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Believing Beethoven

Believing Beethoven

A Note from the Conductor

(As enclosed in the liner notes for the 1999 Philharmonia Orchestra recording of Beethoven’s Fifth & Seventh Symphonies)

“I look upon the invention of the metronome as a welcome means of assuring the performance of my compositions everywhere in the tempi conceived by me, which to my regret have so often been misunderstood.” -Ludwig van Beethoven

It will surely come as a surprise to most listeners that works as familiar as Beethoven’s Fifth and Seventh Symphonies have rarely received performances that realize Beethoven’s stated wishes as to how the music should be played, and that this tradition of ignoring the composer’s intentions began in Beethoven’s own time!

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It seems that from the very beginning conductors chose to disregard or simply didn’t look at the metronome marks Beethoven left for his symphonies. In doing so they radically altered the “meaning” of the music and established a tradition of performance that is far removed from what Beethoven seems to have intended.

Over the past few years a number of recordings have been released that claim to follow Beethoven’s indications, but which, to varying degrees, have made compromises in their realization and in some cases seem to have misled listeners as to the implications of these indications. This recording is the first in a series that sets out to present the symphonies according to Beethoven’s marked tempi.

But how did this situation arise? Is there a right and a wrong way of pert this music? Or is its interpretation purely a subjective matter?

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Let’s take the opening of the Fifth Symphony – certainly the most famous four notes of music ever penned. If we hear it performed as slowly as it was by such great conductors as Furtwängler, Stokowski, and Klemperer, the music speaks with majesty, force, power, “Fate knocking on the door.” If, on the other hand we hear it at the tempo indicated both by Beethoven’s Italian direction Allegro con brio and by his metronome marking 108, it seems driving, violent, impetuous, headlong, as though a gauntlet were being thrown down in defiance. But which is the “true” version?

Clearly, when Beethoven was composing that opening he must have had some particular “meaning” or sound in mind. He cannot possibly have heard it both at the slower tempo and at the faster one, and it is unlikely that he was indifferent about the matter-just as unlikely as that he would have been indifferent as to which notes were played. For Beethoven cared so deeply about the tempi at which his works were performed that, according to his friend Anton Schindler whenever he heard about a performance of one of them, “his first question invariably was: ‘How were the tempi?’” Every other consideration seemed to be of secondary importance to him.

In fact, Beethoven cared so much about such issues of tempo that he left more detailed instructions on the subject than did virtually any other composer. He headed each movement of his symphonies, and each section of each movement, with both an Italian descriptive phrase (such as Allegro molto vivace or Adagio) and a metronome marking. In taking such care in this matter (which was unprecedented) he assumed that he was leaving for future performers not only precise indications of the speeds (and hence the characters) of the various and sections, but also the key to the successful realization of the works’ wholes. In a letter to his publishers, Schott and Sons, Beethoven wrote: “I have received letters from Berlin informing me that the first performance of the Ninth Symphony was received with enthusiastic applause, which I attribute largely to the metronome markings.”

So why should his tempo indications for the symphonies have been so rarely observed in performance? Most conductors have rejected the indicated tempi because they consider them too fast. Ironically, though, both the final movements of the Fifth and Seventh are traditionally played faster than Beethoven’s indicated tempo, demolishing the common argument that since all his tempi are too fast, it is reasonable to assume that his metronome was broken. Moreover Beethoven’s letters make it clear that he took great pains to have his metronome in good working order.

Some have suggested that Beethoven’s deafness could have hearing it properly, though since the metronome had a visible pendulum, he did not need actually to hear it ticking to be able to use it. Yet another speculation has been that the ethereal instruments of the inner ear may move more fleetly than do those of the real acoustical world. And many musicians have continued to resist the notion that Beethoven’s supreme genius could (or should) be fettered by the ticking. This has not prevented him from qualms, however, as is clear from the comment quoted below, published in the Wiener Vaterländische Blätter of October 13, 1813: “I look upon the invention of the metronome as a welcome means of assuring the performance of my compositions everywhere in the tempi conceived by me, which to my regret have so often been misunderstood.”

But to return to our question: Why should Beethoven’s tempo indications so rarely have been observed in performance?

