Updated: Oct 19
George Gershwin (1898-1937)
From an impoverished childhood Gershwin quickly rose to achieve wealth and renown as one of America's most gifted composers of popular songs, musicals, operas, piano, orchestral works. Gershwin enjoyed writing popular songs. He wrote >leasing, memorable tunes. He incorporated jazz elements in his writing such as "blue notes" and walking bass line. He used dynamic, trenchant, and highly syncopated rhythms, and the lyrics, mostly written by his brother Ira, were simple and direct, really and truly a perfect combination. I don't think there is a more natural combination than voice and guitar. Having a beautiful tune against the accompaniment of a guitar, with all its overtones and resonances, simply creates a magical atmosphere. That is exactly what we get in this CD.
Gershwin' songs lend themselves to this combination because it comes from the tradition of popular music or shall we say, spontaneous music. The greatest merit of these compositions lies in the fact that, although sophisticated and so well crafted, they remain easy to listen and carry a great emotional power. It is surprising how little this music has been done in this format. Eugenia does her own interpretation of this unforgettable melodies using plenty of "blue notes glissandi from a half/quarter tone and then getting to the note) with obvious expression a delight while Irina's, appearance as arranger and guitarist is truly virtuoso, not only because she took all the notes that Gershwin wrote for the piano part into her arrangements for the guitar, but also because of her sense of rhythm and balance.
The two interpreters are very much together in their way to understand and transmit this music, their sense of humor, tenderness, melancholy, romance, and sensuality is fluent and clearly delivered, one can only say these two ladies do have the groove.
Alfonso Montes. Stuttgart,