Andrei Strizek

Music | Musings

Filtering by Tag: Gershwin

Grainger on Grieg and Gershwin

By Central News Photo Service, via Wikimedia Commons

"'The Man I Love' is one of the great songs of all time, taking its place in immortality beside the finest love-songs by Dowland, Schubert, Schumann, Brahms, Grieg, Tchaikovsky, Gabriel Fauré, Henri du Parc, Hatton, Maude Valerie White, Cyril Scott, Roger Quilter, Debussy and John Alden Carpenter.

... Such similarities (to Grieg) amounts to almost identicalness! But none of this detracts from Gershwin's immense and indisputable originality. It only shows what a life-giving inspiration Grieg's startling innovations provided for almost all truly progressive composers that cam after him: Debussy, Ravel, Delius, Cyril Scot, Albeniz, Stravinsky, MacDowell, Gershwin. And it goes to prove how deeply Gershwin's genius (whatever inspiration it also drew from popular and local sources) was rooted in the traditions of classical cosmopolitan music. So much of Gershwin's unique and subtle greatness lies in his humanistic universalism - in his effortless ability to reconcile hitherto unreconciled contrasts and seemingly opposing tendencies."

-Percy Aldridge Grainger, June 22, 1994 (forward to his concert version of The Man I Love)

U2 Does Clave

Yet another entry for my clave pattern list ... I previously noted how Gershwin used a clave pattern, as did Justin Bieber, George Michael & Bow Wow Wow. This pattern keeps popping up - you'll hear it in many, many places! (I think that's why I find it so fascinating.)

Like U2's "Desire," from their 1988 album Rattle & Hum. The pulse permeates the entire piece! PS Check out Bono's hair. Old school!


By xrayspx, via Wikimedia Commons

The Honey Men Cometh

I've enjoyed a lot of @MMmusing's videos he's posted to YouTube. I sent out a friendly challenge the other day for a mash-up of John Adams Nixon in China and China Gates, which was responded with a mash-up of Sleigh Ride and Short Ride in a Fast Machine (I love his animation!).

My first attempt at this is a combination of Gil Evans'/Miles Davis' version of Here Come de Honey Man combined with the original operatic version (here taken from the 1989 Sir Simon Rattle recording). It's short - less a minute - but it's a start!

They're both in the same key, which made this easy, and the Evans version is about twice as long as the original (there's a fade out on the Evans/Davis album). Is the hypnotic feeling of the Evans version recreated here, or is it just more chaotic?

Check out more of @MMmusing's videos on his YouTube page and read his blog. You also need to watch his "12 Composers of Christmas" - it's great! (And pass it on so it hits 10,000 views this season.)

Subscribe to my YouTube channel here (or by clicking the image on the left).

Prayer - Gershwin vis a vis Evans & Davis

My final paper for my Gerswhin class is about Gil Evans' arrangement of Porgy and Bess, and the famous Miles Davis album of the same title. As part of the paper - and partly because I find it to be such a moving piece - I transcribed Miles' solo on "Prayer (Oh, Doctor Jesus)". (For more visit /blog)
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Gershwin & the Clave

A few weeks ago I wrote about the 3-2 Clave pattern and how it appears in a recent Justin Bieber hit, as well as many other musics. In my Gershwin class today I heard it again:

The beginning of Act III, Scene 3 of Porgy & Bess (the final scene).

It's a little different, using quarter-note triplets instead of the typical 3-note figure, but the effect is the same.

The excerpt has many examples of the 3-2 clave pattern, and the score below starts about the 55 second mark. It's interesting that Gershwin used this, not because he wasn't familiar with Latin or Spanish music (see: Cuban Overture), but that so much of the Porgy & Bess score is based on a well-crafted blend of blues, jazz, spiritual, modernist music (for the 1930s) and European opera - but to my knowledge this is the only Latin-influenced part in the opera.

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