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Notes on Major Compositions
listed by composer
~ G ~
- Gershwin An
Gershwin had his concept for this work already in mind when he left for
in the spring of 1928. Once in Paris his vision came to life and was
completed in Vienna. The orchestration was done on a return to Paris. He
said 'An American In Paris' was scored in the manner of Debussy but the
theme was original.
The FP was by the NY PO under Walter Damrosh in December 1928. Gershwin
called his new work a rhapsodic ballet portraying the impression of an
American visitor to Paris as he strolls about the city
absorbing the street noises and the French atmosphere.
- Gershwin Concerto
- Gershwin Cuban
inspired by a vacation in Havana.
- Gershwin Fascinatin' Rhythm
Gershwin's music epitomises the 1920's. His 'Fascinatin' Rhythm' is from
the 1924 show Lady Be Good.
- Gershwin I Got Rhythm
George Gershwin said his favorite song was I Got Rhythm composed in 1920.
He arranged the song for two pianos as his Variations on I Got
- Gershwin OH, Kay!
The Broadway musical opened in November, 1926 at the Imperial Theater,
NYC. It ran for 256 Performances. It was written as a showpiece for
Gertrude Lawrence. The story of Long Island rum runners, for a prohibition
era audience. Lawrence portrayed Lady Kay Duram, a 'down at the heels,
peer of the realm' who falls in love with a playboy whos beach front home
is the secret site of a bootleg operation. Lawrence's character
masquerades as a maid and in one scene she sings 'Someone to Watch Over
me' to a doll. It was the star at her peak in 1927.
- Gershwin Porgy and Bess
A Suite was arranged by
Robert Russell Bennett as A Symphonic Picture.
George Gershwin read the Dubois Hayward book, Porgy and in 1926 wrote
the score for his opera Porgy and Bess and finally had it produced in
1935. Todd Duncan (1926 - 1998) was selected, by Gershwin, from over 100
the role of Porgy. It ran for 124 performances on Broadway. Gershwin wrote
an orchestral arrangement of the music
it Catfish Row, however conductor Fritz Reiner had Robert Russell Bennett
arrange a suite in 1937 after the composers death. Reiner premiered the
work with the Pittsburgh SO in 1943.
The version most often performed is an orchestral arrangement
by Ferde Grofe the composer of the Grand Canyon Suite. The work was commissioned by Grofe's
boss Paul Whiteman's orchestra. Gershwin, at age 26,
originally scored the work for a jazz group. The short concerto version was
composed in 1924. The main theme is familiar as background music in
United Airlines TV commercials. The name was given to the piece by the
composer's brother, Ira.
- Gigout (YOU ZHEN' ZHEE GOH') Scherzo for organ. He studied
french organ music with Saint-Saens. born 1822 d-1890.
- Ginastera Estancia Ballet Suite op 8
Alberto Ginastera was born in Argentina November 4, 1916. He died in 1983.
His Estancia Ballet score was composed in 1941. The estancia, or ranch, is
the scene of Argentine cowboys, their life on the ranch, cowboy meets
cowgirl and gauco verses gauch for her favor.
Estancia is a five scene, one act ballet. Presented for the first time in
1952 on Buenos Aires.
The suite was FP in May of 1943. It concludes with the popular 'Danza'.
- Ginastera Songs of
Part of his ballet Panambi, an early work, related to Argentinian folk
lore. 'Tucuman' is a northern provence of Argentina at the edge of the
high mountanous area of the west.
- Giuliani 'Concerto for Guitar'
Mauro Giuliani lived between 1780 and 1840 and helped to bring the guitar
to prominance with his concertos. He was born in Bologna and was a self
taught musician. This is the first genuine virtuoso concerto for guitar,
it was written around 1810.
- Glazunov Triumphal March Op
(b-1865 - d-1936) Russian composer AG wrote this work in 1895 for the
Chicago Exhibition. The melody is based on the song known as "John Browns'
- Glinka Russlan and Ludmilla
Russian poet Alexander Pushkin wrote 'Russlan and Ludmilla' in 1820. It
made him an instant success. Mikhail Glinka proposed a libretto for the
fairy tale but the poet was slain in a duel over the supposed infidelity
of his wife. Glinka shaped the opera and it had its' FP at The Bolshoi
Theater in St.etersburg in 1842.
