Porgy and Bess: George Gershwin's Masterpiece

They don't appear too often, musical geniuses, and when they do, they sometimes die too young.  Of these immortals, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart died at 35, and George Gershwin, originally named Jacob Gershowitz, born of Jewish Ukrainian and Lithuanian parents, in Brooklyn in 1898, died in Los Angeles of a brain tumor at 38. Mozart began composing at age 5, composed over 600 works, symphonic, concertante, chamber, operatic, and choral.  His friend Joseph Haydn said of him, "Posterity will not see such a talent again in 100 years."  Haydn was almost exactly right.  Gershwin, who began playing piano at 10, and left school at 15 and became a song-plugger in Tin Pan Alley, began composing at 17, a song that earned him 50 cents, and wrote popular, jazz, and classical music, combining highbrow and lowbrow sensibilities. Mozart died while writing his Requiem. Gershwin died just after he finished his masterpiece Porgy and Bess, now...(Read Full Article)
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