Complete Rags
Quantity in Basket: None WILLIAM BOLCOM Complete Rags TROY325-26 - Price: $33.98
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Bolcom's modern rags collected together for the first time!

What a pleasure it is for Albany to be able to bring these wonderful pieces to the musical public. Bolcom tells this story: "One day in the fall of 1967 I had lunch with Norman Lloyd, then head of the music division for the Rockefeller Foundation, who mentioned having heard of a ragtime opera by Scott Joplin. Who is that? I asked - few people in 1967 knew the name Scott Joplin - and Norman told me Joplin was the composer of the "Maple Leaf Rag' but that his opera existed only in legend. For some reason I immediately went on the trail of Treemonisha, only to find that no one even at the Library of Congress, Lincoln Center, or the Schomburg Collection had it. That is, until I asked my colleague Rudi Blesh at Queens College; we had barely ever said hello before as we rushed in and out of the same office on the way to teaching, but one week I asked him if he knew where I could find a copy of the opera, as all the usual suspects had nothing. When he said, "I have a copy of the vocal score. Shall I bring it next week?" I almost fell off my chair. From this happy event came an exploration of Joplin's rags (courtesy of Rudi's friend Max Morath) as well as the whole field of turn-of-the last-century piano ragtime. Soon after, Joshua Rifkin recorded the Joplin rags and Gunther Schuller laid the period instrumentations of Joplin onto disc; Joplin's obscurity would be no more. What may be less well known is that from about 1968 on a whole group of young American composers, Peter Winkler, William Albright and several others, joined me in writing new traditional style rags. Bill Albright and I would send each other rags by mail like chess problems. It was all delightful for us (playing these new-old pieces in concert elicited warm responses from audiences), but I think we all felt the real impetus from our picking up a dropped thread of our emerging American tradition. Few of us would continue to write rags after about 1975, but the Ragtime Revival was certainly the beginning of American composers' serious absorption of our own popular sources into our music in an unself-conscious way." This wonderful two CD set should find a large audience.
Contents:
William Bolcom, composer
Eubie's Luckey Day
John Murphy, piano

William Bolcom, composer
Graceful Ghost Rag
John Murphy, piano

William Bolcom, composer
The Poltergeist
John Murphy, piano

William Bolcom, composer
Dream Shadows
John Murphy, piano

William Bolcom, composer
Raggin' Rudi
John Murphy, piano

William Bolcom, composer
The Gardenia
John Murphy, piano

William Bolcom, composer
Tabby Cat Walk
John Murphy, piano

William Bolcom, composer
California Porcupine Rag
John Murphy, piano

William Bolcom, composer
Rag Tango
John Murphy, piano

William Bolcom, composer
Last Rag
John Murphy, piano

William Bolcom, composer
Knight Hubert
John Murphy, piano

William Bolcom, composer
Glad Rag
John Murphy, piano

William Bolcom, composer
Epitaph for Louis Chauvin
John Murphy, piano

William Bolcom, composer
Incineratorag
John Murphy, piano

William Bolcom, composer
Seabiscuits
John Murphy, piano

William Bolcom, composer
Fields of Flowers
John Murphy, piano

William Bolcom, composer
Old Adam
John Murphy, piano

William Bolcom, composer
The Eternal Feminine
John Murphy, piano

William Bolcom, composer
The Serpent's Kiss
John Murphy, piano

William Bolcom, composer
Through Eden's Gates
John Murphy, piano

William Bolcom, composer
Lost Lady Rag
John Murphy, piano

William Bolcom, composer
Epithalamium
John Murphy, piano

Review:
"Classical Album of the Week." (epulse) "Too much of a good thing? Not when the composer is William Bolcom, that propagandist for rags from Scott Joplin to today, pianist, and the composer of Graceful Ghost, the most haunting and beautiful of contemporary rags. It is of course on this disc, along with 21 others. Bolcom, a protean composer who writes operas and symphonies as well as rags, who has made a study of popular Victorian songs, who was instrumental in the Joplin renaissance in particular and ragtime in general, composes piano rags very much in the Joplin manner. This disc is a charmer, and the playing is in the competent hands of John Murphy, Bolcom's friend, who goes about it in a lively, sympathetic, and sensitive manner. Superb piano sound." (American Record Guide)
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