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Book reviews for "Gershwin,_Ira" sorted by average review score:

Lyrics on Several Occasions: A Selection of Stage & Screen Lyrics Written for Sundry Situations; And Now Arranged in Arbitrary Categories. to Which Have Been Added Many informativ
Published in Paperback by Limelight Editions (1997)
Author: Ira Gershwin
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completely charming
If you know the lyrics, you know George Gershwin's brother was a witty and warm-hearted writer of verses. His prose paints a self-portrait of a somewhat reserved, witty, erudite, unpretentious man who deeply loves (now, loved) his family, his friends, and his profession of lyric-writing. The stories behind the songs sketch a picture of show-biz life of the 1920s, before everybody had stereo systems; when anybody middle class or richer had a piano in the house; and when parties necessitated a piano recital from anybody willing and able to give one, as Ira's virtuoso brother usually was. Brief snapshots of life with his brother are shot through with almost heartbreaking poignancy as one recalls that George died young. The poignancy and his love for his brother shine the brighter as Ira never explicitly calls attention to them -- he shows, he doesn't tell. A beautiful book, with many droll observations & humorous anecdotes wittily told.

A musical comedy treasure
Thank heaven this has finally been re-printed! No other lyricist of Gershwin's magnitiude ever took such a detailed and witty song-by-song look at his life's work. Wonderfully entertaining and informative. If you are interested in the craft of lyric writing or in the history of the musical, this book will be as essential as it is delightful.

The One Essential Gershwin Book
Although Ira Gershwin was capable of lyric sloppiness -- you'd have to rate his work a tick lower overall than that of Cole Porter, Johnny Mercer, Yip Harburg, Alan Jay Lerner and Stephen Sondheim -- at his best his lyrics sparkle. In LYRICS ON SEVERAL OCCASIONS, Ira wittily sets the conditions that lead to some of his best work. For the most part he wisely allows the words to speak for themselves, grouping his lyrics under charmingly appropriate headings and occasionally describing why one works (or doesn't) and what it took to get there. It's both a delightful compendium of Ira's best songs and a crash course in lyric writing that may make you wish the late Mr. Gershwin had conducted classes to aspiring song-writers.

Published in Paperback by Aladdin Library (2002)
Authors: Dubose Heyward, Dorothy Heyward, Mike Wimmer, George Gershwin, and Ira Gershwin
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hauntingly evocative of summertime in the south
I have always loved the song "Summertime," which my mother used to sing to my family when I was growing up. This book adds new layers of meaning to the song, with gorgeous illustrations depicting an African-American family living in the South. This is currently one of my thirteen-month-old daughter's top three favorite books, although it is not intended for her age group. She responds intensely to the images of the children in the swimming hole, the grandfather sleeping in his hammock, the mother baking an apple pie, and especially the last page where the baby is learning how to walk on the front porch. Although I have sung this book aloud to our daughter at least 100 times, I always look forward to singing it one more time. It's an absolute treasure.

fantastic illustrations capture the experience of summer
I was completely charmed by the paintings in this book. They were skillfully done, and depict the summertime of an African-American family in the south. Very warm pictures of family life.

A Hit With Children
I am a second grade teacher who read this story to a group of second graders last fall. The students also had an opportunity to listen to the Louie Armstrong and Ella Fitzgerald jazz rendention of the song. My students love the story and frequently read it along with the CD. I like the beautiful illustrations that accompany the story lyrics. The author did a wonderful job of combining vibrant illustrations with music lyrics to tell a wonderful story.

The Complete Gershwin Keyboard Works
Published in Paperback by Warner Brothers Publications (2000)
Authors: George Gershwin and Ira Gershwin
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The rare preludes are here--thank YOU!
I had to search high and low for Zizzo's edition of the rarer preludes. Here, you have all of the Gershwin keyboard works, including the short preludes I, II and III, as well as those rare preludes "Novelette in Fourths" and "Sleepless Nights." The "I've Got Rhythm" variations are virtuoso--so beware, this book ranges from the playable to the shockingly difficult. But I can't tell you what a pleasure it is to have it all in one book finally. Thank you, Ms. Zizzo. Even if I can't play all of these, it's "S'wonderful" to be able to read the scores.

