On this edition of Reflections from the Keyboard, we remember George Gershwin.
Gershwin, who would have turned 115 on Thursday, took great pains to represent complex and powerful aspects of the American melting pot in his work. He was as comfortable in Carnegie Hall as he was in Harlem and Hollywood. An exhilarating pianist as well as a classical composer, he embodied the transfigured jazz age. Today, he is the most celebrated American composer for the canon and arguably the finest songwriter of his era.
On this week's program, host David Dubal features several fine piano transcriptions of Gershwin's work. Among them is Gershwin's good friend and pianist, Oscar Levant, performing the third movement of the Piano Concerto in F with the New York Philharmonic. Others include Gershwin specialists Earl Wild and Andre Watts as well as two recordings played by the master himself.
Variations on "I got rhythm" for Piano and Orchestra / Earl Wild, piano; Arthur Fiedler, conductor; Boston Pops, ensemble
Prelude No 2 in C sharp minor, Andante con moto e poco rubato / Leonard Bernstein, piano
Preludes (3) for Piano / George Gershwin, piano
Concerto for Piano in F major: 2nd movement, Andante con moto - Adagio / André Previn, piano; Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra, ensemble
Virtuoso Etudes after Gershwin: No 4, Embraceable you / Gershwin, George/Wild, Earl / Earl Wild, piano
Swanee / André Watts, piano
Somebody Loves Me / André Watts, piano
Who Cares (so long as you care for me)? / André Watts, piano
I'll Build a Stairway to Paradise / André Watts, piano
The Man I Love / André Watts, piano
Nobody But You / André Watts, piano
Concerto for Piano in F major: 3rd movement, Allegro agitato / Oscar Levant, piano; New York Philharmonic, ensemble; Andre Kostelanetz, conductor