Hello dear blog visitors. Welcome to my blog Musical Treats. Here you will find posts featuring well known classical and jazz musicians, composers known and not very well known, and performances and recordings of extraordinary musicians that are known and not very well known. I hope that you will find the posts interesting and educational and will visit my blog often.
If you wish to know more about me, please visit my Bandcamp page: robertjandukarm.bandcamp.com for my bio and to listen to/and or purchase my recordings. I also have a YouTube channel were I have posted recordings of myself (playing solo and with other people) playing violin, piano, and organ demo pieces at: www.youtube.com/user/rjdukarm/videos Thank you for your interest.
Robert Jan Dukarm
Ivry Gitlis (1922- )
Ivry Gitlis is an Israeli violin virtuoso. He has had a long and varied career performing with many of the world’s major orchestras (such as the London Philharmonic, Israel Philharmonic, Berlin Philharmonic, and the Vienna Philharmonic.) Ivry also played with the Beatles in the Rock and Roll Circus film. He is also an actor and composer. He moved to the US in the 1950s. Since the 1960s he has lived in Paris, France. Ivry Gitlis style of playing is very different from violinists of today. He occasionally plays without vibrato, and he uses the bow to get different tonal colours out of the violin. Sometimes the playing is lush, at other times it has a frantic energy to it.
Here is a clip from 1962 of Ivry Gitlis and Georges Pludermacher playing Saint-Saens Rondo Capriccioso. He plays this piece unlike any other violinist I have heard. There is incredible energy and abandon in this performance.
For comparison, listen to this performance of Itzhak Perlman and the Sadler’s Wells Orchestra conducted by Sir Charles Mackerras. Perlman’s interpretation is quite a bit slower than Gitlis. Gitlis really goes for it. Enjoy
Howard Brockway (1870-1951)
Howard Brockway was an American composer and pianist. Brockway composed pieces for solo piano, a symphony, piano quintet, sonata for violin and piano, and a suite for cello and orchestra (or piano). He also wrote choral music.
With singer Loraine Wyman, Brockway travelled to the Appalachian Mountains in Kentucky to record traditional folk songs. Howard Brockway later wrote out piano accompaniments for the folk tunes he recorded and Loraine wrote down the words. The folk songs they collected were published in two volumes in 1916 and 1920.
From 1911 to 1920 Brockway worked as a recording artist and piano roll editor for Ampico (the American Piano Corporation). He was the company’s most prolific recording artist, recording around 155 pieces (as well as many accompaniments and popular tunes).
Howard Brockway’s Cavatina Op. 13 for violin and piano (which is featured in this post) was featured in the soundtrack to the movie “The Prince of Tides”. It is played here by violinist Pinchas Zukerman and pianist Marc Neikrug. Enjoy.
James Nares (1715-1783)
James Nares was an English organist and composer. He mostly composed sacred vocal music, but he also composed some music for the organ and harpsichord. James Nares was the assistant organist at St. George’s Chapel in Windsor, worked for a time at York Minster, and then returned to the Chapel Royal in 1756 to be the organist and composer to King George III. Apparently James Nares was the first person to publish a series of keyboard lessons for piano students. Nares resigned as organist of the Chapel Royal in 1781 because of declining health. He died in 1783 at the age of 67.
Gerard Brooks (organist)
Gerard Brooks is an English organist, composer, teacher, and arranger. He teaches at the Royal Academy of Music in London, England. Gerard specializes in playing the organ music of the French Romantic period on Cavaillé-Coll organs. He has recorded the complete organ works of Saint-Saens and Eugène Gigout. In 2016 Gerard Brooks recorded an album entitled “A Giant Reborn” which was recorded on the newly restored 1735 Robert Bridge organ at Christ Church, Spitalfields. Here is a recording of James Nares Introduction and Fugue in a minor and Major played on that organ.
Dick Wellstood (1927-1987)
Dick Wellstood was an American jazz pianist. He was one of the great stride pianists. Dick could take just about any jazz tune or classical piece and turn it into a lively stride piano piece. He made many recordings during his musical career. Here is a tune called the “Washington and Lee Swing” played by Dick Wellstood from his album “Ragtime Piano Favourites”. If you haven’t heard Dick Wellstood’s stride piano, “Ragtime Piano Favourites” is a good place to start. This music may make you want to get up and dance.
