Summertime: George Gershwin's Life in Music, by Richard Crawford
The life of a beloved American composer reflected through his music, writings, and letters.
New York City native and gifted pianist George Gershwin blossomed as an accompanist before his talent as a songwriter opened the way to Broadway, where he fashioned his own brand of American music.
He composed a long run of musical comedies, many with his brother Ira as lyricist, but his aspirations reached beyond commercial success. Having polished his skills as an orchestrator, he pushed boundaries in 1935 with the folk opera, Porgy and Bess - his magnum opus.
Gershwin’s talent and warmth made him a presence in New York’s musical and social circles. In 1936 he and Ira moved west to write songs for Hollywood. Their work was cut short, however, when George developed a brain tumour and died at thirty-eight, a beloved American artist.
Drawing extensively from letters and contemporaneous accounts, music historian Richard Crawford traces the arc of Gershwin’s remarkable life, seamlessly blending colourful anecdotes with a discussion of Gershwin’s unforgettable oeuvre.
His days on earth were limited to the summertime of life. But the spirit and inventive vitality of the music he left behind lives on.
“An engaging chronicle of a brilliant musician....A warm homage to a central figure in American music and theater.” - Kirkus
“A worthy tribute to Gershwin's phenomenal creativity over only two decades.” - Booklist