SIGNED LIMITED FIRST EDITION OF PORGY AND BESS; SIGNED BY GEORGE AND IRA GERSHWIN, DUBOSE HEYWARD, AND ROUBEN MAMOULIAN
Porgy and Bess.
George Gershwin. Libretto by DuBose Heyward. Lyrics by DuBose Heyward and Ira Gershwin. Production Directed by Rouben Mamoulian.$7,500.00
Item Number: 98943
New York: Random House, 1935.
Deluxe limited edition of Porgy and Bess, number 55 of only 250 copies signed by George Gershwin, Ira Gershwin, DuBose Heyward and director Rouben Mamoulian. Folio, original full red morocco, raised bands, top edge gilt, illustrated. In very good condition with light rubbing and wear.
Gershwin read Porgy in 1926 and proposed that he should collaborate with Heyward on Porgy and Bess. In 1934, Gershwin and Heyward began work on the project by visiting the author's native Charleston. Gershwin explained why he called Porgy and Bess a folk opera in a 1935 New York Times article: "Porgy and Bess is a folk tale. Its people naturally would sing folk music. When I first began work in the music I decided against the use of original folk material because I wanted the music to be all of one piece. Therefore I wrote my own spirituals and folksongs. But they are still folk music – and therefore, being in operatic form, Porgy and Bess becomes a folk opera." Today, Porgy and Bess is widely considered to be Gershwin’s masterpiece. This deluxe edition of the piano-vocal score (according to Fuld, no orchestral score has ever been published) was published in 1935, the year of Porgy and Bess premiere, almost simultaneously with the first edition, and is boldly signed on the limitation page (at the rear) by George and Ira Gershwin and the other principal creators of Porgy and Bess: librettist DuBose Heyward and director Rouben Mamoulian (Fuld, 539).