More than any other compositions, Beethoven’s symphonies-especially the uneven-numbered Third, Fifth, Seventh, and Ninth-fired the imaginations of the Romantic composers and interpreters who followed him. But when works of one age are interpreted according to and even play a significant role in defining the aesthetics of a later age, something of the works’ original spirit is lost. Romantic interpreters, influenced by Wagner and Liszt, favored extremes of tempo and frequent, even violent, fluctuations between those extremes. They tended to equate slow tempi with profundity and significance-thus the slowing up of “the hammer blows of Fate” at the beginning of Beethoven’s Fifth, while at the other extreme, Wilhelm Furtwängler, one of the most revered post-Romantic interpreters of Beethoven, propelled the conclusion of the Ninth Symphony into a frenzy of religious ecstasy by taking a tempo seventy points faster on the metronome than the one indicated by Beethoven!

These interpretative decisions have come down to later generations, often in somewhat modified form, as powerful performance traditions that the present day performer defies at some risk. The danger is that adherence to the metronome indications will lead to performances that are mechanical and devoid of passion. But it is important to remember that tempo is not an end in itself but a medium that allows different expressive forms, just as water allows for coral reefs, fish, anemones and air makes possible pine forests, deer, and human beings. Those that inhabit these elements do not notice water or air: the tempo is never the subject of a successful performance. Perhaps, if we can hear this music free of the bar lines, fidelity to the metronome indications need not necessarily result in a sense of mechanical regularity or a lack of breathing space or passion. It all depends, after all, on what is done with and within the chosen tempo.

In working with Beethoven’s tempi over the course of many years I have found that they have come to seem absolutely right, and in fact liberating rather than constricting, for they open up a wealth of interpretative possibilities that would not work at slower tempi and that seem true to the essence of Beethoven’s musical spirit. Now let the listener to these recordings judge for himself.

– Benjamin Zander

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Copland portrait (1975 documentary)

Copland portrait (1975 documentary)

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Mozart – Piano Sonata No. 11 K 331 3rd Movement, “Rondo alla Turca” with sheet music

Mozart – Piano Sonata No. 11 K 331 3rd Movement, “Rondo alla Turca” with sheet music

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Aaron Copland “Three Moods” – with sheet music

Aaron Copland “Three Moods” with sheet music

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The history of these early pieces begins with a grouping of four; then a decision to include only three under the title “Trois Esquisses;” and finally their renaming as Three Moods. Each piece is titled individually: I. Embittered, II. Wistful, and III. Jazzy.

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Bossa Nova (Part 1)

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    Bossa Nova (Part 1)

    In 1959, an unassuming guitarist/vocalist named João Gilberto from the Brazilian state of Bahia started a quiet revolution with his recordings “Chega de Saudade (No More Blues)” and “Desafinado (Off Key)” on the Odeon label. They featured arrangements by a young native of Rio de Janeiro, Antonio Carlos Jobim. Gilberto’s whisper-toned, Afro-Indian-influenced Portuguese vocals complemented his unique guitar style, which ingeniously reduced and resyncopated the samba’s intricate polyrhythms down to the most essential beats.

    Jobim expanded Gilberto’s harmonies with French impressionist chord progressions. He also codified the guitarist’s unique rhythmic approach into a catchy combo rhythm similar to the Cuban clave, which left room for improvisation. In “Desafinado” Gilberto sang a line that’s translated as …”it’s the bossa nova. It’s very natural…” and thus unwittingly gave birth to a new style of music destined to win over the world.

    Bossa nova (literally “new thing”) became the name of this seductively syncopated sound of love that peaked in popularity in the mid-’60s. Today, the music is enjoying a resurgence of interest not only in classic bossa nova recordings being reissued on CD but also in recent bossa nova recordings, including those by a new generation of Brazilian artists who add hip hop, drum ‘n’ bass beats and LP samples to the traditional bossa nova sound.

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    Vinicius Cantuaria ‎– Vinicius (2001 – Album)

    Tracklist:

    [00:00] 01. Clichê Do Clichê [05:02] 02. Ela É Carioca [09:49] 03. Aqua Rasa [13:37] 04. Ordinária [18:33] 05. Quase Choro [23:19] 06. Rio [27:27] 07. Normal [31:53] 08. Nova De Sete [36:38] 09. Irapurú [41:24] 10. Cajú [45:41] 11. Insects Are Black [49:55] 12. Rio

    VINICIUS CANTUARIA

    Singer, guitarist, composer, drummer, and percussionist, Vinicius Cantuaria is a well-known Brazilian musician in the sphere of Bossa Nova and Jazz.

