Friday, April 9, 2010

Gershwin - A Melody Surrounded by Mystery

During my younger years, I heard a recording of a composition written by George Gershwin previously unknown to me. It was for piano solo, and quite remarkable for its content, about which I will explain shortly.
That composition re-entered my memory the other day, and I thought that I should pursue the possibility of seeing if a copy of it is available for performance, as I know of nobody in the field other than that performance I heard years ago who actually has it in his or her repertoire.
I have just now gotten underway in search for this piece. It was named "Lily Pons," which seems to me a piece written in dedication to the acclaimed French soprano. To the best of my knowledge, it was written around 1933, and, by way of further research, I find it to be labeled also as "melody no. 79."
It is an an expression of some prescience, as it is a fusion, very deftly wrought, of both Impressionism and Jazz - to me, the result is a fascinating possibility of where Gershwin might have been moving stylistically which, sadly, was cut off by his premature death.
As of today, I have no solid means of determination as regards the possibility of finding a copy of this music - at present, I am not sure as to whether it has indeed ever been published. But it is, for me, a fascinating foray into the field of the Unknown, as regards my finding a copy.
To be continued...



Blogger Ichabod Quinnn said...

Gershwin never finished this piece. It is a sketch for piano. After Gershwin's death, his brother Ira remembered that George had been writing a piece for opera singer Lily Pons, and assumed that this was that piece. It has been recorded by Michael Tilson Thomas. That recording can be found at:

--Walter Rimler

April 9, 2010 at 7:52 PM  

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