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 Posted:   Jul 14, 2013 - 9:18 AM   
 By:   Regie   (Member)

Lexedo:

Isn't it "I'll Build a Stairway to Paradise"? An excellent sequence in "An American in Paris" from a singer with a great vocal range. I think it's of the only actual 'show-stoppers' (apart from "I've Got Rhythm") which the Gershwins wrote.

I've been enjoying "Pardon My English" of late, especially the humorous "Dr. Freud and Jung and Adler" ("he's over-sexed, he's under-sexed, he hasn't any sex at all") and "Dresden Northwest Mounted". The speaking parts in some of these songs are funny too....

"I love you Anna"!
"Anna?"
"...er, anna wanna marry you"!!

 
 
 Posted:   Jul 14, 2013 - 9:55 AM   
 By:   stravinsky   (Member)

Hello Regie,

I'm afraid i live in Scotland so would be unlikely to contact Mr Kreuger. Hadn't even heard of him to be honest! I would really only contact such specialists if I won the lottery...because then I would be in a position to make it my mission to track down all of these old scores and part books and hire an orchestra myself to record all of this material which is a definite gap in the Gershwin canon. Both the film underscore and his original uncut concert works. In this way Gershwin is most definitely under-represented in the Catalogue. It wouldn't be the same for Stravinsky or Ravel!
As far as the Ballet opening and Roller Skate sequence of Shall we Dance is concerned I am presuming that it wasn't actually Gershwin who composed and orchestrated these background passages but was rather the work of Robert Russell Bennett, Fud Livingstone, Maurice B. DePackh and Herbert Spencer who were all responsible for composing the underscore based on Gershwin's melodies. In fact I would go so far as to presume that the only piece of real underscore Gershwin ever composed for a movie musical was indeed the Promenade which apparently was composed on a whim. In fact i believe Gershwin was only ever asked to provide hit songs as a means of fulfilling his contractual obligation to the Hollywood studios. Even the "Manhattan Rhapsody" cannot be thought of as being original underscore because the portion used in the early musical film "Delicious" was a truncation of the already complete concert work that Friedhofer squeezed into the movie.
There is however a tantalising reference to the underscore in the wikipedia article for "Shall We Dance"...


"The score is probably the largest source of Gershwin orchestral works unavailable to the general public, at least since the advent of modern stereo recording techniques in the 1950s. The movie contains the only recordings of some of the instrumental pieces currently available to Gershwin aficionados (unfortunate because not all the incidental music composed for the movie was used in the final cut.) Some of the cuts arranged and orchestrated by Gershwin include: Dance of the Waves, Waltz of the Red Balloons, Graceful and Elegant, Hoctor's Ballet and French Ballet Class (for two pianos). The instrumental track Walking the Dog, however, has been frequently recorded and has been played from time to time on classical music radio stations."

I don't know who wrote this. Can this mean that Gershwin actually composed and orchestrated film music that has never been recorded or released? I can't believe this. Surely he just wouldn't have had the time for such a task?

 
 
 Posted:   Jul 14, 2013 - 11:12 AM   
 By:   Overtones   (Member)

Many years ago John Corigliano commented 'had Gershwin lived American music would be much different today'. How true. Imagine his planned New York opera! John Mauceri recorded THE GERSHWINS IN HOLLYWOOD, containing his New York Rhapsody from DELICIOUS in its original form and also Watch Your Step! ballet from SHALL WE DANCE.

 
 Posted:   Jul 14, 2013 - 12:16 PM   
 By:   lexedo   (Member)

Definitely stairway - thanks Reg.

Staircase would give too much mic hiss. :-D

 
 Posted:   Jul 14, 2013 - 12:17 PM   
 By:   lexedo   (Member)

Reg - check this thread I created last year.

http://www.filmscoremonthly.com/board/posts.cfm?threadID=90899&forumID=1&archive=0

 
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