Leslie Bricusse Puts Lyrics to Classic Gershwin Tunes in A Few Words With George

News   Leslie Bricusse Puts Lyrics to Classic Gershwin Tunes in A Few Words With George Academy Award winner and Tony-nominated songwriter Leslie Bricusse has completed work on A Few Words With George, a new project that puts words to the iconic orchestral music of George Gershwin, according to the Guardian.

Leslie Bricusse
Leslie Bricusse Photo by Joseph Marzullo/WENN

The Gershwin Estate has not greenlit Bricusse's work, but copyright restrictions on the composer's music expired in Europe in 2007. Bricusse (Stop the World I Want to Get Off, Jekyll & Hyde) has been at work setting lyrics to "Rhapsody in Blue," "Concerto in F" and symphonic passages from "An American In Paris" over the past 15 years.

Bricusse says the idea for the project came when Liza Minnelli told him she always wanted to sing the music to the ballet sequence in "An American In Paris."

"Gershwin's Concerto in F becomes a concerto for the 20th century, about the Depression, and then the 60s and the civil rights movement, and then finally the millennium and all its uncertainties," Bricusse told the Guardian. "There may be a couple of points where we have had to hold the tempi. You have to make the best compromise you can, but every syllable is Gershwin."

Bricusse is hoping to present a concert performance of A Few Words With George, or even a live internet broadcast of a rehearsal and performance.

The writer is also continuing work on two musical biography projects: One Shining Moment, his 1984 musical celebration of John F. Kennedy, and the other, about entertainer Sammy Davis Jr.

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