In this welcome addition to the immensely popular Yale Broadway Masters series, Larry Starr focuses fresh attention on George Gershwin’s Broadway contributions and examines their centrality to the composer’s entire career. Starr presents Gershwin as a composer with a unified musical vision—a vision developed on Broadway and used as a source of strength in his well-known concert music. In turn, Gershwin’s concert-hall experience enriched and strengthened his musicals, leading eventually to his great “Broadway opera,” Porgy and Bess. Through the prism of three major shows—Lady Be Good (1924), Of Thee I Sing (1931), and Porgy and Bess (1935)—Starr highlights Gershwin’s distinctive contributions to the evolution of the Broadway musical. In addition, the author considers Gershwin’s musical language, his compositions for the concert hall, and his movie scores for Hollywood in the light of his Broadway experience.
Larry Starr is a Professor of music history, University of Washington. He lives in Seattle.
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