Gershwin at his best -- the Piano
Beginning as a song plugger, the self-taught Gershwin became a master of the piano. What better way to indulge in this music than to paly it yourself! This collection contains piano arrangements of his greatest works, inclduing Rhapsodie in Blue for solo piano, and the overly ignored and infrequently heard Concerto in F. There are also two piano arrangements of orchestral peices, i.e. Cuban Overture. Be advised, the arrangements are difficult. Learning to play them will definitely take time. However, if you're into studying the works, or following along as you listen, then this is for you. Two copies will be necessary if you're going to perform them.

The Complete Lyrics of Ira Gershwin
Published in Paperback by DaCapo Press (1998)
Authors: Ira Gershwin and Robert Kimball
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This collection rocks!
This collection kicks some butt! Robert Kimball does it again!

A must for all Gershwin fans
All I can say about this book is: 'Swonderful, 'smarvelous that such a book exists.

Every Gershwin fan in the world should have this book.

Crazy for You: Complete Vocal Selections
Published in Paperback by Warner Brothers Publications (2000)
Authors: George Gershwin, Ira Gershwin, and Warner Bros Publications
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The greatest musical I have ever read
This selection is a must have!!! When I saw the musical "Crazy for You" i knew that it was the best thing that my eyes have ever seen and thats why I started listening and watching musicals. This is a must have for everyone. The music is great and you will love it!!! I want to say even if you cant sing or cant act or anything like that you can always learn too and this is a great learning tool. GO NORTH VIKING'S DRAMA!!!

Great music, great arrangement, GREAT!
The music to "Crazy For You" is just plain fun, for lack of a better word. With classics like Embraceable You, Someone To Watch Over Me, I've Got Rhythm, They Can't Take That Away From Me, and more, how can anyone pass this up? For any music lover or lover of musicals, this songbook is a must-have for your collection.

Rhapsody in Blue (Original)
Published in Mass Market Paperback by Warner Brothers Publications (18 July, 1995)
Authors: George Gershwin and Ira Gershwin
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George Gershwin's Rhapsody in Blue -- piano solo
Overall excellent. Deviates in some areas from traditional orchestral renditions -- leaves out a few minor portions and adds in others. Some sections very difficult (e.g. apparently carry-overs from 4-hand/2 piano version). But a great work nonetheless.

Rhapsody in Blue
This is a great edition of this great piece of music. It one of the only full and true editions for the piano. It's a challenge that's for sure. But I'm very happy about my purchase.

The Annotated Rhapsody in Blue
Published in Paperback by Warner Brothers Publications (05 December, 1996)
Authors: George Gershwin, Alicia Zizzo, and Ira Gershwin
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By far the best version of this piece for the piano player!
Being a professional pianist for over 10 years, I heard Rhapsody in Blue after buying the Fantasia 2000 CD. I was astonished. I immediately went to Sam Ash and I found this book. It is by far THE MOST COMPLETE sheet music book of this piece. The piano 4 hands or version for 2 pianos doesn't come close to what this book has. In the first several pages, it describes all of the changes and improvisations put on the piece since its debut. Then, it gives the player and FULL version, including, orchestra parts that can be played on the piano. Granted, it's a very difficult piece, but it sounds wonderful. Even if you're a beginner or intermediate player, you will find much information and joy from this book. I highly recommend it!

