Porgy and Bess discography

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Porgy and Bess, the opera by George Gershwin, has been recorded by a variety of artists since it was completed in 1935, including renditions by jazz instrumentalists and vocalists, in addition to operatic treatments.

Operatic and Broadway versions[edit]

  • Highlights from Porgy and Bess (RCA 1935), recorded days after the premiere by popular white opera singers with Gershwin's approval.[1]
  • Selections from George Gershwin's folk opera Porgy and Bess (Decca 1940 & 1942) Two sets of recorded selections with members of the original cast and the 1942 Broadway revival cast including Anne Brown, Todd Duncan and Avon Long. Later reissued as a single LP with the misleading label, "original cast recording".[2]
  • Porgy and Bess (RCA 1950), eight selections from the opera sung by Robert Merrill and Risë Stevens.[3]
  • Porgy and Bess (Columbia Masterworks 1951), the first recording of the full opera (after the customary cuts), with Lawrence Winters as Porgy and Camilla Williams as Bess.[4]
  • Porgy and Bess, (RCA 1963), a single disc of selections that brought back together the stars from the opera's world tour in the 1950s, Leontyne Price and William Warfield. Also included were the original Sportin' Life, John W. Bubbles, and McHenry Boatwright.[5] Leontyne Price won a Grammy for her performance.[6]
  • Porgy and Bess (Decca/London 1976), an uncut complete studio production with Leona Mitchell and the Cleveland Orchestra conducted by Lorin Maazel.[7] A Grammy Award winner.[6]
  • Another uncut Porgy and Bess (RCA) was recorded late in 1976 in studio sessions during a New York run of the Houston Grand Opera production. It was the second truly complete recording of the opera and it won a Grammy, making Porgy and Bess one of the few operas to win this award two years in a row.[6] It was issued on 3 CDs in 1987.
  • Porgy and Bess (EMI 1989), an uncut complete studio recording of the Glyndebourne Festival Opera production under the direction of Simon Rattle. This recording served as the soundtrack of the acclaimed 1993 television production of the opera.
  • Porgy and Bess (Decca 2006), the first recording of the score as Gershwin arranged it for the original 1935 Broadway production (incorporating all of Gershwin's opening night cuts). With Alvy Powell (Porgy), Marquita Lister (Bess), Nicole Cabell (Clara) and Robert Mack (Sportin' Life), with the Nashville Symphony Orchestra conducted by John Mauceri. Studio recording made in Nashville.
  • Porgy and Bess (1952), a live recording, released in 2008, of a 1952 Hamburg Germany performance by the famous Davis/Breen touring company, starring Leontyne Price, William Warfield, and Cab Calloway. This is the only known recording from this production, and the first live recording of Porgy and Bess ever released.
  • Porgy and Bess (RCA Red Seal/Sony Music), a live 2009 recording from the Styriarte Festival in Graz, Austria, with an all-black cast conducted by Nikolaus Harnoncourt. Harnoncourt has reviewed Gershwin's cuts for the Broadway version and made those that are for dramatic reasons, while retaining material cut to ease the strain on the singers' voices; he has also recreated the "Symphony of Noise" to open the final scene.

Jazz versions[edit]

Film soundtrack version[edit]

References[edit]