Gershwin: Porgy & Bess (Highlights) / Alsop, Philadelphia Orchestra
The Philadelphia Orchestra and conductor Marin Alsop present a live recording with highlights of Gershwin’s self-proclaimed American “Folk Opera” Porgy and Bess, together with a stellar cast and the Morgan State University Choir. Since its premiere in 1935, Porgy and Bess has been one of the most significant attempts to – following Antonin Dvorák’s famous instruction of 1893 – create American classical music inspired by Afro-American styles such as jazz, spirituals and the blues. It has also proven to be a powerful catalyst for bringing more diverse casts to the opera stage. The hard-knock life at a Charleston waterfront tenement is presented here by an outstanding cast including Lester Lynch (Porgy), Angel Blue (Bess, Clara and Serena), Chauncey Packer (Sportin’ Life) and Kevin Short (Crown, Jake). Marin Alsop is one of today’s most acclaimed conductors, and the first woman to serve as the head of a major orchestra in the United States, South America, Austria and Britain. The Philadelphia Orchestra is one of the world’s preeminent orchestras. Multi-award-winning soprano Angel Blue is one of the most promising voices of her generation, while Chauncey Packer is arguably one of the greatest and sought-after Sportin’ Life interpreters today. Lester Lynch and Kevin Short both enjoy a flourishing stage career, as well as a vast PENTATONE discography.
Soprano Angel Blue has already shown she can meet—and exceed—the vocal and dramatic demands of playing Bess in the recent Metropolitan Opera production, and so it's not surprising that her lovely voice is the highlight of this disc of excerpts from George Gershwin's emotionally powerful opera. Not only does Blue own Bess' classic songs but she also sings Clara's "Summertime" and Serena's "My Man's Gone Now" with equal parts power and finesse and an ability to grab the listener from the get-go. Lester Lynch's Porgy and Chauncey Packer's Sportin' Life provide superb vocal support and Marin Alsop conducts an expertly-chosen group of excerpts, strongly performed by the Philadelphia Orchestra and Morgan State University Choir.
– The Flip Side
Release Date: July 09, 2021
Catalog Number: PTC5186883
Number of Discs: 1
Period: 20th Century
Composer: George Gershwin
Conductor: Marin Alsop
Orchestra/Ensemble: Morgan State University Choir, Philadelphia Orchestra
Performer: Alexandria Crichlow, Angel Blue, Chauncey Packer, Darrin Scott, Kevin Short, Lester Lynch