Gershwin: British Piano Selections

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Released:
Nov 23, 2012
Drury Lane Records

CD: £9.99 + p+p

About the album:
Beginning with popular songs inserted into musical revues, George Gershwin went on to write scores for musicals, films and full-scale concert works. He had a natural gift for melody, combined with inspired countermelodies and shifting harmonies comparable to those of Chopin, with great enthusiasm for the ‘pep’ and vitality of the jazz age. When coupled with the outstanding lyric writing talents of his brother Ira, they wrote some of the most enduring popular songs of the twentieth century.

In the 1920s their songs began to be inserted into revues and musicals in London, such as ‘Mayfair and Montmartre’, and, in 1923, George was offered a considerable sum to come to London to write a new revue, ‘The Rainbow’. He returned the following year to compose a new ‘British’ musical, ‘Primrose’, with English lyricist Clifford Grey. He came to London on several more visits to mount a string of successful musicals, including ‘Lady, Be Good!’, written with Ira, often transferring them after the New York production.

In the course of researching for my book, ‘George Gershwin: An American in London’, I discovered a series of piano selections from these shows, written as souvenirs for audience members, who were also talented pianists, to play at home. Unfortunately, many of these shows were revues, consisting of many different scenes, or musicals with slender plots, and it occurred to me that a piano selection was often the only way to obtain an idea of the music contained in these long forgotten shows. None of these selections has been recorded before.

These piano selections were all arranged with flair by veteran British composer Henry Marcellus Higgs, who arranged hundreds of piano selections from musical shows of the period.

 

BRITISH PIANO SELECTIONS – WORLD PREMIERE RECORDING

TRACK LIST:

1 Mayfair and Montmartre (1922) (Arr. H.M. Higgs) 9.01 (Billets Doux – My Lady – Olga (Come back to the Volga) – South Sea Isles – J’en Ai Marre – Do It AgainCocktail Time – Hugs and Kisses – South Sea Isles)

Music by George Gershwin, Maurice Yvain, Cole Porter, Joseph Meyer

Lyrics by Arthur Jackson, B.G. DeSylva and Cole Porter

 

2 The Rainbow (1923) (Arr. H.M. Higgs) 9.09 (Sweetheart, I’m So Glad That I Met You – Eastern Moon – Innocent Lonesome Blue Baby – Oh! Nina – Good Night, My Dear – Strut Lady With Me – In The Rain – Moonlight in Versailles – Sweetheart)

Music by George Gershwin    Lyrics by Clifford Grey

 

3 Stop Flirting! (1923) (Arr. H.M. Higgs) 9.13 (Every Day – opening chorus of Act I – Every Day – The Best of Everything – All By Myself – I’ll Build a Stairway to Paradise – Someone – The Whichness of the Whatness – opening chorus Act II – Oh Gee! Oh Gosh! (I Love You) – Every Day)

Music by George Gershwin, William Daly and Paul Lannin

Lyrics by Arthur Jackson, Clifford Grey, B.G. DeSylva and Ira Gershwin

 

4 Primrose (1924) (Arr. H.M. Higgs) 9.11 (Isn’t It Wonderful – I’ll Have a House in Berkeley Square – Till I Meet Someone Like You – That New Fangled Mother of Mine – Some Far-Away Someone – Boy Wanted – This is the Life For A Man – Naughty Baby – Four Little Sirens – Isn’t It Wonderful – Wait a Bit, Susie)

Music by George Gershwin    Lyrics by Desmond Carter and Ira Gershwin

 

5 Tell Me More (1925) (Arr. H.M. Higgs) 8.01 (Opening chorus Act I – Three Times a Day – BabyTell Me More – Why Do I Love You?Love I Never Knew – Kickin’ the Clouds Away – My Fair Lady)

Music by George Gershwin

Lyrics by B.G DeSylva, Desmond Carter and Ira Gershwin

 

6 Lady, Be Good! (1926) (Arr. H.M. Higgs) 8.18 (Little Jazz Bird – So Am I – The Half Of It, Dearie, Blues – I’d Rather Charleston With You – Lady, Be Good! – Hang On To Me – Fascinating Rhythm

Music by George Gershwin     Lyrics by Ira Gershwin

 

7 Tip-Toes (1926) (Arr. H.M. Higgs) 8.56 (That Certain Feeling – It’s a Great Little World – Looking For a Boy – These Charming People – Sweet and Low-Down – Nice Baby! – That Certain Feeling – Nightie Night – When Do We Dance – That Certain Feeling)

Music by George Gershwin     Lyrics by Ira Gershwin

8 Oh Kay! (1927) (Arr. H.M. Higgs) 7.53 (Someone to Watch Over Me – Maybe – Clap Yo’ Hands – Do, Do, Do – Fidgety Feet – Heaven On Earth – Someone to Watch Over Me

Music by George Gershwin     Lyrics by Ira Gershwin

9 Funny Face (1928) (Arr. H.M. Higgs) 8.00 (He Loves and She Loves‘S’Wonderful – My One and Only – He Loves and She Loves – Let’s Kiss and Make Up – The Babbitt and the Bromide – Funny Face)

Music by George Gershwin     Lyrics by Ira Gershwin

 

Total time = 78.00

 

ALAN DURMAN – piano

Classic FM Logo no freq

“Alan Durman is very proficient as a Gershwin exponent”
David Mellor, Classic FM (NEW RELEASES SHOW, 4th May 2013)

 

“(A) Brilliant idea….beautiful performances that sound so deliciously authentic.’

Michael Feinstein, Singer, pianist and founder of the American Songbook Foundation

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What people are saying

“Alan Durman is very proficient as a Gershwin exponent”

David Mellor, Classic FM (NEW RELEASES SHOW, 4th May 2013)

“Brilliant idea….beautiful performances that sound so deliciously authentic.’

Michael Feinstein, Singer, pianist and founder of the American Songbook Foundation (6th October 2015)