GERSHWIN Gershwin Album. The Gents. Johannette Zomer, Haags Saxophone Quartet, Michel Ponsioen percussion / Beni Csillag. Channel Classics SACD

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GEORGE GERSHWIN

Gershwin Album - The Gents

George Gershwin (1898 – 1937)

Lyrics: Ira Gershwin (1896 – 1983)

Things Are Looking Up (arr.Jetse Bremer)

I Can't Be Bothered Now (arr.Jetse Bremer)

Stiff Upper Lip (arr.Jetse Bremer)

Sing of Spring (arr.Jetse Bremer)

The Jolly Tar and the Milkmaid (arr.Jetse Bremer)

Foggy Day (arr.Jetse Bremer)

Nice Work If You Can Get It (arr.Jetse Bremer)

Rhapsody in Blue (arr. Johan van der Linden)

They Can't Take That Away from Me

(arr.Jetse Bremer/Pete Harden)

Fascinating Rhythm(arr.Jetse Bremer/Pete Harden)

Summertime (arr.Jetse Bremer)

My Man's Gone Now (arr. Erik-Jan de With)

It Ain't Necessarily So (arr. Erik-Jan de With)

O Lawd, I'm on My Way (arr. Jetse Bremer)

Béni Csillag conductor

Johannette Zomer, soprano

Haags Saxophone Quartet

Michel Ponsioen percussion

Broadway musicals and jazz belong to the cultural heritage of America. But people thought differently in George Gershwin's day - the 1920s and 30s. Broadway shows were immensely popular, but were rarely considered as art. Jazz was a subculture secretly appreciated by many white Americans, but in the same way as they liked to see wild animals at the circus - at a safe distance. It had yet to be realised that amusement music was a unique and characteristic part of American culture. “American music is not jazz, and jazz is not music”, wrote the influential music critic Paul Rosenfeld in 1929. Precisely what, then, was American music? George Gershwin (1898-1937) was one of the first to show the world.

(from: liner notes)

After recordings of English Renaissance and German romantic music, and twentieth-century works from France, The Gents venture across the ocean to the new world, with a CD that takes them to Broadway. Jetse Bremer has specially arranged the last compositions by George Gershwin for this combination of soloist, choir and instruments and the flexibility and homogeneous sound of The Gents matches these songs so well. For the singers of The Gents and soprano Johannette Zomer, with their classical background, this repertoire is a special challenge, raising the question where classical stops or changes into something else....

(...) Hypnotically homogeneous of timbre, hushed and soft-focused (...) BBC Music Magazine

(...) a rounded, unforced sonority, refined chording and balance (...) Deep basses lend a crucial richness to the textures of the Strauss and Wolf part-songs. (...) Gramophone

Channel Classics SACD CCSSA33312

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