    Born in Manaus, Amazonas, he grew up in Rio de Janeiro, and after several successful records, he moved to New York in the mid-90s. He has proved himself in a number of fields, directly or indirectly linked to Brazilian music. Leader of the rock band “O Terco”, he released six albums in Brazil in the 80s and with his album “Sol na Cara” (Grammavision), was a pioneer of the neo-Brazilian music in 1996. He then became one of the most important downtown New York figures, multiplying collaborations with artists as eclectic as Brian Eno, Laurie Anderson, Brad Mehldau, Arto Lindsay

    As a composer, Cantuaria has had many successes, with “Lua e Estrela” (recorded by Caetano Veloso in 1981), “Coisa Linda,” “So Você,” and “Na Cançao”; as a sideman, he has performed with Caetano Veloso, Chico Buarque, to only name a few.

    In New York, he has released five internationally recognized studio albums “Sol Na Cara”, “Ê“,”ÊVinicius”, “Horse & fish”, “” and signed an artist contract with Naïve in 2008 which released his album “Cymbals”, recorded with top New York musicians, Brad Mehldau, Michael Leonhardt, Dave Binney, and Erik Frielander… Keeping his New York musicians for «ÊSamba cariocaÊ» (2010), Vinicius Cantuaria successfully returned to his Brazilian roots which once again proved to be numerous.

    Indeed, in addition to his usual New York team (Brad Mehldau, Bill Frisell), Vinicius was this time surrounded by an impressive line-up of Brazilian musicians from all trends and different backgrounds : Arto Lindsay, who produced the album, veterans like Joao Donato or Marcos Valle, and younger musicians, like Dadi or Sidinho.

    Vinicius, who owns his studio in New York and frequently travels to Brazil, works every day and progresses in small steps, hence the impression of a simple, melodic, and obvious music, yet so sophisticated.

    2011 saw the release of the brilliant and multi-rewarded album «ÊLagrimas MexicanasÊ», a duet with Bill Frisell. Skillfully crafted over more than five years by two long-time collaborators, this magnificent album clearly revealed itself as a marvel of elegance, musicality, and purity, recommended to the widest audience, which was quickly captured.

    With «ÊIndio De ApartamentoÊ» (Indian in the Apartment – 2012), his newest album, he confirms this trend and goes even further in brevity and purity, while maintaining an exemplary singularity towards Bossa Nova world. Dedicated to the memory of his mother, who died last year, this solumn and serious album, continues the trend started with “Samba Carioca”, blending New York/cosmopolitain musicians (Bill Frisell, Ryuichi Sakamoto) with Brazilian ones (Dadi, Limihna) while subjecting them to record increasingly varied and different compositions.

    Certainly more compact, dense, tighter and pure, sometimes minimalist like in the wonderful “Purus” where Vinicius performs at the same time vocals, guitar, keyboard and loops, this album is almost open to variety with the presence of Norah Jones on piano, the very beautiful “Pe Na Estrada” a duet with Bill Frisell, but especially in “This Time”, a brilliant duet with Jesse Harris (Once Blue, Norah Jones….), perfect for radios, and which illuminates this album with the sparkle of diamonds.

    According to Vinicius, Indio de Apartamento “came about from the mix of the raw sound from guitars, acoustic piano, percussion and voice with the electronic sound from computers. These two sonoric mixes together with the harmonies, melodies and lyrics created a unique-Brazilian-universal atmosphere”.

    Again, the result is a magnificent album, of incredible subtlety and full of contrasts, of great unity and remarkable diversity, with a pure and completed classicism. Almost a classic, in a modern world.

    Antonio Carlos Jobim

    It has been said that Antonio Carlos Brasileiro de Almeida Jobim was the George Gershwin of Brazil—and there is a solid ring of truth in that, for both contributed large bodies of songs to the jazz repertoire, both expanded their reach into the concert hall, and both tend to symbolize their countries in the eyes of the rest of the world. With their gracefully urbane, sensuously aching melodies and harmonies, Jobim’s songs gave jazz musicians in the 1960s a quiet, strikingly original alternative to their traditional Tin Pan Alley source.

