Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
|George Gershwin, Alexander Smallens, Todd Duncan|
Gershwin: Porgy & Bess [With Members of the Original Cast]
Genres: Pop, Soundtracks, Classical, Broadway & Vocalists
No Description Available. Genre: Original Cast Recordings Media Format: Compact Disk Rating: Release Date: 28-APR-1992
Listen to Samples
No Description Available.
Genre: Original Cast Recordings
Media Format: Compact Disk
Release Date: 28-APR-1992
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It's got plenty of somethin'
John W. Cotner | Belmont, MI USA | 07/12/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)
"this old recording, dating back to the late 30's, has poorer sound quality than later versions of P&B. it is tinny, with greater reliance on brass and horns and more tin-pan-alleyish and jazzy than later versions. however, that confirms its authentic charm and recommends its purchase. perhaps the show did not take its subject matter so seriously initially and that is what gershwin meant to convey. it was a "blacker" show than later versions which have been more obsessed with the music's operatic quality and whitewashing the dialect and other things too politically incorrect and sensitive for today's musical producers and audiences. for that reason alone, the original show is worth getting. this recording is interesting from a historical perspective because, as the first version of P&B, it is presumably the most indicative of what gershwin envisioned, and it is interesting to see how he originally arranged and orchestrated the songs and what was later added or changed in more recent versions. the songs in this original version are nowhere near as lush or orchestrated as in the 1950's movie version (unavailable on cd, unfortunately...) or the more bombastic, ponderous houston opera and british versions from the late 80's and early 90's (you can have those...).one advantage of this original score (and of the unavailable movie version...) is that it is a neat, short package of all the P&B songs, unlike the later two operas which have multiple cds and are tedious to listen to, with extended dialogue and orchestral bridges. you can listen to this one in an hour and get the full flavor of the show.bess in the original score is operatic, but shriller than in later versions and porgy, also operatic, has a thinner voice than later porgies; that all might be due to recording quality. the original sportin' life provides the most interesting and enjoyable versions of "it ain't necessarily so" and there's a boat that's leavin'", of all versions ever done.the gershwin heirs should make peace with the movie studio that did the motion picture version so the soundtrack can be digitalized and reissued on cd. that is the version of P&B, in lp record form, many of us were introduced to and grew up with, and the most familiar and enjoyable one, with the fullest orchestrations of gershwin's opera."
Decca's very first "original cast" album!
Mark Andrew Lawrence | Toronto | 02/19/2005
(3 out of 5 stars)
"Many people think OKLAHOMA! was the first (american) original cast album - the British had been making cast albums since the days of World War I - but in fact Decca had started the practice a few years earlier offering album sets of songs from movies (THE WIZARD OF OZ, HOLIDAY INN) and Broadway shows (PANAMA HATTIE, THIS IS THE ARMY.)
In 1940 the label issued an album of four 12-inch records containing some of the key songs from Gershwin's folk opera. The reunited two of the original cast stars, Todd Duncan and Anne Brown and the original conductor from the 1935 Broadway permiere. It wasn't completely authentic since they did not use the full cast.(Eg. Todd Duncan sing's Sportin' Life's song "It Ain't Necessarily So" on this set.)
In 1942 Cheryl Crawford produced a Broadwy revival but changed PORGY into a more traditional musical play by eliminating the operatic recitative and changing it to spoekn dialogue. Decca took advantage of this to offer up PORGY AND BESS - Volume Two, a set of three 10-inch records capturing some of the songs left out of the first album.
Those two sets were later combined onto an LP which was somewhat incorrectly labeled "original Broadway cast recording." Nevertheless it's as close to the OC as we'll ever get.
Here it is in a beautiful CD remastering that sounds far better than the old fake stereo Lps that were in gereral circulation from 1959 until the end of the Lp era. Yes, they are trims in some of the numbers and the sound is not exactly high fidelity.
PORGY finally got a more complete recording by Columbia Records in 1951 (and that is out on the Masterworks Heritage label) as well as three note-complete opera recordings (London, RCA and EMI ... the RCA set is the best of the three.)
There are also a variety of Jazz interpretations. A strange album with Mel Torme and Frances Faye on Bethlehem, a highly prized album with Lena Horne and Harry Belafonte, and albums by Sammy Davis Jr and Caremen MacRae, Ella Fitzgerald, and Miles Davis.
Sammy Davis also appeared in the 1959 Samual Goldwyn film version with Sidney Poitier and Dorthy Dandridge. The film was withdrawn from circulation by the Gershwin estate in 1974 and has rarely been seen since. The Columbia Records "soundtrack" album was briefly available from SONY on CD but it too has been withdrawn. (Strangely, contract problems prevented Sammy Davis Jr from appearing on that album and his songs were redone for the record by Cab Calloway!) It is still the preferred version of "highlights" from the score for many listeners who enjoy the well-sung program and lush orchestrations."
An Original Version of America's Greatest Opera
Daniel Dillon | 11/18/1998
(5 out of 5 stars)
"If you love great opera, little can compare to 'Pory and Bess'. By far the only great American opera, it contains a plethora of hits. "Summertime", redone by Janis Joplin, "I Got Plenty O' Nuttin'", "My Man's Gone Now" and many others are considered some of the best songs and ballads ever written. The sound quality, since this was recorded circa 1930, is at times less than stellar, but it in no way detracts from the overall impact of this opera."