The Gershwin Brothers – Gershwin’s music between classical and jazz

Anna Viola soprano, Alessandro Cortello tenor, Rudy Fantin piano and Hammond Organ

I Got Rhythm, Summertime, Embraceable You, The Man I Love… Two lyric singers and a jazz pianist give new life to the beautiful music written by George Gershwin on the texts by his brother Ira: the classical loyalty to the musical text meets the jazz improvisational freedom.
This is a rare occasion to enjoy the beauty of the melodies and rediscover the harmonic sophistication of Gershwin’s music which was appreciated by great composers such as Maurice Ravel and Arnold Schönberg, when it was common opinion to consider Gershwin as a “light” composer.

“It seems to me beyond doubt that Gershwin was an innovator. What he has done with rhythm, harmony and melody is not merely style.” – A. Schönberg

The Gershwin Brothers
George & Ira Gershwin Songbook

 

George Gershwin (1898-1937)
Ira Gershwin (1896-1983)

But not for Me (da “Girl Crazy”) – piano solo

There’s a Boat That’s Leaving Soon (da “Porgy & Bess”)

By Strauss

Nice Work if You Can Get It (dal film “A Damsel in Distress”)

Summertime (da “Porgy & Bess”)

Someone to Watch over Me (da “Oh, Kay!”) – piano solo

They Can’t Take That Away from Me (dal film “Shall We Dance?”)

I Got Rhythm (da “Girl Crazy”)

The Man I Love

Oh, Lady Be Good! – piano solo

Embraceable You (da “Girl Crazy”)

The Real American Folksong Is a Rag

Let’s Call the Whole Thing Off (dal film “Shall We Dance?”)

 

ANNA VIOLA 

Soprano
Born in Udine (Italy) Anna Viola showed a great interest in music since a very young age, starting her musical training studying piano, and later, Organ.
At the age of thirteen she was admitted to the State Conservatory “J. Tomadini” in Udine, Italy, where she graduated in Organ and Organ Composition.
At the same time she continued her academic career, enrolling at the Faculty of Languages and Foreign Literature at the “Università degli Studi” in Udine, where she graduated with highest honours in European Studies.
She approached the study of singing with the Italian Soprano Cecilia Fusco and, subsequently, she perfected the interpretation of the repertoire with Maestro Stefano Gibellato.
She won the second Prize at the International Competition “Giovan Battista Velluti”, presided by the famous Tenor Luis Alva. The same year she received the audience award at the 5th edition of “Canto Festival” in Amandola, a competition reserved for the winners of the most important italian operatic events.
She often performs in belcanto and chamber repertoire.
As concert singer she performed the solo roles in Te Deum by Zoltán Kodály and Schubert’s Messe in G-Dur.
In 2004 she debuted as Violetta in Verdi’s “Traviata”, in several performances accross Friuli Venezia Giulia.
Among her roles: as “Königin der Nacht (Die Zauberflöte, Mozart Pamina (Die Zauberflöte, Mozart), Rosina (Il Barbiere di Siviglia, Rossini), Lucia (Lucia di Lammermoor, Donizetti), Elvira (L’Italiana in Algeri, Rossini), Adina (L’Elisir d’amore, Donizetti), Clorinda (La cenerentola, Rossini) etc.
She performed as Amore in Gluck’s “Orfeo ed Euridice” at Teatro Massimo (Palermo) in a new production conducted by the famous choreographer Luciano Cannito and directed by Johnatan Webb.
In 2010 She played again the role of Violetta (La Traviata, Giuseppe Verdi), directed by the famous Italian bariton Rolando Panerai, and conducted by Franck Chastrusse Colombier.
She performed at Teatro Sociale in Rovigo and at Teatro Malibran in Venice, in Teatro La Fenice’s very successful new production of Il Campiello by E. Wolf-Ferrari.
For her interpretation of Lucieta, critics declaired: “…among the various female voice, Anna Viola seemed the most interesting. The Friulian singer has character both on stage and in the vocal interpretation of Lucieta: emission and phrasing are well-finished like the Venetian accent required by the text”.
She recently performed as Donna Anna in Mozart’s Don Giovanni at Teatro Olimpico in Vicenza, conducted by Lorenzo Regazzo.
Her most recent highlights includes Lisa (La Sonnambula, Bellini) at Teatro La Fenice conducted by Maestro Gabriele Ferro. The production was broadcast by Sky Classica and recorded live by  CMajor label).
She sang the same role  at the Mainfranken Theater in Würzburg alongside the celebrated soprano Eva Mei and under the direction of Maestro Enrico Calesso.
Among her most recents debuts, the role of Lucia in Donizetti’s Lucia di Lammermoor, performed in various concert halls in the North of Italy.

The Italian tenor Alessandro Cortello started his vocal training with renowned bass Alfredo Mariotti and later studied with Claude Thiolas. He attended Piano and Composition courses at the Fondazione Musicale Santa Cecilia in Portogruaro (Venice). He graduated in Piano in 2008 at the Conservatorio “Frescobaldi” in Ferrara and in Singing in 2009 at the Conservatorio “Tomadini” in Udine.
He won two editions of the Concorso Cameristico C.A.Seghizzi in Gorizia: in 2005 in the Sacred Music category, and in 2007 in Chamber Singing category (in duo with Alessandro Sica, with whom he attended a masterclass with soprano Catherine Dubosc).
As an opera singer he has performed the following roles: Alfredo (Traviata, Verdi), Count Almaviva (Barbiere di Siviglia, Rossini) Ernesto (Don Pasquale, Donizetti), Nemorino (Elisir d’Amore, Donizetti), Pinkerton (Madama Butterfly, Puccini), Pong (Turandot, Puccini), Jacopo Foscari (I due Foscari, Verdi), Edgardo (Lucia di Lammermoor, Donizetti), Hoffmann (Les Contes d’Hoffmann, Offenbach). He took part in the Rai Italian Television productions of Rigoletto (2010) conducted by Zubin Mehta with Placido Domingo in the title-role and Cenerentola (2012), conducted by Gianluigi Gelmetti.
As a chamber music singer he performed several times Schubert’s and Schumann’s most important Lieder cycles, besides works by composers like Haydn, Beethoven, Brahms, Liszt, Mahler, Strauss, Berg, Fauré, Duparc, Ravel, Poulenc, Rachmaninov, Britten, Copland… in duo with pianists Alberto Miodini, Michele Bravin, David Giovanni Leonardi, Federico Lovato and with Trio di Parma.
As a concert singer he performed the solo roles in Requiem by Mozart (with Orchestra Filarmonica della Fenice, Venice, conducted by Enrico Bronzi), Liszt (with Chorus and Orchestra of Teatro Verdi, Trieste, conducted by Armando Tasso), Dvořak and Verdi, in Haydn’s Missa in Tempore Belli (conducted by Antonio Ballista), Rossini’s Petite Messe Solennelle and in Orff’s Carmina Burana in many italian houses and halls (such as Teatro Comunale di Bologna; Teatro Civico di Castello in Cagliari), in Austria, Croatia, UK, Czech Republic and Russia.
He recorded for Tactus records some composition for tenor and organ by Marco Enrico Bossi with organist Andrea Macinanti.