    Jobim’s roots were always planted firmly in jazz; the records of Gerry Mulligan, Chet Baker, Barney Kessel and other West Coast jazz musicians made an enormous impact upon him in the 1950s. But he also claimed that the French impressionist composer Claude Debussy had a decisive influence upon his harmonies, and the Brazilian samba gave his music a uniquely exotic rhythmic underpinning.

    As a pianist, he usually kept things simple and melodically to the point with a touch that reminds some of Claude Thornhill, but some of his records show that he could also stretch out when given room. His guitar was limited mostly to gentle strumming of the syncopated rhythms, and he sang in a modest, slightly hoarse yet often hauntingly emotional manner.

    Born in the Tijuca neighborhood of Rio, Jobim originally was headed for a career as an architect. Yet by the time he turned 20, the lure of music was too powerful, and so he started playing piano in nightclubs and working in recording studios. He made his first record in 1954 backing singer Bill Farr as the leader of “Tom and His Band” (Tom was Jobim’s lifelong nickname), and he first found fame in 1956 when he teamed up with poet Vinicius de Morales to provide part of the score for a play called Orfeo do Carnaval (later made into the famous film Black Orpheus).

    In 1958, the then-unknown Brazilian singer Joao Gilberto recorded some of Jobim’s songs, which had the effect of launching the phenomenon known as bossa nova. Jobim’s breakthrough outside Brazil occurred in 1962 when Stan Getz and Charlie Byrd scored a surprise hit with his tune “Desafinado”—and later that year, he and several other Brazilian musicians were invited to participate in a Carnegie Hall showcase.

    Fueled by Jobim’s songs, the bossa nova became an international fad, and jazz musicians jumped on the bandwagon recording album after album of bossa novas until the trend ran out of commercial steam in the late ’60s.

    Jobim himself preferred the recording studios to touring, making several lovely albums of his music as a pianist, guitarist and singer for Verve, Warner Bros., Discovery, A&M, CTI and MCA in the ’60s and ’70s, and Verve again in the last decade of his life. Early on, he started collaborating with arranger/conductor Claus Ogerman, whose subtle, caressing, occasionally moody charts gave his records a haunting ambiance.

    When Brazilian music was in its American eclipse after the ’60s, a victim of overexposure and the burgeoning rock revolution, Jobim retreated more into the background, concentrating much energy upon film and TV scores in Brazil. But by 1985, as the idea of world music and a second Brazilian wave gathered steam, Jobim started touring again with a group containing his second wife Ana Lontra, his son Paulo, daughter Elizabeth and various musician friends.

    At the time of his final concerts in Brazil in September 1993 and at Carnegie Hall in April 1994 (both available on Verve), Jobim at last was receiving the universal recognition he deserved, and a plethora of tribute albums and concerts followed in the wake of his sudden death in New York City of heart failure. Jobim’s reputation as one of the great songwriters of the century is now secure, nowhere more so than on the jazz scene where every other set seems to contain at least one bossa nova.

    Composer Antonio Carlos Jobim AKA Tom Jobim was born on January 25, 1927 in Tijuca, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. He showed a natural curiosity towards music early on and at age 13 discovered an old piano in his parents’ school and started experimenting with sounds and notes. Although he took some private piano lessons he was for the most part self-taught. At age 20 he gave up on his original plans to become an architect and devoted himself completely to music. He started his career in 1952 playing piano in small cafés around the city.

    His early musical influences included the legendary composer Pixinguinha, Claude Debussy and jazz. In 1954, he cut his first record with his band called “Tom and His Band” backing the singer Bill Farr. The same year he apprenticed to arranger Radames Gnatali from whom he learned the rudiments of arranging and shifted careers and for a while and became an arranger for local singers.

    In 1956, he collaborated with poet and diplomat Vinicius de Moraes on an operetta entitled Orfeo do Carnaval that opened to great acclaim at the Metropolitan Opera House in Rio. The French director Marcel Camus transferred it to the big screen under the title Black Orpheus. The film was honored by the Cannes Film Festival with a Palme D’Or in 1959.