- Gluck Alceste
- Gluck Iphigenia in
- Gluck Orpheus and Eurydice
The 1774 Opera was
inspired by the mythical tale of Orpheus, the lute playing son of a muse
and river god,
was followed into Hades
by Eurydice the Nymph of the woods. The opera
features two famous orchestral pieces, The Dance of the Furies and Dance
of the Blessed Spirits.
- Gottschalk A Montevideo
Composed in the 1860's on a vacation in Uraguay near
the end of Gottschalk's
life. He called it his second symphony. It's themes include the Uruguayan
National Anthem, Hail Columbia and
Yankee Doodle. Gottschalk died on December 18th, 1869. This work was not
performed until the 100th year after his
death, 1969, in New Orleans.
- Gottschalk A Night In The Tropics
Louis Moreau Gottschalk was in Guadeloupe in 1859 when he composed this
work. There are many Latin American rhythms, some sound a bit like the
modern 'samba'. Available recording on Vanguard Classics CD # SVC-9 with
Maurice Abravanel and the Utah SO. ... 18'49 c3304
- Grainger Handel in the Strand
From the turn of the 19th century this music by PG was written as
variations on Handel's Harmonious Blacksmith originally for piano and
orchestrated later. The strand was the center of English music.
- Grainger Hill Song
Composed in 1901 this is music of the spirit of wilderness and open
highlands of Northern England and Scotland.
- Grainger Spoon River
This American folk melody with the Scottish sound was arranged by Percy
Grainger in 1919. It is dedicated to Edgar Lee Masters, the poet of the
- Granados Goyescas
Impressions of the art work of Spanish painter Francisco Goya. The two
sets of completed piano works date from 1911 and were expanded as a one
act opera in 1916 and presented at the MET in NYC...subtitled 'The
- Grieg Holberg Suite
This work was scored in 1884 to commemorate the 200th anniversary of the
birth of the playwrite, Ludwig Holberg in Bergen (a
Norwegian seaport in the South West area of Norway). The
actual title of the work is
'From Holberg's Time'. It was originally written for piano but Grieg
orchestrated it in 1885. It has been
acclaimed for Grieg's own orchestration of the work. His op 40.
- Grieg Lyric
Suite was arranged just before his death in 1907. It was
orchestrated using four of his piano pieces from Book Five.
- Grieg Piano
Most important Norwegian composer of the 19th
Century. Studied at the Leipzig Conservatory.
(1843 - 1907) Edvard Grieg's youthful triumphs boosted
Norwegian national morale so well
that the government awarded him a state pension at the age of 29.
composed his Piano Concerto in A minor when he was 25 years
old. It is one of the most popular concertos and a source for many popular
variations. It was also used as a main theme in the Broadway production
'Song of Norway'. His enduring fame begins with this work
premiered in 1869. It was his first score for symphony orchestra
and is his only concerto.
Peer Gynt (PAIR GEEnt)
Grieg met Norway's great dramatist Henrik Ibsen in 1874. Ibsen asked Grieg
to write some incidental music for his play Peer Gynt. The play dealt
with the social and political issues of the day.
The plot involves the adventures of a young
man who travels the world to return to his sweetheart, Solveg, much wiser
than when he left her. Grieg
arranged two suites of music from the score for concertising including
Morning, Hall of the Mountain King, Anitra's dance and Solvegs song
- Griffes, Charles Tomlinson The Kairn of Koridwen
His longest piece, it was composed in 1916. A ballet or "dance-drama" based
on Druid folklore from France. The Kairn or sanctuary and 'Koridwen' the
goddess of the moon. FP at New York City's Neighborhood Playhouse on
1917 for a run of several weekends. The playhouse was an avant-garde theater
on the lower east side and funded by Alice and Irene Lewisohn.
- Griffes The Pleasure Dome of Kubla Kahn
Griffes was born in Elmyra NY on Sep 17, 1884. This work was composed in
1912. He later orchestrated the work which was inspirted by a Coleridge
- Grofe', Ferde Grand Canyon Suite
FP by the NBC Sym Orchestra in 1943 under Arturo Toscanini. (A 1945
recording is available in the Toscanini re-releases RCA (BMG)
- Grofe' Mississippi Suite
b-27 MAR 1892, d-1972.
Composed for Paul Whiteman who introduced the work in New York's Carnegie
Hall in 1925, a year after it was written. The work has a kind of American
Indian flavor, then jazz and negro themes. Movements titled "Father of the Waters",
"Huckleberry Finn" and "Old Creole Days" with a final musical description
of "New Orleans at Carnival time". (Last movement aka "Mardi Gras"...