Solomon's Final Recordings
Big 10-Inch Record
by Buster
3d ago
A debilitating stroke ended the career of the great English pianist Solomon (1902-88) in late 1956, a few months after he had made several concerto recordings with the Philharmonia Orchestra and conductor Herbert Menges. Today's post gathers those four works together - Beethoven's first and third, and the Grieg and Schumann concertos. These are all mainstays of the repertoire, just as Solomon's recordings have been standards by which others have been judged for nearly 70 years. This is a follow-up to my recent post of Solomon in works by Bliss and Liszt, which was well received. Some personal ..read more
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Frankie Laine's First Columbia LP, with Bonuses
Big 10-Inch Record
by Buster
1w ago
Frankie Laine is not the kind of singer I usually respond to - he's brash and bigger than life - but I love him even so. He was a most skillful artist. It's sometimes said that Laine represented a new way of singing in response to the Sinatra-style romantic vocalists of the war and postwar years. His approach was not new, though. Before electric amplification came along, popular singers had to project their voices to be heard. Frankie was a throw-back to the days of Al Jolson (who had a career renaissance in the postwar years), and such blues singers as Bessie Smith. It's true that these days ..read more
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Vaughan Williams, Mendelssohn-Moscheles, Copland - Works for Two Pianos
Big 10-Inch Record
by Buster
2w ago
Here is another transfer prepared as the result of a request. It features four unusual compositions for two pianos, including the premiere recording of a very good piece from Ralph Vaughan Williams. The transfer comes from a circa 1979 LP issued by the American label Orion. Performing are two pianists who often recorded for that label - Evelinde Trenkner and Vladimir Pleshakov - although they appeared only one other time as a duo. Vladimir Pleshakov and Evelinde Trenkner  The major work on the first side is Vaughan Williams' Introduction and Fugue for Two Pianos, dating fro ..read more
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Betty Clooney
Big 10-Inch Record
by Buster
3w ago
There was a fair amount of interest in vocalist Betty Clooney (1931-76) after my recent post of a few of her Christmas records. So here is a compilation of her recordings, primarily making use of Internet Archive transfers suitably cleaned up for your listening enjoyment (or so I hope). It's a program of 25 songs, which as far as I can tell is the majority of her recorded output. Betty was the younger sister of the far more famous Rosemary Clooney. The two had been in a sister duo, making records with Tony Pastor's band for Cosmo and Columbia from 1946-49 before Rosie went solo and the still ..read more
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Solomon Plays Bliss and Liszt
Big 10-Inch Record
by Buster
1M ago
My recent post of Arthur Bliss' Checkmate ballet score elicited a request for more music by that composer. So here is the first recording of his fascinating piano concerto, with the distinguished British pianist Solomon, who is making his blog debut. The concerto was written for the 1939 New York World's Fair, and was premiered by the New York Philharmonic on a program that also included Vaughan Williams' Five Variants of Dives and Lazarus (which can be heard here) and Bax's Seventh Symphony. Solomon was the pianist for that program, which was led by Sir Adrian Boult, who also is the conductor ..read more
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A Pub Crawler's New Year's Eve
Big 10-Inch Record
by Buster
1M ago
The indefatigable David Federman is at the door, inviting us to join him on his "Pub Crawler's New Year's Eve" for 2022. "Baby, no matter how cold it is outside, we’re going out for New Year’s Eve (if only in our fantasies and dreams)," David writes in his notes. "Neither blizzard or plague can keep us from going down to dance at Clancy’s or getting up to dance at our friendly local tavern. We won’t put off Puttin’ on the Ritz." Well, you may or may not be going out on the big day, but either way, David's playlist makes great accompaniment. It is, as always, eclectic and at times electric, sta ..read more
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A Just-in-Time Christmas Music Delivery!
Big 10-Inch Record
by Buster
1M ago
Old friend David Federman has just come down the virtual chimney with a "Just-in-Time Christmas Music Delivery." It's 23 tracks of holiday goodness - with favorite artists such as Duke Ellington, Ethel Waters, Louis Armstrong and Judy Garland, plus many of his usual surprises. Great stuff and just the thing for Christmas Day listening - or for enjoyment on any day, for that matter. Thanks to David as always, and happy holidays to one and all!  ..read more
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Julius La Rosa at Christmas
Big 10-Inch Record
by Buster
1M ago
The terrific singer Julius La Rosa never made a Christmas album, so my pal Ernie and I are doing our best to fill the void. We've collaborated on a 15-song playlist of holiday tunes from the vocalist's long career. This is an enjoyable listen - La Rosa was one of those singers who were excellent at the outset of their careers, and remained so for a long time. He was skilled at all types of material - from ballads to novelties - and had a beautiful voice, particularly so in the early years. We start our collection with a Christmas EP from 1953, and end it with a single from 1981. Christmas EP ..read more
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'Carols of Today' from Distinguished British Composers
Big 10-Inch Record
by Buster
1M ago
In 1965, the Oxford University Press commissioned new carols from 17 of Britain's best composers, publishing the works in a volume called Carols of Today. The following year, the Argo record label recorded 14 of the works for an LP given the same name. Today's post is devoted to that very good album and the delightful or at least impressive compositions it contains. The composers and their carols follow: William Mathias (1934-92) - Wassail Carol, Op. 26, No. 1 Benjamin Britten (1913-76) - Jesu, as Thou art our Saviour John Joubert (1927-2019) - A Little Child there is yborn, o ..read more
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More from Jo Ann Greer and Vic Damone
Big 10-Inch Record
by Buster
1M ago
Through the generosity of some good friends, we have more from the wonderful vocalists Jo Ann Greer and Vic Damone, both of whom were recently featured on this blog. Jo Ann Greer To add to the pile of Jo Ann Greer recordings, reader and benefactor lafong has come up with four more songs - "I Want to Be Happy," "Nice Work If You Can Get It," "Put the Blame on Mame" and "What Ever Lola Wants." Also, an old friend of mine who simply describes himself as "a Spanish admirer of the blog" has assembled 10 video clips of film songs that Greer dubbed. On the screen you will see Gloria Grahame, Ju ..read more
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