    His first hit was Felicidade from this operetta. The song gained immense popularity when Billy Eckstine added English lyrics to it in the late 1950s. Moraes and Jobim also teamed up on other hits including Girl from Ipanema and Agua de Beber among others. In 1958 Brazilian guitarist and vocalist Joao Gilberto released a record of Jobim songs that marked the beginning of the bossa nova phenomenon.

    1962 marked an important change in Jobim’s career when he broke out into the world scene after Stan Getz popularized his tune “Desafinado”. He and his colleagues were invited to perform at Carnegie Hall, and the popularity of the bossa nova took off. From 1962 till the end of the 60s, various jazz musicians recorded multitude of bossa nova albums. Jobim himself, in addition to becoming one of the most recorded composers, cut several albums for a variety of labels often in collaboration with Claus Ogerman.

    The 1970s and 80s marked a time of low popularity for jazz and for Brazilian music due to the rock explosion. Jobim returned to Brazil and worked on TV and film scores. By 1985 though bossa nova and Brazilian music experienced a renaissance and Jobim started touring again, performing up to few months before his death in New York City of heart failure on December 8, 1994.

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    Keith Jarrett Trio – I Fall In Love Too Easily (composed by Jule Styne & Sammy Cahn)

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    Keith Jarrett TrioI Fall In Love Too Easily (composed by Jule Styne & Sammy Cahn)

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    James Brown: the 100 most inspiring musicians of all time

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      James Brown: the 100 most inspiring musicians of all time

      James Brown (b. May 3, 1933, Barnwell, S.C., U.S.—d. Dec. 25, 2006, Atlanta, Ga.), known as “the Godfather of Soul,” American singer,
      songwriter, arranger, and dancer, James Brown was one of the most important and influential entertainers in 20th-century popular music. His remarkable achievements earned him the sobriquet “the Hardest-Working Man in Show Business.”

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      Brown was raised mainly in Augusta, Ga., by his great aunt, who took him in at about the age of five when his parents divorced. Growing up in the segregated South during the Great Depression of the 1930s, Brown was so
      impoverished that he was sent home from grade school for “insufficient clothes,” an experience that he never forgot and that perhaps explains his penchant as an adult for wearing ermine coats, velour jumpsuits, elaborate
      capes, and conspicuous gold jewelry.

      Neighbors taught him how to play drums, piano, and guitar, and he learned about gospel music in churches and at tent revivals, where preachers would scream, yell, stomp their feet, and fall to their knees during sermons to provoke responses from the congregation.

      At age 15 Brown and some companions were arrested while breaking into cars. He was sentenced to 8 to 16 years of incarceration, but was released after 3 years for good behavior. While at the Alto Reform School, he formed a gospel group. Subsequently, secularized and renamed the Flames (later the Famous Flames), it soon attracted the attention of rhythm-and-blues and rock-and-roll shouter Little Richard, whose manager helped promote the group.

      Intrigued by their demo record, Ralph Bass, the artistsand-repertoire man for the King label, brought the group to Cincinnati, Ohio, to record for King Records’ subsidiary Federal. Brown’s first recording, “Please, Please, Please” (1956) eventually sold three million copies and launched his extraordinary career. Along with placing nearly 100 singles and almost 50 albums on the bestseller charts, Brown broke new ground with two of the first successful “live and in concert” albums—his landmark Live at the
      Apollo (1963), and his 1964 follow-up, Pure Dynamite! Live at the Royal.

      During the 1960s, Brown was known as “Soul Brother Number One.” His hit recordings of that decade have often been associated with the emergence of the black aesthetic and black nationalist movements, especially the songs “Say It Loud—I’m Black, and I’m Proud” (1968),
      “Don’t Be a Drop-Out” (1966), and “I Don’t Want Nobody to Give Me Nothin’ (Open Up the Door, I’ll Get It Myself)” (1969). In the 1970s Brown became “the Godfather of Soul,” and his hit songs stimulated several dance crazes and were featured on the soundtracks of a number of
      “blaxploitation” films (sensational, low-budget, action oriented motion pictures with African American protagonists).

