Complete Porgy? More like complete sham!
Ronald P. Martin | 06/15/2010
(1 out of 5 stars)
"Buyer beware. This is not "The Complete Porgy and Bess" as billed. In fact, it bears only the slightest resemblance to the opera written by George Gershwin. Poor George must have turned over in his grave when this recording was released. This great American composer even today is unjustly maligned for his alleged lack of compositional skills--and largely because of poor performances (Bernstein's performance of Rhapsody in Blue, for instance), the tamperings of sheet music publishers and editors, and endeavors like this one.
Never mind this Ellington / Torme embarrassment; "Porgy and Bess" is a great world opera. If you want to hear what Gershwin intended, listen to Simon Rattle's Glynebourne performance on EMI or Lorin Maazel's on Decca. Both are excellent. See my review of the Maazel at Amazon.
On the other hand, if you want a jazz spin on Gershwin's opera, get the Miles Davis / Gil Evans "Porgy and Bess Suite." It is wonderful in every way and, unlike the present "jazz rendition", fully respectful of Gershwin's genius.
Gershwin: Porgy and Bess"