More from Maurice Duruflé
Big 10-Inch Record
by Buster
3d ago
Last month in a tribute to the late Sir Andrew Davis, I mentioned the absence from the catalog of Maurice Duruflé's orchestral Trois danses. My friend and frequent commenter centuri quickly reminded me that the composer himself had recorded the work. I say "reminded me" because I actually own a copy of the record. It contains a stimulating program that also includes Duruflé's Messe "Cum jubilo" and his a capella Quatre motets. Duruflé (1902-86) was a French composer and organist who was severely self-critical and published relatively few works. A student of Paul Dukas, his lineage to the gre ..read more
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Bull Moose Jackson, 'Big Ten-Inch Record' and Much More
Big 10-Inch Record
by Buster
1w ago
When I started this blog 16 years ago, I decided to focus on 10-inch LPs, a long-forgotten niche and one that I had pursued for many years. What better name, I thought, than the old R&B hit, "Big Ten-Inch Record." Many people think the name is an allusion to the Aerosmith version of the song, but I was thinking of Bull Moose Jackson's 1952 original. I don't believe I've ever heard the later edition. It's well past time for an homage to the Moose, so I have gone back to the original 78s and prepared this post of 18 songs dating from 1945 to 1952, ending, appropriately, with "Big Ten-Inch ..read more
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Hanson Conducts Gould, Barber and Hanson
Big 10-Inch Record
by Buster
2w ago
Howard Hanson The composer and Eastman School of Music head Howard Hanson (1896-1981) conducted a large number of American music recordings for the Mercury label in the 1950s and 60s. Recently I posted the first in their "American Music Festival Series," a disc of choral music by Hanson and Randall Thompson. That post also has a link to other entries in the series previously offered here. Today we have two related entries in the series: Vol. 3, with music by Morton Gould (1913-96) and Samuel Barber (1910-81); and Vol. 15, music by Barber and Hanson. Hanson was a proponent and expone ..read more
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Lee Wiley Sings Cole Porter
Big 10-Inch Record
by Buster
1M ago
The fourth composer songbook recorded by vocalist Lee Wiley was devoted to Cole Porter, issued in a 1940 Liberty Music Shop album. It's the fourth songbook, that is, in its appearance on this blog; the Porter album actually was second in its date of recording, preceded by a George Gershwin set from 1939, and succeeded by the music of Rodgers and Hart (1940) and Harold Arlen (1943). As before in this series, I've augmented the eight-selection Porter album with other Wiley recordings from the same general period. The bonuses brings the total number of songs to 11. This collection displays th ..read more
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A Requiem for Sir Andrew Davis
Big 10-Inch Record
by Buster
1M ago
The distinguished conductor Sir Andrew Davis has died at age 80 after a brief struggle with leukemia. Today a tribute to him in the form of one of his earliest recordings, the Requiem by Maurice Duruflé (1902-86). Davis, who was famed for his genial nature and wide repertoire, began recording in 1974. After a one-off assignment for Decca leading the orchestra for an Ilana Vered concerto recording, he began making discs in 1975 for Columbia (CBS in England). This particular LP comes from early 1977, when the conductor was 32. The young Andrew Davis Duruflé's Requiem was not nearl ..read more
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Casper Reardon - The First Jazz Harp Player
Big 10-Inch Record
by Buster
1M ago
Casper Reardon (1907-41) didn't start out to become the first jazz harp player. He was a trained classical musician who had performed with the Philadelphia Orchestra and the Cincinnati Symphony. But after a few of his Cincinnati students introduced him to the delights of popular music, he became interested enough that he began appearing on local radio playing jazz as "Arpeggio Glissando." Eventually his avocation became a vocation, and he ended up in New York, in a recording studio with Red McKenzie and his group. That's where this story of Reardon's brief but eventful jazz odyssey begins ..read more
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The Music of Edgard Varèse
Big 10-Inch Record
by Buster
1M ago
I had a request for a particular LP of Edgard Varèse's music, so I thought I would turn this post into a small festival of historic recordings of works by this remarkable, iconoclastic figure. Varèse (1883-1965) was born in Paris and came to the US in 1915, already seeking new vistas in sound. Soon after arriving, he announced to a reporter, "I refuse to submit myself only to sounds that have already been heard. What I am looking for are new technical mediums which can lend themselves to every expression of thought and keep up with thought." As Eric Salzman wrote in a long article on Varèse ..read more
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Robert Shaw's 'Treasury of Easter Songs'
Big 10-Inch Record
by Buster
2M ago
Toward the end of last year I posted Robert Shaw's early LPs of both Thanksgiving and Christmas music. Today I am adding to the collection with his Treasury of Easter Songs, which came out in 1952. Similar to his other sets, the famed choral conductor assembled a variety of seasonal material, ranging from Schütz to spirituals and across several centuries. There are 20 selections presented in a relatively brief period. Nothing wears out its welcome, but the stylistic diversity elicited equally diverse critical opinions. Enthusiastic: "Mr. Shaw has chosen these selections with extreme car ..read more
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Beethoven with Pollini and Böhm
Big 10-Inch Record
by Buster
2M ago
A quick tribute to the remarkable pianist Maurizio Pollini, who has died at age 82, in the form of one of my favorite recordings. It is Beethoven's Piano Concerto No. 4, here in a magnificent 1976 performance by Pollini and the Vienna Philharmonic, conducted by Karl Böhm. The quality of this recording is evident from the opening bars. The pianist's astonishing perfection is beautifully set off by the warmth of the Vienna Philharmonic under the masterful Böhm. In The Gramophone, Richard Osborne wrote: "Pollini’s performance is both brilliant and beautifully proportioned; driven but neve ..read more
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Lee Wiley Sings Harold Arlen
Big 10-Inch Record
by Buster
2M ago
Here is the third in our exploration of the composer songbooks recorded by the great Lee Wiley from 1939-43. The earlier posts were devoted to Gershwin and Rodgers and Hart. The R&H article provides background on the singer. This time, Wiley does wonders for Harold Arlen, a distinctive composer whose songs are suited to her vocal manner. Lee Wiley Sings Songs by Harold Arlen dates from 1943 and was issued by the Schirmer label, in succession to the Liberty Music Shop (Gershwin and Cole Porter) and Rabson's (R&H).  Along with the Schirmer album, for this collection I've added fi ..read more
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