      When hip-hop emerged as a viable commercial music in the 1980s, Brown’s songs again assumed center stage as hip-hop disc jockeys frequently incorporated samples (audio snippets) from his records. He also appeared in several motion pictures, including The Blues Brothers (1980) and Rocky IV (1985), and attained global status as a celebrity, especially in Africa, where his tours attracted enormous crowds and generated a broad range of new musical fusions. Yet Brown’s life continued to be marked by difficulties, including the tragic death of his third wife, charges of drug use, and a period of imprisonment for a 1988 high-speed highway chase in which he tried to escape pursuing police officers.

      Brown’s uncanny ability to “scream” on key, to sing soulful slow ballads as well as electrifying up-tempo tunes, to plumb the rhythmic possibilities of the human voice and instrumental accompaniment, and to blend blues,
      gospel, jazz, and country vocal styles together made him one of the most influential vocalists of the 20th century.

      His extraordinary dance routines featuring deft deployment of microphones and articles of clothing as props, acrobatic leaps, full-impact knee landings, complex rhythmic patterns, dazzling footwork, dramatic entrances, and melodramatic exits redefined public performance within
      popular music and inspired generations of imitators (not the least Michael Jackson). His careful attention to every aspect of his shows, from arranging songs to supervising sidemen, from negotiating performance fees to selecting costumes, guaranteed his audiences a uniformly high level of professionalism every night and established a precedent in artistic autonomy.

      In the course of an extremely successful commercial career, Brown’s name was associated with an extraordinary number and range of memorable songs, distinctive dance steps, formative fashion trends, and even significant social issues. A skilled dancer and singer with an extraordinary sense of timing, Brown played a major role in bringing rhythm to the foreground of popular music. In addition to providing melody and embellishment, the horn players in his bands functioned as a rhythm section (they had to think like drummers), and musicians associated with him (Jimmy Nolan, Bootsy Collins, Fred Wesley, and Maceo Parker) have played an important role in creating the core vocabulary and grammar of funk music. Brown was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1986.

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      James Brown Greatest Hits Full Album – Best Songs Of James Brown

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      Gershwin: The Man I Love (1924)

      Gershwin: The Man I Love (1924) Piano arrangement by the same composer

      • With music by George Gershwin and lyrics by his brother, Ira, this song was originally published as “The Girl I Love” in 1924. The first recordings of the song were in 1928.

        “The Man I Love” was a song without an audience. It was not that George Gershwin’s music or his brother Ira’s lyrics were not good enough. They were – and still are – but the song simply did not fit in any of the musicals of the era. It was originally intended to be part of the Gershwins’ 1924 musical, Lady, Be Good, with the title, “The Girl I Love.” When Adele Astaire, who helped make her younger brother, Fred, more famous than she would ever be, sang the song at the musical’s off-Broadway opening in Philadelphia, it was given a nice round of applause. Ira recalled that she sang it “charmingly.” Anyone who has ever heard Billie Holiday’s version would hardly call it a charming song, and therein lay the problem. This song of simple yearning did not belong in a musical, or at least not a musical of the 1920s.

        The Gershwins tried to fit the song in somwhere else after it was dropped from Lady, Be Good. With the new title, “The Man I Love,” it appeared in the satirical anti-war show, Strike Up the Band, in 1927 and then again in Flo Ziegfeld’s Rosalie in 1928, but he deleted the number from the show in rehearsal. There was one person who did like the song, though. Lady Edwina Mountbatten, wife of the great-grandson of Queen Victoria and member of England’s high society heard the song when George played it a party. It was not the least bit unusual for George to commandeer a piano at party during the Roaring Twenties and play his catalog of songs. He was not shy about his work or his talent. Lady Mountbatten took a copy of the music back to England and requested that her favorite dance orchestras play it. “The Man I Love” caught fire in London and Paris.

        Gershwin’s publisher, Max Dreyfus, could hardly let this opportunity to pass by, but he first negotiated a deal with Ira and George. He would push the song as a stand-alone single, but they needed to help offset the costs by cutting their royalties from three cents to two cents per copy. Six months later, “The Man I Love” sold 100,000 copies. The epitome of the torch singers, Helen Morgan, who typically performed while draped over the top of piano, gave the song its first true voice when she gave her interpretation of it. After not being able to find a home, “The Man I Love” was recorded by five different artists in 1928. The most interesting rendition of that year might just belong to Nat Shilkret, recording for Victor Records as The Troubadours, who turned the torch song into a fox trot.
      • In this song, the singer is waiting for her Prince Charming to come along and make her dreams come true. Depending on your perspective, it’s either a delightful throwback to a simpler time, or an outdated stereotype of a helpless woman waiting for a man to save her. This latter view was common at the time the song was written (women were given the right to vote in America just four years earlier), although in its original form, it was transposed, with the guy waiting for the girl to come along.

