Gershwin: Porgy and Bess / Maazel, White, Boatwright, et al

Album Summary

>Gershwin, George : Porgy and Bess
Performers Conductor Ensemble Composer

Notes & Reviews:

"If you like American music and-or if you like 20th century opera, you've got to hear this 1976 recording of Gershwin's Porgy and Bess with Lorin Maazel leading the Cleveland Orchestra and Chorus. For one thing, it's the first complete recording of what is then and is still now widely regarded as the great American opera. Every bar of the 599 page vocal score is included, bringing the total time of this three disc Decca set to a mere minute and a quarter short of three hours... But most importantly of all, it's got the buoyantly rhythmic and wholly dramatic conducting of Lorin Maazel and the gleaming virtuosity of the Cleveland Orchestra at the peak of its post-Szell form. Together, they gave Gershwin's masterpiece a performance of consummate musicality and unquestionable authenticity that had not yet been matched by the 2007 release of this striking re-mastering." -All Music Guide

BBC Music Magazine
This was the first complete recording of Gershwin's masterpiece, and it remains one of the two best. It has vitality, intensity and is idiomatic, with a wonderful line-up of soloists.

Penguin Guide
This superb recording established the work's formidable status beyond question ... Maazel includes the complete text ... some half hour of virtually unknown music, including many highly evocative passages and some striking choruses, reinforces the consistency of Gershwin's inspiration ... the recording is one of the most vivid that even Decca has produced. Willard White is a magnificent Porgy, while Leona Mitchell's vibrant Bess has a moving streak of vulnerability. But it is above all Maazel's triumph, a tremendous first recording with dazzling playing from the Cleveland Orchestra ... one of the most impressive transfers of an analogue original that Decca has yet issued ...



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Works Details

>Gershwin, George : Porgy and Bess
  • Performers: Frarncois Clemmons (Voice); James Pickens (Tenor); Alan Leatherman (Voice); Robert Snook (Voice); McHenry Boatwright (Baritone); Leona Mitchell (Soprano); Donald Zucca (Voice); William Brown (Voice); Ralph Nealley (Voice); Isola Jones (Soprano); Alpha Floyd (Soprano); Samuel Hagan (Tenor); Joela Jones (Piano); Christopher Deane (Cimbalom); Arthur Thompson (Baritone); John Buck (Voice); Barbara Conrad (Voice); Barbara Hendricks (Voice); Florence Quivar (Voice); Willard White (Bass)
  • Conductor: Lorin Maazel
  • Ensemble: Cleveland Orchestra
  • Notes: Masonic Hall, Cleveland, OH (08/18/1975-08/21/1975)
  • Running Time: 131 min. 39 sec.
  • Period Time: Modern
  • Form: Opera/Operetta
  • Written: 1935