This is a list of compositions by George Gershwin
. During his short life of thirty-nine years, George Gershwin was both a songwriter
and a classical composer
. He composed songs
, stage works
, concert works both with and without piano
solo, film music
and even an opera
. His works are grouped thematically in this list, and in chronological order according to the dates of compositions in the same group.
Note: All orchestral/operatic pieces are orchestrated by Gershwin unless otherwise specified.
- Tango (1915), for solo piano. Written when he was 15.
- Lullaby (1919), a meditative piece for string quartet. Originally, a class assignment from his music theory teacher.
- Blue Monday, a one-act opera featured in George White's Scandals of 1922 at the Globe Theatre, Paul Whiteman conducting, orchestrated by Will Vodery.
- A Suite from Blue Monday for two pianos was later arranged and has been recorded.
- Reorchestrated by Ferde Grofé and retitled 135th Street in 1925 for a performance at Carnegie Hall.
- Rhapsody in Blue, (1924), his most famous work, a symphonic jazz composition for Paul Whiteman's jazz band & piano, premiered at Aeolian Hall, better known in the form orchestrated for full symphonic orchestra by Ferde Grofé. Featured in numerous films and commercials.
- Short Story, (1925), for violin and piano, an arrangement of two other short pieces originally intended to be included with the Three Preludes. Premiered by Samuel Dushkin at The University Club of New York in New York City.
- Concerto in F, (1925), three movements, for piano and orchestra, premiered in Carnegie Hall by the New York Symphony Orchestra, Walter Damrosch conducting.
- Three Preludes, (1926), for piano, first performed by Gershwin at the Roosevelt Hotel in New York City.
- An American in Paris (1928), a symphonic poem with elements of jazz and realistic Parisian sound effects, premiered in Carnegie Hall by the New York Philharmonic, Walter Damrosch conducting.
- Second Rhapsody (1931), for piano and orchestra, based on the score for a musical sequence from the film Delicious. Working title for the work was Rhapsody in Rivets. Premiered at the Boston Symphony Hall by the Boston Symphony Orchestra, Serge Koussevitzky conducting.
- Cuban Overture (1932), originally titled Rumba, a tone poem featuring elements of native Cuban dance and folk music; score specifies usage of native Cuban instruments, premiered at the Lewisohn Stadium of the City University of New York, Gershwin conducting.
- Piano Transcriptions of Eight Songs (1932)
- Variations on "I Got Rhythm" (1934), a set of interesting variations on his famous song, for piano and orchestra. Premiered at the Boston Symphony Hall by the Leo Reisman Orchestra, conducted by Charles Previn.
- Includes a waltz, an atonal fugue, and experimentation with Asian and jazz influences
- Porgy and Bess, a folk opera (1935) (from the book by DuBose Heyward) about African-American life, now considered a definitive work of the American theater, premiered at the Alvin Theatre, Alexander Smallens conducting.
- Walking the Dog, (1937), a humorous piece for orchestra featuring the clarinet. Originally a musical sequence entitled Promenade from the movie Shall We Dance for piano and chamber orchestra.
- Many other incidental sequences from Shall We Dance were composed and (for the most part) orchestrated by Gershwin, among them: Waltz of the Red Balloons and a final extended 8-minute orchestral passage based on the title song with an intruiging coda hinting at Gershwin forging a new musical path. It is unknown why any of these compositions have not seen the light of day in the concert hall.
- Most of the musicals Gershwin wrote are also known for their instrumental music, among them the March from Strike Up The Band and overtures to many of his later shows.
- Impromptu in Two Keys, published posthumously in (1973), for piano
- Two Waltzes in C, published posthumously in (1975), for piano
- Originally a two-piano interlude in Pardon My English on Broadway.
Musical theater credits
Note: All works are musicals produced on Broadway unless specified otherwise.
- 1919 - La La Lucille (lyrics by Arthur Jackson, B. G. DeSylva and Irving Caesar)!
