1. Gershwin: Porgy & Bess (Highlights) / Alsop, Philadelphia Orchestra

Gershwin: Porgy & Bess (Highlights) / Alsop, Philadelphia Orchestra

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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 early attempts to create American classical music inspired by African American styles such as jazz, Spirituals, and the blues. 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 and 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 each 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

Product Description:

  • Release Date: July 09, 2021

  • Catalog Number: PTC5186883

  • UPC: 827949088360

  • Label: Pentatone

  • 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


  1. Porgy and Bess (excerpts)

    Composer: George Gershwin, Ira Gershwin

    Ensemble: Philadelphia Orchestra, Morgan State University Choir

    Performer: Angel Blue (Soprano), Lester Lynch (Baritone), Chauncey Packer (Tenor), Kevin Short (Bass-Baritone), Alexandria Crichlow (Soprano), Darrin Scott (Tenor)

    Conductor: Marin Alsop