Ira Gershwin: The Art of the Lyricist

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9780195115703: Ira Gershwin: The Art of the Lyricist
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To the perennial question "which comes first, the music or the words?" Ira Gershwin always responded, "the contract." The jest reveals both Ira's consummate professionalism and the self-effacing wit with which he ducked the spotlight whenever possible. Yet the ingeniously inventive melodies George Gershwin composed for such classic songs as "Someone to Watch Over Me," "Embraceable You," "Fascinating Rhythm," "It Ain't Necessarily So," and "Love is Here to Stay" live on in no small part because of the equally unforgettable lyrics of Ira Gershwin, lines crafted with a precision that earned him the sobriquet "The Jeweller" among his Broadway peers.
In Ira Gershwin: The Art of the Lyricist, the older and less flamboyant of the Gershwin brothers at last steps out of the shadows to claim his due as one of American songwriting's most important and enduring innovators. Philip Furia traces the development of Ira Gershwin's lyrical art from his early love of light verse and Gilbert and Sullivan, through his apprentice work in Tin Pan Alley, to his emergence as a prominent writer for the Broadway musical theater in the 1920s. Furia illuminates his work in satirical operettas such as Of Thee I Sing and Strike Up the Band, the smart "little" revues of the 1930s, and his contributions to the opera Porgy and Bess. After describing the Gershwin brothers' brief but brilliant work in Hollywood before George's sudden death--work that produced such classics as "They Can't Take That Away From Me" and "Let's Call the Whole Thing Off"--Furia follows Ira's career through such triumphs as Lady in the Dark with Kurt Weill, Cover Girl with Jerome Kern, and A Star is Born, with Harold Arlen. Along the way, Furia provides much insight into the art of the lyricist and he captures the magic of a golden era when not only the Gershwins, but Irving Berlin, Cole Porter, Jerome Kern, Oscar Hammerstein II, Gertrude Lawrence, Fred Astaire, and other luminaries made the lights of Broadway and the Hollywood screen shine brighter than ever before.
From his first major success, the now-classic "The Man I Love" (1924) to his last great hit, "The Man That Got Away" (1954), Ira Gershwin wrote the words to some of America's most loved standards. In Ira Gershwin: The Art of the Lyricist, Philip Furia illuminates the craft behind this remarkable achievement to reveal how Gershwin took the everyday speech of ordinary Americans and made it sing.

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Philip Furia is Professor and Chair of the Department of English at the University of Minnesota. He is the author of The Poets of Tin Pan Alley.

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Few lyricists have matched Ira Gershwin's ability to stretch "I love you" ingeniously throughout 32 bars of music. Despite his brilliant verses, his contributions to popular song have been somewhat underrated compared to the accolades bestowed upon his brother and collaborator, George. Furia's cogent critical biography is an important study of Ira's career that argues how important his work was in shaping what has become the quintessentially American language. He proceeds through detailed analyses of Gershwin hits; for example, Furia parses "The Man I Love" --in which the tension, he maintains, is strengthened by choosing "I love" instead of "I'll love" --to show how Ira managed to "weave witty sentiments out of the simplest of vernacular phrases." Furia also recounts the Gershwin brothers' process of collaboration and champions the underperformed Ira Gershwin^-Kurt Weill production, Lady in the Dark. Stories of glamorous Broadway musicals and MGM movie extravaganzas also inform the book. Moreover, Furia looks at Ira's retiring personality, which made him satisfied throughout his life with letting the legends around him take center stage. Aaron Cohen

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Book Description Oxford University Press Inc, United States, 1997. Paperback. Condition: New. Revised ed.. Language: English . Brand New Book ***** Print on Demand *****. In Ira Gershwin: The Art of the Lyricist, the older and less flamboyant of the Gershwin brothers at last steps out of the shadows to claim his due as one of American songwriting s most important and enduring innovators. Philip Furia traces the development of Ira Gershwin s lyrical art from his early love of light verse and Gilbert and Sullivan, through his apprentice work in Tin Pan Alley, to his emergence as a prominent writer during the golden era of Broadway and Hollywood musicals. He reveals how Gershwin took the everyday speech of ordinary Americans and made it sing. Seller Inventory # AAV9780195115703

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Book Description Oxford University Press, USA. Paperback. Condition: New. This item is printed on demand. 304 pages. To the perennial question which comes first, the music or the words Ira Gershwin always responded, the contract. The jest reveals both Iras consummate professionalism and the self-effacing wit with which he ducked the spotlight whenever possible. Yet the ingeniously inventive melodies George Gershwin composed for such classic songs as Someone to Watch Over Me, Embraceable You, Fascinating Rhythm, It Aint Necessarily So, and Love is Here to Stay live on in no small part because of the equally unforgettable lyrics of Ira Gershwin, lines crafted with a precision that earned him the sobriquet The Jeweller among his Broadway peers. In Ira Gershwin: The Art of the Lyricist, the older and less flamboyant of the Gershwin brothers at last steps out of the shadows to claim his due as one of American songwritings most important and enduring innovators. Philip Furia traces the development of Ira Gershwins lyrical art from his early love of light verse and Gilbert and Sullivan, through his apprentice work in Tin Pan Alley, to his emergence as a prominent writer for the Broadway musical theater in the 1920s. Furia illuminates his work in satirical operettas such as Of Thee I Sing and Strike Up the Band, the smart little revues of the 1930s, and his contributions to the opera Porgy and Bess. After describing the Gershwin brothers brief but brilliant work in Hollywood before Georges sudden death--work that produced such classics as They Cant Take That Away From Me and Lets Call the Whole Thing Off--Furia follows Iras career through such triumphs as Lady in the Dark with Kurt Weill, Cover Girl with Jerome Kern, and A Star is Born, with Harold Arlen. Along the way, Furia provides much insight into the art of the lyricist and he captures the magic of a golden era when not only the Gershwins, but Irving Berlin, Cole Porter, Jerome Kern, Oscar Hammerstein II, Gertrude Lawrence, Fred Astaire, and other luminaries made the lights of Broadway and the Hollywood screen shine brighter than ever before. From his first major success, the now-classic The Man I Love (1924) to his last great hit, The Man That Got Away (1954), Ira Gershwin wrote the words to some of Americas most loved standards. In Ira Gershwin: The Art of the Lyricist, Philip Furia illuminates the craft behind this remarkable achievement to reveal how Gershwin took the everyday speech of ordinary Americans and made it sing. This item ships from La Vergne,TN. Paperback. Seller Inventory # 9780195115703

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