Friday, February 5, 2010

This blog resumes with a significant Gershwin video

This blog came to a dramatic halt some time ago, and with the demands of facebook, twitter etc. it has been demoted to a 2nd class citizen. But the frustration of 140 characters on Twitter, and the 1800 of my 'closest friends' on facebook, has made me think blogging isn't so bad after all - at least for the serious minded, if there's any such person left in today's world. So for now, this blog continues with...

Gershwin... a composer who today is still not taken seriously in the way he should. I am shocked at the level of ignorance of his music, and most entries on him in dictionaries and encyclopedias of music should be scrapped! Here is a video that begins to address this issue: it's over an hour long, a talk I wrote and presented for the BBC some years ago, aided by the actor Sir Ben Kingsley who read Gershwin's letters. It's a fairly detailed look at Gershwin's music (within the confines of an hour's radio programme, plus a piano for musical examples, and a superb archive of rare recordings) in that I try to explain some of Gershwin's compositional methods, as well as explanations of his amazing piano skills, in a chronological and psychological survey of his all too short life. I have also added helpful video images (rare stills and movies of Gershwin, musical examples etc.) to this recently posted YouTube video. So if you have the time (and as my extremely busy father once said: "You should always have time to look out of the window") take an hour out of your schedule and find out why Gershwin still manages to make so many people happy over 70 years after his untimely death, and why he will continue to do so as long as there are people still interested in real and fine artistic expression.

Gershwin in Focus with Jack Gibbons and Sir Ben Kingsley


Anonymous said...

Thank you, Jack, for making this programme available at last. I came across it by chance on your Facebook page - a lucky coincidence as I had been searching the web for info on it for days!.

I consider myself musically illiterate, so ennabling me to comprehend the complex workings of Gershwins' music is an achievement indeed!. I particularly appreciated the section on Porgy and Bess. I'm relatively new to Gershwin but his works always act like a shot of vitamins to me.

Thanks also for putting so much work and thought into your blogs - it isn't common!.

Best wishes.

juld1c said...

Great to see the blog back, and your wonderful piece on Gershwin on it! So full of insight and made accessible at all levels. Thank you again for it!