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- DescriptionGeorge Gershwin lived with purpose and gusto, but with melancholy as well, for he was unable to make a place for himself-- family of his own and real home in music. He and his siblings received little love from their mother and direction from their father. Older brother and lyricist Ira managed to create a home when he married Leore Strunsky, a hard-edged woman who lived for wealth and status. The closest George came to domesticity was through his longtime relationship with Kay Swift. She was his lover, musical confidante, and fellow composer. But she remained married to ather man while he went endlessly from woman to woman. Only in the final hours of his life, when they were separated by a continent, did he realize how much he needed her. Fatally ill, unprotected by (and perhaps estranged from) Ira, he was exiled by Leore from the house she and the brothers shared, and he died horribly and alone at the age of thirty-eight. Nor was Gershwin able to find a satisfying musical harbor. For years his songwriting genius could be expressed only in the ephemeral world of show business, as his brilliance as a composer of large-scale works went unrecognized by highbrow music critics. When he resolved this quandary with his opera Porgy and Bess, the critics were unable to understand or validate it. Decades would pass before this, his most ambitious composition, was universally regarded as one of music's lasting treasures and before his stature as a great composer became secure. In George Gershwin: An Intimate Portrait, Walter Rimler makes use of fresh sources, including newly discovered letters by Kay Swift as well as correspondence between and interviews with intimates of Ira and Leore Gershwin. It is written with spirited prose and contains more than two dozen photographs.
- Author BiographyWalter Rimler is the author of Not Fade Away: A Comparison of Jazz Age With Rock Era Pop Song Composers and A Gershwin Companion. His articles and fiction have appeared in Midstream, Prism International, and other publications.
- Author(s)Walter Rimler
- PublisherUniversity of Illinois Press
- Date of Publication21/07/2009
- SubjectBiography: The Arts
- Series TitleMusic in American Life
- Place of PublicationBaltimore
- Country of PublicationUnited States
- ImprintUniversity of Illinois Press
- Content Note33 black and white photographs
- Weight558 g
- Width162 mm
- Height238 mm
- Spine21 mm
- Interest AgeFrom 18
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