Iain Farrington

Pianist, organist, composer, arranger

George Gershwin - Porgy and Bess Fantasy

for Chamber Orchestra


Porgy and Bess Fantasy: (Introduction - Jasbo Brown’s Blues - Summertime – Fight: Fugue - Bess you is my woman - I ain't got no shame - It ain't necessarily so - Storm - There's a boat that's leavin' soon for New York - Oh Lawd, I'm on my way)


Porgy and Bess has inspired countless adaptations, arrangements and re-interpretations since its premiere, the earliest being Gershwin’s own orchestral suite from 1936, Catfish Row. In this suite, Gershwin left out of many of the hit songs, preferring to use the lesser-known orchestral material. However, the dramatic narrative of the story was of secondary importance, and many subsequent operatic suites are essentially medleys of the best tunes. This new Fantasy is a symphonic work incorporating many of the songs and orchestral scenes in a continuous one-movement structure. It follows the course of the story in order and attempts to condense the action into a seamless dramatic framework, using only Gershwin’s music. The arrangement for small orchestra brings the music closer to a Broadway pit band, edgier and punchier, as opposed to the gleaming glossy sound of a large symphony orchestra.


Listen to a performance of the arrangement here


Available to hire or purchase from Aria Editions here


Instrumentation: flute, oboe, clarinet, bassoon, 2 horns, trumpet, trombone, piano, strings (c.4, 4, 3, 2, 1),

2 percussion - Drum Kit (Crash Cymbal, Suspended Cymbal, Tom Tom, High Hat, Bass Drum, Snare Drum), Wood Block, Glockenspiel, Xylophone, 1 Tubular Bell in D, 2 "African drums" (djembe)