George Gershwin‘s twin musical paths as both a writer of popular songs and ambitious orchestral and ‘serious music’ guaranteed that his works would live on past his tragically brief 38 years. The composer and pianist was born in Brooklyn on this day in 1898, and was able to leave behind songs and Broadway musicals like Strike Up the Band and Lady Be Good, jazz-inflected tone poems and works for piano with orchestra, as well as Porgy and Bess, which remains one of the best known and loved of all American operas.


The pieces heard in the montage are listed below (click and drag over them to reveal the titles)

  1. Rhapsody in Blue
  2. 3 Preludes (I: Allegro ben ritmato e deciso)
  3. Strike Up the Band (Overture)
  4. “Bess, You Is My Woman Now” from Catfish Row Suite (based on Porgy & Bess)
  5. Cuban Overture
  6. Promenade
  7. An American in Paris
  8. Second Rhapsody
  9. “I Got Rhythm” Variations
  10. Concerto in F