Rosenberg Trio – For Sephora

Rosenberg Trio

The Rosenberg  Trio is a “gypsy” jazz ensemble of two guitars and a double bass.  The Rosenberg Trio was founded in 1989.  It was inspired by the gypsy guitarist Django Reinhardt.  The musicians are Stocholo Rosenberg (guitar soloist), Nous’che Rosenberg (rhythm guitarist), and Nonnie Rosenberg (double bass player).

For Sephora is a latin flavoured tune with a lot of passion.  It is a very good tune to improvise on, and if played well it can sound exciting.

Here is a clip of the Rosenberg Trio playing For Sephora.



Horszowski – Chopin nocturne in Eb major & Etude in F minor

Mieczyslaw Horszowski (1892-1993)

Mieczyslaw Horszowski was a Polish-American pianist.  He had one of the longest performing and teaching careers in history.  As a pianist, Horszowski was known for producing an unforced, beautiful singing tone, and for his skill in balancing the intellectual and emotional qualities of the music he was playing.

His repertoire was very diverse and extensive.  It included composers as diverse as Honegger, d’Indy, Martinu, Stravinsky, Szymanowski, Villa-Lobos, and of course Chopin.

Mieczyslaw Horszowski was also a very respected teacher.  Anton Kuerti was one of Horszowski’s students.  Horszowski taught piano until a week before he died at the age of 100.

When Horszowski was 97 years old he gave a solo piano recital at Carnegie Hall.  Here is a clip of him playing a Chopin Nocturne and Etude from that Carnegie Hall recital.  Enjoy!


Duruflé: Quatre Motets

Maurice Duruflé

Maurice Duruflé (1902-1986)

Maurice Duruflé was a French composer and organist.  He didn’t write very many works.  Duruflé is most well known as a composer for his Requiem.  He was also a well known performer on the organ and toured internationally.

Duruflé’s four motets are based on gregorian chants taken from the Liber Usualis (a book of prayers, lessons, and chants for important  offices used in the Roman Catholic Church).  The motets are written in a modal style because the chants themselves were written in modes (these are old scales that were used in church music in the Middle Ages and Renaissance period and folk song long before major and minor scales and modern harmony existed in music).

Here is a recording of Maurice Duruflé’s four motets performed by the Laurens Collegium in Rotterdam.  The conductor is Wiecher Mandemaker.

Leonid Kogan – Paganini Sonata for Violin and Guitar, Op 2a

Nicolo Paganini (1782-1840)

Italian violinist, guitarist, and composer.  Paganini was famous as a violin virtuoso and a composer who helped expand violin technique through works such as the 24 Caprices and 6 violin concertos.  Paganini also composed close to a 100 duets for violin and guitar.  Sadly the duets for violin and guitar have been neglected because most people only know about the 24 Caprices for solo violin and the violin concertos of Paganini.  Paganini’s caprices and concertos were the only works of his published during his lifetime.

Leonid Kogan (1924-1982) was one of the great Soviet violinists of the 20th century.

Here is a recording of Leonid Kogan (violin) and Alexander Ivanov Kramskol (guitar) playing Paganini’s Sonata in A Major, op.2.  Listen how the violin melody cascades in between the guitar chords.  What a beautiful tone that Kogan produces on the violin!

I decided to post this piece because it is a Paganini piece that most people have not heard.  It is also very simple and beautiful.  This music also shows a different side of the composer and virtuoso.  It is not simply virtuosity for the sake of virtuosity, but real music.


Francesco Antonio Bonporti Cinque Concerti a Quatro Op.XI, I Virtuosi Italiani

Francesco Antonio Bonporti (1672-1749)

Bonporti was an Italian baroque composer.  Many of his works have been lost.  Bonporti himself published 12 sets of his works (most of these works were solo and trio sonatas).  His musical style was inspired by that of Arcangelo Corelli (a virtuoso violinist and composer whom Bonporti may have studied with).  Bonporti’s music is notable for its imaginative harmonies, unusual focus to melodic detail, and it is full of lively interplay between the instruments in fast movements.  Bonporti’s inventions for solo violin and continuo were a favourite of J.S. Bach.  Bach copied out at least four or them.  For a long time the pieces that Bach copied were thought to have been composed by him.  The latest musicological research shows that the four inventions found in Bach’s hand are actually by Francesco Antonio Bonporti.

The link on this post is a recording by an early music ensemble called I Virtuosi Italiani.  They are playing some concertos by Bonporti written for a quartet of string instruments with keyboard continuo.