moto (13:05)
4) Concerto in F, for piano & orchestra~III: Allegro agitato (06:58)

Album
George Gershwin: The 100th Birthday Celebration
Publisher
BMG
Main Format
CD
Explicit Lyrics
No
Keyword Index
George Gershwin: The 100th Birthday Celebration | Michael Tilson Thomas / San Francisco Symphony