29 Jul 2019

Three theatre songs by GERSWHIN, SHERWIN, and PORTER

From Music Alive, 8:06 pm on 29 July 2019

Performed by baritone Julien Van Mellaerts and pianist James Baillieu

Julien Van Mellaerts and James Baillieu

Julien Van Mellaerts and James Baillieu Photo: Supplied

George Gershwin's 'The Lorelei', with words by Ira Gershwin, comes from their nonsensical and ill-fated 1933 musical Pardon My English, set in a Dresden speakeasy illegally selling soft drinks. German poet Heinrich Heine's Lorelei, who lured sailors on the Rhine to their death, is held to be a woman to emulate!

Manning Sherwin's 'A Nightingale Sang in Berkeley Square' (lyrics by Eric Maschwitz) with its deep sense of nostalgia was popularised by Vera Lynn during World War II.

'The Tale of the Oyster', is sung in Cole Porter's 1929 musical Fifty Million Frenchmen by the character Violet Hildegarde, a discerning American woman visiting Paris wishing to shock and be shocked. In amused response to the social climbing of one of the other characters, she tells the story of another social climber she once knew.

Recorded by RNZ in the Dr John Gallagher Concert Chamber, Hamilton, 10 April 2019
Producer: Tim Dodd; Engineer: Adrian Hollay