Moving and Powerful
Gershwin's 'Porgy and Bess' -
'The work is in the safest possible hands ...'
Hollywood has produced some remarkable shows in its time, and among the most remarkable
must have been the recurrent games of tennis between George Gershwin and Arnold Schoenberg,
a controversial new arrival from Hitler's Europe. Against all probabilities, Schoenberg
considered Gershwin a great composer, but no imagination is strong enough to resurrect their
conversation as they lobbed and smashed at each other in those pre-war days. Each had a
crucial opera in hand. Did Schoenberg serve an ace of a Moses or Aaron, Gershwin reply
with a Porgy backhand or guilelessly twisting Bess? Alas, we shall never know.
Willard White and Cynthia Haymon as Porgy and Bess. DVD screenshot © Primetime/BBC/EMI Records
Copyright © 18 May 2006
Robert Anderson, London UK