- 1919 - Morris Gest's "Midnight Whirl" (lyrics by B. G. DeSylva and John Henry Mears)
- 1919 - Limehouse Nights (lyrics by B. G. DeSylva and John Henry Mears)
- 1920 - Poppyland (lyrics by B. G. DeSylva and John Henry Mears)
- 1920 - George White's Scandals of 1920 (lyrics by Arthur Jackson)
- 1921 - A Dangerous Maid (lyrics by Ira Gershwin). Premiered in Atlantic City.
- 1921 - The Broadway Whirl (co-composed with Harry Tierney, lyrics by Buddy DeSylva, Joseph McCarthy, Richard Carle and John Henry Mears
- 1921 - George White's Scandals of 1921 (lyrics by Arthur Jackson)
- 1922 - George White's Scandals of 1922 (lyrics by E. Ray Goetz, Ira Gershwin and B. G. DeSylva)
- The premiere performance featured the one-act opera Blue Monday with libretto and lyrics by B. G. DeSylva, set in Harlem in a jazz idiom. However, after only one performance, the opera was withdrawn from the show. Gershwin also wrote seven other songs for the show.
- 1922 - Our Nell (co-composed with William Daly, lyrics co-written by Gershwin and Daly)
- 1922 - By and By (lyrics by Brian Hooker)
- 1923 - Innocent Ingenue Baby (co-composed with William Daly, lyrics by Brian Hooker)
- 1923 - Walking Home with Angeline (lyrics by Brian Hooker)
- 1923 - The Rainbow (lyrics by Clifford Grey and Brian Hooker). Premiered in London.
- 1923 - George White's Scandals of 1923 (lyrics by E. Ray Goetz, B. G. DeSylva and Ballard MacDonald)
- 1924 - Sweet Little Devil (lyrics by B. G. DeSylva)
- 1924 - George White's Scandals of 1924 (lyrics by B. G. DeSylva and Ballard MacDonald)
- 1924 - Primrose (lyrics by Desmond Carter and Ira Gershwin). Premiered in London.
- 1924 - Lady, Be Good! (lyrics by Ira Gershwin)
- 1925 - Tell Me More! (lyrics by Ira Gershwin and B. G. DeSylva)
- 1925 - Tip-Toes (lyrics by Ira Gershwin)
- 1925 - Song of the Flame (operetta, lyrics by Otto Harbach and Oscar Hammerstein II, and musical collaboration by Herbert Stothart)
- 1926 - Oh, Kay! (lyrics by Ira Gershwin and Howard Dietz)
- 1927 - Strike Up The Band (lyrics by Ira Gershwin). Premiered in Philadelphia.
- Revised and produced on Broadway in 1930
- 1927 - Funny Face (lyrics by Ira Gershwin)
- 1928 - Rosalie (lyrics by Ira Gershwin and P. G. Wodehouse, co-composed with Sigmund Romberg)
- 1928 - Treasure Girl (lyrics by Ira Gershwin)
- 1929 - Show Girl (lyrics by Ira Gershwin and Gus Kahn)
- 1930 - Girl Crazy (lyrics by Ira Gershwin)
- 1931 - Of Thee I Sing (lyrics by Ira Gershwin)
- 1933 - Pardon My English (lyrics by Ira Gershwin)
- 1933 - Let 'Em Eat Cake (lyrics by Ira Gershwin), sequel to Of Thee I Sing
- 1935 - Porgy and Bess (lyrics by Ira Gershwin and DuBose Heyward)
Works featuring original Gershwin songs for shows by other composers
Works interpolating Gershwin songs posthumously
- 1953 - At Home With Ethel Waters - "Oh, Lady be Good!"
- 1956 - Mr. Wonderful, starring Sammy Davis Jr.
- 1967 - "I Got Rhythm" a hit single for pop vocal group The Happenings
- 1983 - My One And Only - an adaptation of the music from Funny Face
- 1986 - Uptown...It's Hot! - "Oh, Lady be Good!"
