OnClassical | OC19122B | 2019

Joplin, S.: Rags, Marches, Waltzes & Other Pieces [3-album set]
Alessandro Simonetto, Piano

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Track list

Total duration: 68:59
Original audio @ 88.2 kHz * 24 bits


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It is difficult not to be won over by the rhythm and unmistakable thematic creativity of Scott Joplin's compositions. Born in 1867 or 68 (the exact date is not known), and gifted with a natural talent, Joplin began to play as a self-taught pianist in the wealthy homes at which his mother worked as a maid. Later, he took piano lessons and learned the craft as a composer, a fact that is evident in the beautiful balance we identify in his works. Before turning thirty, Joplin was already known in the saloons, particularly thanks to Maple Leaf Rag, a piece that marks the evolution of a genre, and that makes him known to the wide public as The King of Ragtime.
This set contains all of Joplins piano compositions: 42 Ragtimes (including the slightly syncopated "Cleopha" and "The School of Ragtime"), 5 Marches, 5 Waltzes, 1 Tango, 1 "Afro-American Intermezzo".
The compositions are ordered more or less chronologically, which helps the listener gather a sense of the composers evolution of both form and style. What emerges is a portrait of Joplin as a composer who is everything but monothematic. Quite the contrary: the many tunes found in his work for piano are rarely repetitive, and reveal the unlimited inspiration of a composer who is always ready to find new solutions and occasionally even experiment with new genres such as the foxtrot (the trio section from Peacherine Rag") and the blues (the trios of Wall Street Rag and Pine Apple Rag). Sometimes, Joplin even seems to borrow from the Classical Style (Euphonic Sounds) and the Romantic Style (the trio from Magnetic Rag, in which we might hear glimses of Chopin).
Collaborations with friends such as Arthur Marshall (Swipesy, Lily Queen), Scott Hayden (Sunflower Slow Drag, Something Doing, Felicity Rag, Kismet Rag), and Louis Chauvin (Heliotrope Bouquet) further enrich the creative material from which Joplin never declined to draw inspiration.
Some of the pieces, especially those written between 1906 and 1909, in which we find great clarity of writing and structure, can be considered masterpieces in the genre of ragtime for their quality, balance, and refinement.
The performance of polymath Alessandro Simonetto, neither predictable nor limited by philological notions, emphasizes the coloristic and rhythmic nature of the music. In it, we identify great attention to the nuances present in Joplins harmonic ideas and rhythmic patterns, so often commonly undermined and mistreated.
The recording, made in three different periods, was made on a Steinway D-274 that was selected by the legendary pianist Arturo Benedetti Michelangeli in 1968, now owned by the performer.

Rags, Marches, Waltzes & Other Pieces [3-album set]
Alessandro Simonetto, Piano

Prod. No.: 240 / 2019
Cat. No: OC19122B
UPC: 685071861547
No. Album(s): 3

Recorded @ Saletta acustica 'Eric James', Pove del Grappa, 2019

Sound engineer: Alessandro Simonetto
Photo/paint on cover: N/A
Artwork: OnClassical

Equipment used: Sennheiser mics.
Instrument(s) used: Steinway & Sohns D-274 piano, 'Ferrari-O'

An OnClassical prod., © 2019

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