        The women who performed the song in the ’50s and ’60s likely weren’t thinking of it as a setback to the feminist movement, but in later generations, some felt the song should be mothballed along with the happy housewife archetype. For young jazz singers, it can be particularly troublesome because the audiences are often older and less progressive. “The whole song is about how someday a man will come along and he’ll be big and strong, and until I find this man, I’m just going to sit around and feel sorry for myself,” the singer Kate Davis explained. “It’s a beautiful song melodically and harmonically. It’s gorgeous, and it’s a piece of history. But looking at it now as a progressive, empowered woman, it’s like, You’ve got to be kidding me.”
      • Ella Fitzgerald, Billie Holiday, Lena Horne, Sarah Vaughan, Peggy Lee, Julie London, Cher and Diana Ross are among the singers to record “The Man I Love.” The song never charted in America, but in the UK, a version by Kate Bush and Larry Adler went to #27 in 1994.
      • Gershwin biographer Howard Pollack reports that one day the great English composer, John Ireland, while sipping on a whiskey listened to “The Man I Love” and told a friend, “That, my boy, is a masterpiece…Perfect, my boy, perfect. This is the music of America.”
      • Along with another Gershwin classic, “Rhapsody in Blue,” “The Man I Love” entered the public domain in 2020, as that marked 95 years since the song was published.

      George Gershwin Artistfacts

      • Born Jacob Gershvin to an immigrant family in Brooklyn, New York, George Gershwin was the second of four children. As a teenager, he started his musical career as a writer on Tin Pan Alley for $15 a week, but it was not long before he began composing his own pieces. “When You Want ‘Em, You Can’t Get ‘Em,” was published when he was just 17 years old and earned him $5. Gershwin’s career as a composer took off soon after that when he met lyricist Irving Caesar, who collaborated with Gershwin in 1919 on the hit, “Swanee,” made famous by Al Jolson.
      • In 1924, Gershwin began to collaborate with his brother, Ira. That year, they wrote the musical comedy, Lady Be Good, featuring songs such as “The Man I Love” and “Fascinating Rhythm.” However, even as Gershwin had success as a composer of popular music, he wanted to try his hand at more serious music and he agreed to perform in Paul Whiteman’s Experiment in Modern Music concert in New York later that year. He wrote the jazz-influenced “Rhapsody in Blue” for the show, but composed it in such a hurry, he had to improvise his own piano playing during the live performance.
      • Gershwin followed up “Rhapsody in Blue” with “Piano Concerto in F, Rhapsody No. 2” and “An American in Paris,” which was inspired by his time in France. He took on social issues with musicals such as, Strike up the Band, and Of Thee I Sing, which was a lampoon of American politics that became the first musical to win a Pulitzer Prize for Drama in 1932. Dubose Heyward’s novel, Porgy, was the inspiration for the folk opera Porgy and Bess, which premiered in 1935 and shocked some with its African American cast. It was a modest success initially, but it eventually became an American standard. “Summertime” is the show’s best-known song and, according to The New York Times, has been recorded over 25,000 times.
      • Gershwin and his brother moved to Hollywood to try their hand at the film industry. In 1936, the Gershwins collaborated on the music for Shall We Dance, starring Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers, followed by Astaire’s Damsel in Distress. Gershwin was working on the score for The Goldwyn Follies in 1937 when he collapsed. Complaining of severe headaches and smelling burning rubber, Gershwin was told by doctors that he was just working too hard. He had already been labeled a hypochondriac and two weeks before his death, doctors noted on his medical records that he likely suffered from “hysteria.” However, on July 9, Gershwin collapsed again and doctors performed surgery to remove a brain tumor. He died two days later. Gershwin received his only Academy Award nomination two months later for Best Original Song for “They Can’t Take That Away from Me” from Shall We Dance. Ira died in 1983 and the Gershwin brothers were awarded the Congressional Gold Medal, the highest civilian honor in America, in 1985.
      gershwin pianosheet music pdf

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      Clifton Chenier: the 100 most inspiring musicians of all time

      Clifton Chenier: the 100 most inspiring musicians of all time

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      Clifton Chenier (b. June 25, 1925, Opelousas, La., U.S.—d. Dec. 12, 1987, Lafayette, La.), was an American popular musician. He was a pioneer in the development of zydeco music— a bluesy, southern Louisiana blend of French, African American, Native American, and Afro-Caribbean traditions.

