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Porgy and Bess Medley

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George Gershwin

George Gershwin (arr. Robert Lowden)


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General Info

Year: 1928 / 1984
Duration: c. 11:00
Difficulty: IV (see Ratings for explanation)
Publisher: Hal Leonard Corporation
Cost: Score and Parts (print) – Out of print.


Instrumentation

(Needed, please join the WRP if you can help.)


Errata

None discovered thus far.


Program Notes

Gershwin’s folk opera Porgy and Bess climaxed his brief but spectacular career as both a popular and serious work. He had read DuBose Heyward’s Porgy in 1926 and was immediately interested in transforming the novel into an opera, but it was almost eight years before arrangements were completed for Gershwin to begin writing the music. It was performed by the Theatre Guild in Boston and New York in 1935 by an all-negro cast, with Todd Duncan as Porgy and Anne Brown as Bess. The opera ran 124 performances New York, a flop by Broadway standards. However, it was revived in 1942, almost five years after Gershwin’s death, and the show had the longest run of any revival in Broadway musical history.

Between 1952 and 1956, Porgy and Bess toured the major cities around the globe, including behind the Iron Curtain, and in 1959 was made into a movie starring Sidney Poitier, Dorothy Dandridge, and Sammy Davis, Jr. During all of the presentations for its 40 years of existence the show was never given in its entirety. Finally, in 1975, it was presented completely in a concert format in Cleveland, and the following year was given its first complete stage presentation by the Houston Opera Company.

Gershwin’s folk opera has been criticized as being between serious opera and musical comedy, but the beauty of the music and the expressive content which is so right for the occasion create an immediate rapport between the composer and the audience, a rapport which overshadows the criticism.

This medley of songs from Porgy and Bess by Bob Lowden includes A Woman Is a Sometime Thing ; Summertime, I Got Plenty O'Nuttin', It Ain't Necessarily So, Bess, You Is My Woman , and Oh Lawd, I'm on My Way.

- Program Note from Program Notes for Band


Commercial Discography

None discovered thus far.


State Ratings

None discovered thus far.


Performances

To submit a performance please join The Wind Repertory Project

  • Catskill Valley Wind Ensemble (Oneonta, N.Y.) (Andy Pease, conductor) – 26 January 2020
  • Atascadero (Calif.) Community Band (Randy Schwalbe, conductor) – 3 March 2018
  • Youngstown (Ohio) State University Wind Ensemble (Stephen L. Gage, conductor) - 5 September 2018
  • Truman State University (Kirksville, Mo.) Wind Symphony I (Curran Prendergast, conductor; Randy Smith, saxophone) – 28 April 2017
  • Westside Community Band (Cincinnati, Ohio) (Kenny Bierschenk, conductor) – 18 October 2015


Works for Winds by this Composer


Resources

  • Gershwin, G; Lowden, B. (1984). Porgy and Bess Medley [score]. Hal Leonard: Milwaukee, Wisc.
  • Smith, Norman E. (2002). Program Notes for Band. Chicago: GIA Publications. pp. 226-227.