Fascinating Rhythm: The Collaboration of George and Ira Gershwin
Published in Paperback by University of Michigan Press (1997)
Author: Deena Rosenberg
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Stunningly beautiful, intelligent, fun, and engaging
When this book came out I was graduating from college with atheatre degree. A little lost, but in love with a recording of StrikeUp the Band, I bought this book. This beautiful book gripped me,delighted me and enchanted me. 7 years later, I'm writing my dissertation on musical theatre, with my first chapter (and my favorite) on the Gershwins. Deena Rosenburg's book is a model of what musical theatre biographies can be--history on the authors, the shows and the times. I won't wreck the ending for you, but it is one of the only non-fiction books I could say that about. I spent a week as spellbound as I was when reading The Lord of the Ring, and I will always hold this up as a fabulous book to introduce anyone to musical theatre and a joy. Bravo! END

The Gershwins
Published in Hardcover by MacMillan Publishing Company (1973)
Author: Robert. Kimball
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best book i've ever read!
this book told me everything that i wanted to know about george and ira. when i was done i felt that i knew them myself. i totally reccomend this book to anyone with the slightest intrest in either one (or both) of the gershwins.

Ira Gershwin: The Art of the Lyricist
Published in Paperback by Oxford University Press (1997)
Authors: Philip Fura and Philip Furia
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4 1/2* Ira: The Wordsmith
When "Girl Crazy," the musical that introduced such endurable songs as "I Got Rhythm," "Embraceable You," and "But Not for Me," opened in month, 1932, composer George presented lyricist Ira with a bracelet inscribed "George, the Music; Ira, the Words." The collaboration of the two brothers' collaboration produced some of the best standards and the starting point of much of the best jazz in years to come.

This book tells the musical history of Ira, Nicknamed "the Jeweler" because of his meticulous fitting of words to music, or as he put it, the construction of a music/word mosaic, the sometimes under-appreciated Gershwin wrote the clever, ironic, and always intelligent word to Gershwin tunes as well as collaborations with (Harburg, Kern, Arlen, Weill, Wodehouse, Bolton, and Duke).

As in his brilliant "Poets of Tin Pan Alley," Furia's masterfully dissects the lyricist's craft, explaining such techniques as pseudo rhymes, internal rhymes, alliteration and assonance, allusions and tone. He examines the importance of a song's "singability." Furia, as in 'Poets' traces the history of the theatre song as a stand-alone number (a la Ziegfried Follies) to its height as an integral "character" that advances the show's plot (first accomplished in "Showboat" and "Oklahoma." Finally, he shows how Ira Gershwin's style (and often his skill) was different from other lyricists of the Golden Age.

The problem is that there is a dearth of original research, especially about Ira's latter non-writing years. I wonder why the author did not interview Michael Feinstein, who befriended Gershwin in the latter year, and here receives a one paragraph cite on the next to the last page. Most of the references on the latter years come from two books alone. Furthermore, while not the life of the party like George, we don't get much of a clue as Ira's personality or personal life. Some original research into Gershwin's personal life and post-writing years would have added greatly to the book. Finally, his use of phrases such as "saying I love you in 32 bars" and "singability" is so repetitive that it becomes grating.

Still, this is an excellent book for students of songwriting and Gershwin fans in particular. There are some excellent behind-the-scenes details about how songs are written (and sometimes ruined) and it's mostly an enjoyable read. For a better overview of the best lyricists of the era, I highly recommend his earlier "The Poets of Tin Pan Alley."

Philip Furia is the Master of Songwriter Biographies...
I've not felt strongly enough about a book or author to submit a review before, but as a songwriter myself, I can not praise Mr. Furia's books enough. He follows the development of the lyrist or songwriter as an artist first, before their celebrity, etc. He shows how their styles changed with time and experience. I have read two of his books. I'm starting a third, and I've bought copies for my friends. I will endeavor to read every songwriter book he produces. He lets you look inside the art of the artist, yet it still reads like a story. I'd give all of his books ten stars. Thank you Mr. Furia, for a wonderful read.

S'Wonderful, S'Marvelous!
A wonderful look at a most talented man. Finally someone writes about Ira rather than George. The book is informative, well written and charming. I highly recommend it. I loved every word!

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