      He was known as the King of Zydeco, and also billed as the King of the South.

      He was a master keyboard accordionist, a bold vocalist, and the unofficial (but virtually undisputed) “King of Zydeco.” Clifton Chenier was born to a family of sharecroppers (tenant farmers) in south-central Louisiana, and spent much of his youth working in the cotton fields.

      Clifton Chenier free sheet music & scores pdf

      He received his first accordion as a gift from his father, who was an established accordionist in the local house-party (dance) and Saturday dinner circuit. Chenier immediately recruited a washboard (frottoir) player—his brother Cleveland—to provide the lively, syncopated scraping that has remained a rhythmic hallmark of zydeco music. Inspired by recordings of earlier accordion virtuoso Amadie (or Amédé) Ardoin, as well as by the live performances of many local Cajun and Creole
      musicians, Chenier quickly became a formidable force in the zydeco tradition.

      Clifton Chenier left his hometown of Opelousas in his early 20s for Lake Charles in southwestern Louisiana, where he worked for several years as a truck driver for the nearby petroleum companies. During his off-hours he played and listened to music, and his musical style increasingly gravitated toward rhythm and blues. The emblematic features of zydeco—such as the French-based Louisiana Creole language and the ever-popular waltz and two-step dance forms—were never fully excised from his performances, however. In the mid-1950s, Chenier signed with Specialty Records, for which he produced mostly rhythm-and-blues recordings with a zydeco tint, notably the hit song “Ay-Tete-Fee” (sung in Louisiana Creole).

      With his band, the Zodico Ramblers—which, aside from the keyboard accordion and washboard, featured drums, guitar, bass, piano, and saxophone—Chenier emerged as a star of rhythm and blues. His brilliance faded over the next decade, however, and his career remained inert for some years before it was revived and redirected by Arhoolie Records, a label specializing in recordings of regional music traditions. With Arhoolie’s support and encouragement, Chenier recalibrated his music back toward its zydeco roots and released a number of successful albums,
      including Louisiana Blues and Zydeco (1965), King of the Bayous (1970), and Bogalusa Boogie (1975).

      Throughout the 1970s, Chenier toured nationally and internationally as the King of Zydeco, donning a large gold-and-burgundy mock crown in many of his performances to acknowledge and amplify his popular status. By late in the decade, however, both he and his music had lost their luster; he had developed a severe kidney infection related to diabetes and had to have a portion of his foot amputated.

      Although Chenier experienced somewhat of a comeback in the early 1980s—when he expanded his band to include a trumpet—his illness continued to take its musical and physical toll, and he ultimately succumbed to it in 1987.

      CLIFTON CHENIER – THE KING OF THE ‘ZYDECO’ (LIVE)

      1. Get Together
      2. No Dog Around
      3. Brown – Eyed Girl
      4. He, Tit’ Fill’
      5. Travelin’ Man
      6. Shake It Up
      7. Let’s Talk It Over One More Time
      8. I’m Goin’ Home
      9. J’ai Passe’ Devant Ta Porte
      10. Clifton’s Boogie
      11. I Have To Go
      12. In The Woods
      13. Four in The Mornin’
      14. Walkin’ on The Highway

      Clifton Chenier (acc/voc) – Cleveland Chenier (Washboard)
      J. Hart (ts) – P. Senegal (gt) – Jumpin’ J. Morisse (bass)
      Stanley ‘Buck Wheat Dural’ (pn) – R. St July (dm) – Live 1978

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      Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart – K.397, Fantasia in D minor with sheet music

      Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart – K.397, Fantasia in D minor with sheet music

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      mozart free sheet music & scores pdf download