Howard's Day Off - January 28 2017

Jan 28, 2017


:01—Darius Milhaud (1892-1974): “Caramel Mou,” 1920, Ian Hobson, piano [Arabesque 6569].

:04—George Gershwin: Prelude No. 1, 1925, Michael Tilson Thomas, piano [Columbia 39699]. Gershwin wrote six preludes in the early Roaring Twenties and allowed three to be published.

:06—Aaron Copland (1900-1990): “Dance Symphony,” 1925, excerpt, Marin Alsop, Bournemouth Symphony [Naxos 559359]. Copland was writing syncopated music in the Roaring Twenties while still a student in Paris.

:11—Aaron Copland (1900-1990): “Organ Symphony,” 1924, middle move., Wayne Marshall, organ w/Andrew Litton, Dallas Symphony [Delos 3221]. This was the work that led the conductor Walter Damrosch to joke from the stage that a young man capable of it would in a few years be ready to commit murder.

:19—George Antheil (1900-1959): “Jazz Sonata,” Markus Becker, piano [CPO 77 109]. A furiously self-promoting young American in Paris, Antheil embraced jazz when he thought it would help his career, then, when it didn’t, said he hated it. By the 1940s he was writing music that sounded like Shostakovich.

:21—George Antheil (1900-1959): Symphony No. 4, 1942, scherzo, Theodore Huchar, Ukraine Nat’l Sym. [Naxos 559033].


:30—Paul Hindemith: “Ragtime,” 1922, Georg Friedrich Schenck, piano [Koch Schwann 310 007]. Finale of a suite that also includes a movement marked “shimmy.” In his twenties Hindemith was an early adopter of jazz formats but never tried to swing.

:32—Erik Satie: “Piccadilly,” 1905, Michel Plasson, Toulouse Capitol Orchestra [EMI 49471]. A rag in all but name, and written more than 15 years before Milhaud went this direction.

:34—Darius Milhaud: “La Creation du Monde,” 1923, Leonard Bernstein, French National Orchestra [EMI 47845]. This was the work that put Milhaud into history books. For decades Milhaud was credited as the jazz pioneer in classical circles, because he beat “Rhapsody in Blue” by a year. Milhaud liked and respected jazz but didn’t really get it, and mostly used jazz clichés.

:40—George Antheil (1900-1959): “A Jazz Symphony,” 1927, Markus Becker, piano, w/Eiji Oue, North German Radio Symphony [CPO 777 109]. Written in 1925. Indebted to Milhaud.

:49—George Antheil (1900-1959): “Ballet mecanique,” 1924, Jeffrey Fischer, University of Massachusetts Lowell Percussion Ensemble [EWF 020]. Premiered in Paris, a “scandal success.”

:51—Paul Hindemith (1895-1963): Kammermusik No. 1, first move., 1921, Riccardo Chailly and members of Concertgebouw, [London 433 816].

:53—Paul Hindemith (1895-1963): Kammermusik No. 1, finale, 1921, Riccardo Chailly and members of Concertgebouw, [London 433 816]. Used a siren three years before Antheil, and more amusingly, though the piece is usually performed today without it.

:55—Ferde Grofe (1892-1972): “Sweepers On the Set,” from “Hollywood Suite,” 1935, track 1, 2:59, William Stromberg, Bournemouth Symphony [Naxos 559017].


:01—George Antheil (1900-1959): “Little Shimmy,” Markus Becker, piano [CPO 77 109].

:03—Aaron Copland (1900-1990): Piano Concerto, 1928, second half, Lorin Hollander, piano w/Gerard Schwarz [Delos 3154]. Serge Koussevitsky commissioned this in 1925, telling Copland, if you write me a piano concerto you can play it yourself.

:13—George Gershwin (1898-1937): “Rhapsody in Blue,” original version, 1924, Lincoln Mayorga, piano w/Steven Richman, Harmonie Ensemble, New York [Harmonia mundi 907492]. One of the reeds on this date was nonagenarian Al Gallodoro, who played the premiere.


:30—George Gershwin (1898-1937): Concerto in F, finale, 1925, William Tritt w/Erich Kunzel, Cincinnati Jazz Orchestra [Telarc 80166].

:38—Leonard Bernstein (1918-1990): “Prelude, Fugue & Riffs,” Benny Goodman, clarinet, w/Leonard Bernstein, Columbia Jazz Ensemble [Columbia 60559].


:46—Richard Grayson: “Shoot the Piano Player,” 1995, Grayson, player piano/electronics [EWF 020].

:47—Ferde Grofe (1892-1972): “Production Number,” from “Hollywood Suite,” 1935,  William Stromberg, Bournemouth Symphony [Naxos 559017].

:50—Ingolf Dahl (1919-1970): Intermezzo from Music for Brass Instruments, 1944, New World Brass [Argo 444 459]. By the 1940s even composers who aren’t trying to write jazzy music are comfortable with syncopation.

:54—Darius Milhaud (1892-1974): “Scaramouche,” first move., 1937, Ian Hobson, piano [Arabesque 6569].