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George GershwinHis Life and Work$
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Howard Pollack

Print publication date: 2007

Print ISBN-13: 9780520248649

Published to California Scholarship Online: May 2012

DOI: 10.1525/california/9780520248649.001.0001

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Gershwin and the Great Tradition

Gershwin and the Great Tradition

(p.136) Chapter Eight Gershwin and the Great Tradition
George Gershwin

Howard Pollack

University of California Press

Concurrent with his later theoretical studies, Gershwin further investigated the classical repertoire. He especially admired Bach, Mozart, Beethoven, Schubert, Chopin, Wagner, Brahms, Rimsky-Korsakov, Richard Strauss, Debussy, and Stravinsky. Gershwin not only went to concerts but studied the great classics at home, including the Bach keyboard toccatas, and also took an interest in current developments and in meeting other composers both at home and abroad, including England. He made additional discoveries in his later years, and in 1929 acquired the score to Alfredo Casella's Serenata for five instruments. Meanwhile, Gershwin knew more about his own country's composers than he generally made known. His greatest affinity and loyalty were always to Broadway's composers, including those, such as Vernon Duke and Oscar Levant, who were, like himself, active in more serious realms as well.

Keywords:   classical music, Bach, Alfredo Casella, Serenata, Mozart, Broadway's composers, Oscar Levant, Vernon Duke

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