Johann Strauss II (1825-1899)
Johann Strauss II was an Austrian composer of light classical dance music and operettas. He was the son of Johann Strauss Sr. who was also known for his dance music and operettas. Johann Strauss II was known as the “Waltz King” during his lifetime and was responsible for popularizing the waltz in Vienna, Austria in the 19th Century. Some of his most famous compositions include: the “Blue Danube Waltz”, Tales from the Vienna Woods”, and the operettas “die Fledermaus” and “der Zigeunerbaron”.
Lucia Popp – soprano (1939-1993)
Lucia Popp was a Slovak operatic soprano. During her career she performed at the Vienna State Opera, Metropolitan Opera, Covent Garden, and La Scala. She was also a highly regarded recitalist and lieder singer. She died of brain cancer in 1993. Lucia was 54 years old.
Here is a filmed performance of Lucia Popp in 1965 singing Johann Strauss II’s Voices of Spring Op. 410. She was 25 at the time of this performance.
Roby Lakatos (1965 -)
Roby Lakatos is the seventh generation in a family of gypsy violinists. He is descended from Janos Bihari who Lakatos says was like the Paganini of the gypsy violin. Roby’s style of playing combines classical, jazz, and Romanian Gypsy music. He can play just about anything.
Here is a clip of Roby Lakatos and his ensemble playing “Those Were The Days”. The tune starts off slow but then in typical gypsy fashion the musicians go wild. Enjoy.
Joseph Rheinberger (1839-1901)
Joseph Rheinberger was a German organist and composer who lived most of his life in Germany. He was a child prodigy and was already serving as the organist for his local parish church when he was only 7 years old. He also wrote his first composition at the age of 7 or 8. Rheinberger was very particular about the music he liked and the music he disliked. One day, people outside his church noticed smoke coming from the chimney of the church. They went inside the church and discovered Rheinberger tossing sheetmusic into the fireplace.
Rheinberger was a prolific composer. Today he is best known for his elaborate and challenging organ music. He composed 36 solo pieces, 22 trios, 20 sonatas, and several pieces for violin and organ which are quite beautiful. Here is the Praeludium from his Suite for Violin and Organ, Op.166 from a Naxos recording played by violinist Line Most and organist Marie Ziener. Enjoy!
Erroll Garner (c.1921/1923-1977)
Erroll Garner was an American jazz pianist and composer. He is most well known for his swing playing and jazz ballad playing. Of all the compositions he wrote, his most famous piece was ‘Misty’ which became a jazz standard. Garner had his own trio which he performed and recorded with. Here is a recording done in 1949 of a jazzy version of Claude Debussy’s Reverie (Dreaming) piece for solo piano. It is played by Erroll Garner and his trio.
For comparison, here is Debussy’s Reverie played the way it was originally composed by pianist Menahem Pressler.
Stephane Grappelli (1908-1997)
Stephane Grappelli was a jazz violinist and jazz pianist. He is most famous for co-founding the Quintet of the Hot Club of France with Django Reinhardt in 1934. The quintet made hundreds of recordings together from 1934 until 1939. They disbanded during the war and got together after the war. They played together until Django Reinhardt’s untimely death in 1953. After Reinhardt’s death Grappelli continued to play. Starting in the 1970s people became interested in his music again, and Grappelli toured the world several times from then on until his death in 1997. Throughout his career, Grappelli played with just about every important jazz and classical musician on the planet.
Bill Coleman (1904-1981)
Bill Coleman was a jazz trumpeter. He had a long career and as he got older his playing improved by leaps and bounds. Coleman played wth such jazz greats as: Benny Carter, Teddy Wilson, Billie Holiday, Lester Young, Coleman Hawkins, and Stephane Grappelli.
Here is a video clip of Stephane Grappelli and Bill Coleman playing the jazz standard “After You’ve Gone”. Listen to the wonderful interplay between the trumpet and violin throughout the session and the wonderful swing feel of the ensemble. Enjoy!