Blues

Blues

by Matthew Trusler
     
 

The various examinations on recordings and in prose of the intersection between jazz and the concert music tradition don't make it clear that the sound that attracted many classical composers and performers between the two world wars was not just jazz in general, but blues. Of course, in the popular imagination the meanings of the words jazz and blues also overlapped.… See more details below

Overview

The various examinations on recordings and in prose of the intersection between jazz and the concert music tradition don't make it clear that the sound that attracted many classical composers and performers between the two world wars was not just jazz in general, but blues. Of course, in the popular imagination the meanings of the words jazz and blues also overlapped. Not all (or even the majority) of the music on this British release is built specifically on the blues harmonic pattern, but the program is an interesting mix of Gershwin, whose uses of the blues were the subtlest of all, ragtime both American and European in the form of Debussy's "Golliwog's Cakewalk," blues-flavored pieces by Copland (the misspelling of the delightful Ukelele Serenade is original) and Ravel, and the highly experimental and not much played "Sonata No. 2 for violin" with accompaniment of piano and drum of George Antheil, calling for only one player on the two accompanying instruments. There is also an improvisation by pianist Wayne Marshall, extending Gershwin's own style. All this casts a new light on the blues-jazz influence on concert music, bringing out the melodic-harmonic aspect of that influence more than the rhythmic, and the entire program brings a pleasing melancholy effect. Novel as the program is, most of it (maybe not Antheil) would have seemed reasonably familiar to Jascha Heifetz, the most coolly precise of the Russian old-school violinists who nevertheless had a great affection for Gershwin and for jazz rhythms. His arrangements are featured on three works: a suite of music from "Porgy and Bess," the "Three Preludes" of Gershwin, and "Golliwog's Cakewalk." Violinist Matthew Trusler lacks flair in these, but in both the wilder Antheil and the more foursquare arrangements of Joplin rags (these are done in the violin-and-piano version of Itzhak Perlman) he's quite convincing. A useful and instructive set of performances for anyone broadly interested in the American popular influence on concert music.

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Product Details

Release Date:
06/29/2010
Label:
Orchid Classics
UPC:
5016700108224
catalogNumber:
100002
Rank:
241365

Tracks

  1. America, for chorus & orchestra ("My Country 'Tis of Thee")  - Samuel F. Smith  - Wayne Marshall  - Matthew Trusler  - Ken Koch
  2. Three Preludes, arrangement for violin & piano (after Gershwin)  - Jascha Heifetz  - George Gershwin  - Jascha Heifetz  - Wayne Marshall  - Matthew Trusler  - Ken Koch
  3. Sonata for violin & piano No. 2 in G major: 2nd Movement: Blues  - Maurice Ravel  - Wayne Marshall  - Matthew Trusler  - Ken Koch
  4. Work(s): Ukelele Serenade  - Aaron Copland  - Wayne Marshall  - Matthew Trusler  - Ken Koch
  5. Work(s): Nocturne  - Aaron Copland  - Wayne Marshall  - Matthew Trusler  - Ken Koch
  6. The Ragtime Dance, stoptime two-step for piano  - Scott Joplin  - Itzhak Perlman  - Wayne Marshall  - Matthew Trusler  - Ken Koch
  7. Elite Syncopations, for piano  - Scott Joplin  - Itzhak Perlman  - Wayne Marshall  - Matthew Trusler  - Ken Koch
  8. Golliwogg's Cakewalk, for piano (Children's Corner No. 6), L. 113/6  - Claude Debussy  - Jascha Heifetz  - Wayne Marshall  - Matthew Trusler  - Ken Koch
  9. Sonata, for violin, piano & drums No. 2, W. 131  - George Antheil  - Wayne Marshall  - Matthew Trusler  - Ken Koch
  10. Selections (5) from Gershwin's Porgy and Bess, arrangement for violin & piano  - Jascha Heifetz  - George Gershwin  - Jascha Heifetz  - Wayne Marshall  - Matthew Trusler  - Ken Koch

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