A poet of strings.
Click on the link here for Audio Player: Stephane Grappelli – Live At My Father’s Place – 2nd Show – March 19, 1978 – WNYC
The legendary Stephane Grappelli this weekend. Having grown up with the music of Django Reinhardt, hearing Stephane Grappelli always reminds me of the pile of 78s I used to listen to over and over again of the Quintette du Hot Club de France. How that music alone got me interested in what other people were doing musically around the world, and how influential the universal language of music was in bringing together cultures and ideas. How we all have benefitted from it. And still are.
This weekend it’s a club date at My Father’s Place in Old Roslyn, New York; the second set, recorded on March 19, 1978. Grappelli is joined by Diz Disley and John Etheridge on guitar and Milt Hinton on Bass.
The sentiment and approach have not changed all that much. But the point of view is so fresh and energetic that sweeping innovation isn’t necessary. Its elegance is timeless.
Definitely something to hang out with on a Sunday afternoon.
Ernest Bloch – considered one of the Avant-Garde American Composers in the early 20th Century.
Click on the link here for Audio player: Bloch- Concerto Grosso – 1931
A few years ago, when I first put this piece up on Newstalgia, a lot of readers expressed happiness over its inclusion, but weren’t too thrilled about the sound of the recording. Truth was, at the time the audio player I was using at my old site wasn’t very good – it was great for speeches and spoken word, but it blew chunks as far as music was concerned.
Several of you have written asking if it were possible to re-post a lot of the old 78’s I had originally put up on the old site and this weekend it’s one of them.
The Concerto Grosso for Strings and Piano by early 20th Century American composer Ernest Bloch, in what was the world premier recording for RCA-Victor in 1931, featuring the Curtis Institute Ensemble conducted by Louis Bailly.
Not a big seller in its day, and never seeing the light of reissue as far as I know, but with the seemingly millions of small labels and on-line fans, you can never be sure, this may very well be (aside from the earlier post on Newstalgia) the only available recording of this piece. And with the new player, hopefully it will get a few new fans.
The Stuyvesant Quartet – History making on the fly.
Click on the link here for Audio player: Shostakovitch – Piano Quintet – The Stuyvesant String Quartet w/Vivian Rivkin, piano – recorded in 1941
I originally posted this in 2009 on the now-defunct Newstalgia site. It’s such a good and historic recording that it would be a shame not to include here on Past Daily.
One of his most popular Chamber pieces, the op. 57 Piano Quintet had its premier in Moscow in November of 1940, with Shostakovitch at the piano and The Beethoven String Quartet, the group he dedicated the work to. Within weeks, the manuscript was in New York and had its American premier with Vivian Rivkin at the piano with the Stuyvesant String Quartet. This recording was made on May 7-8 of 1941 and there is some controversy whether this recording was the world premier or the recording made by Shostakovitch himself with the Beethoven Quartet was the world premier. It’s sort of a moot point, considering there was a war going on and records were something of a luxury commodity at the time, and access to Soviet recordings was never easy anyway.
In any event, this recording was made shortly after the U.S. Premier and strangely, it’s never seen the light of reissue, even as a historic document. It’s been recorded scores of times since the premier, with no doubt infinitely better interpretations. But with all that said, this is the first one, or the first Western one and it was the only recording for some time. And a lot of people formed their first impressions on the piece based on this interpretation.
So imagine you’ve never heard this work before.