- 1992 - Crazy for You - musical adapting George and Ira Gershwin Tin Pan Alley and Broadway songs
- 1999 - The Gershwins' Fascinating Rhythm - revue with songs by George and Ira Gershwin
- 2001 - George Gershwin Alone - one-man play by Hershey Felder, who portrayed Gershwin, incorporating "Swanee" from Sinbad (lyrics by Irving Caesar), "Embraceable You" from Girl Crazy (lyrics by Ira Gershwin), "Someone to Watch Over Me" from Oh, Kay! (lyrics by Ira Gershwin), "Bess, You is My Woman Now" from Porgy and Bess (lyrics by DuBose Heyward and Ira Gershwin), An American in Paris and Rhapsody in Blue.
- 2002 - Elaine Stritch at Liberty - But Not For Me
- 2002 - Back From Broadway - one-time concert featuring songs by George Gershwin
- 1916 - When You Want ’Em, You Can’t Get ’Em (When You’ve Got ’Em, You Don’t Want ’Em) (lyrics by Murray Roth)
- 1917 - Beautiful Bird (lyrics by Ira Gershwin and Lou Paley)
- 1917 - When There's a Chance To Dance (lyrics by Ira Gershwin)
- 1918 - Gush-Gush-Gushing (lyrics by Ira Gershwin)
- 1918 - When the Armies Disband (lyrics by Irving Caesar)
- 1918 - Good Little Tune (lyrics by Irving Caesar)
- 1919 - The Love of a Wife (lyrics by Arthur Jackson and B. G. DeSylva)
- 1919 - O Land of Mine, America (lyrics by Michael E. Rourke). A national anthem submission for a New York American competition offering five thousand dollars to the winner. Gershwin received the lowest prize of fifty dollars.
- 1920 - Yan-Kee (lyrics by Irving Caesar)
- 1921 - Phoebe (lyrics by Ira Gershwin and Lou Paley)
- 1921 - Something Peculiar (lyrics by Ira Gershwin and Lou Paley)
- 1921 - Dixie Rose (lyrics by Irving Caesar and B. G. DeSylva)
- 1921 - In the Heart of a Geisha (lyrics by Fred Fisher)
- 1921 - Swanee Rose (lyrics by Irving Caesar and B. G. DeSylva)
- 1921 - Tomale (I’m Hot for You) (lyrics by B. G. DeSylva)
- c.1921 - Molly-on-the-Shore (lyrics by Ira Gershwin)
- c.1921 - Mischa, Yascha, Toscha, Sascha (lyrics by Ira Gershwin)
- 1922 - The Flapper (co-composed with William Daly, lyrics by B. G. DeSylva)
- 1925 - Harlem River Chanty and It’s a great little world! (lyrics by Ira Gershwin, originally composed for Tip-Toes on Broadway but not used)
- 1925 - Murderous Monty (and Light-Fingered Jane) (lyrics by Desmond Carter, composed for London production of Tell Me More.)
- 1926 - I’d rather charleston (lyrics by Desmond Carter, composed for London production of Lady Be Good.)
- 1928 - Beautiful gypsy and Rosalie (originally composed for Rosalie on Broadway, but not used)
- 1929 - Feeling Sentimental (originally composed for Show Girl on Broadway, but not used)
- 1929 - In the Mandarin’s Orchid Garden
- 1932 - You’ve got what gets me (composed for the first film version of Girl Crazy.
- 1933 - Till Then
- 1936 - King of Swing (lyrics by Al Stillman)
- 1936 - Strike up the band for U.C.L.A (to the same music as the song Strike Up The Band)
- 1937 - Hi-Ho! (lyrics by Ira Gershwin, originally composed for Shall We Dance, but not used)
- 1938 - Just Another Rhumba (lyrics by Ira Gershwin, originally composed for The Goldwyn Follies, but not used)
- 1938 - Dawn of a New Day
Commercial works on piano
- 1917 - Rialto Ripples - A rag in collaboration with Will Donaldson
- early 1920s - Three-Quarter Blues (Irish Waltz)
- 1926 - Swiss Miss (arrangement of a song from Lady Be Good)
- 1928 - Merry Andrew (arrangement of a dance piece from Rosalie)
- 1932 - George Gershwin’s Song-Book (arrangements of refrains from Gershwin songs)