Broadway musicals and jazz belong to the cultural heritage of America. But people thought differently in George Gershwin's day - the 1920s and 30s. Broadway shows were immensely popular, but were rarely considered as art. Jazz was a subculture secretly appreciated by many white Americans, but in the same way as they liked to see wild animals at the circus - at a safe distance. It had yet to be realised that amusement music was a unique and characteristic part of American culture. “American music is not jazz, and jazz is not music”, wrote the influential music critic Paul Rosenfeld in 1929. Precisely what, then, was American music? George Gershwin (1898-1937) was one of the first to show the world. (from: liner notes)
After recordings of English Renaissance and German romantic music, and twentieth- century works from France, The Gents venture across the ocean to the new world, with a CD that takes them to Broadway. Jetse Bremer has specially arranged the last compositions by George Gershwin for this combination of soloist, choir and instruments and the flexibility and homogeneous sound of The Gents matches these songs so well. For the singers of The Gents and soprano Johannette Zomer, with their classical background, this repertoire is a special challenge, raising the question where classical stops or changes into something else....
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