Gershwin - The Man I Love
Pupil Match & Suitability
A range of students will enjoy tackling this, spurred on sometimes by the fact that although full of chords, it is not a fast number.
Younger children will not be particularly suited to this piece, probably on account of the stretches in the chords but also as it requires a degree of musical maturity to make it work.
You may well find that adult students are keen on this but may find it difficult for a number of technical reasons.
Style & Tempo
The only marking is 'Slow and in a singing style.'
The ballad style is not a particularly easy one to assimilate, especially for non jazz musicians. Play it with every regard for the note values and have a metronome ticking away and it will sound strangely unfamiliar, sharp edged and out of place.
Take away the sense of pulse, play romantically and it will feel flat and come across as very unappealing and a bit like a lost soul.
Listen to the song performed here by Kate Bush.
Phrasing & Articulation
Phrasing is about creating 'line'.
In this 1974 German Television studio recording with Ella Fitzgerald and pianist Tommy Flanagan you get a real feel for the phrasing in the ebb and flow of the lines.
Tone & Texture
The pianist has so much at their disposal, yet once the note is struck it simply fades.
Tone production is at the heart of musical piano playing.
This is an interesting performance which really milks the sentimentality.
You may prefer a more straight version, but then again it has its expressive persuasion.