Dave Rytell's Home Page - davidrytell.com

A collection of web links and some other stuff ....

music room...

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Keith Jarrett - April 14, 1987 - Tokyo, Japan

The Dave Brubeck Quartet plays Take Five. It was first recorded in 1959 (this recording was made in 1961). Take Five remains one of the most famed of all jazz tunes. Paul Desmond penned the theme based on a gentle 5/4 meter. Joe Morello's drum solos during some performances are notable for their experiments with polymeter, though this performance doesn't represent a best example. Desmond reportedly left rights and royalties to the composition to the American Red Cross when he died in 1977 which has generated about $100,000 in royalties each year since. Dave Brubeck piano, Paul Desmond sax, Joe Morello drums, Gene Wright bass.

These Boots Are Made for Walkin' 1966 - featuring Nancy Sinatra. This song was written by Lee Hazlewood for Nancy and has become a definative example of pop music and culture of the sixties. Chuck Berghofer provides the memorable baseline. Apparently, Hazlewood asked Sinatra to sing the song as if she were a sixteen-year-old brushing-off a forty-year-old man. It seems that the music video was around well before MTV.

Anderson and Roe are two very talented young piano artists. I love them and some of their arrangements and performances are close to brilliant. They enjoy making YouTube videos of performances that make use of interesting and unconventional techniques. This video shows a nice, yet conservative by their standards, performance of Mozart's Sonata for Two Pianos. Note the unique use of camera tricks that show the other player's hands in the piano's reflection behind the keys. If you watch their Libertango performance on YouTube you may wonder if they are romantic partners, but it's all part of the show as Greg is gay. I highly recommend their CDs. See andersonroe.net.

Vladmir Horowitz was/is a piano legend. This is a performance of his arrangement of an excerpt from the opera Carmen. He enjoyed making these arrangements and he made many of them. One of the best was his arrangement of the Stars and Stripes Forever, yet I haven't found a good Horowitz rendition out on the web yet. There is a transcription available, however, and you can find other pianists playing it if you are curious. Note Horowitz's hands tend to rest flat on the keys - a technique generally not considered "correct." At the same time his fingers were curved down toward the ends, so he was never really playing with flat hands. I've always liked this performance as he seems quite amazed with himself at the end.

People that know me, know that I believe John Williams is our greatest living composer - and without much doubt. He has received huge fame as a film composer and deservedly so, but few are familiar with his large body of innovative and unique concert works. Here's just a sample. This is an excerpt of "Soundings" his composition written for the opening of the Walt Disney Concert Hall in 2003 - a kind of composition he is known for writting (completely with pen and paper always) in the span of as little as one productive weekend. This great hall, designed by Frank Gehry, is one of the most remarkable and accustically interesting anywhere and contains within its ultra-modern architecture a huge, spectacular speaker system. Williams used this system to create a unique performance between orchestra and recorded sound, heard and recorded only once in this performance. Watch and listen to how the orchestra "speaks" to the hall, and the hall eerily "speaks back" (!) in ghostly pre-recorded segments from the same orchestra. This demonstrates Williams' imagination in bringing tangible "breath" into this great concert hall as it "hatches" into creation on its debut night. This idea recalls another famous Williams' musical conversation from "beyond." Remember Close Encounters? The opening chimes in Soundings are the chimes that will be used at at Walt Disney Hall intermission to summon people back to their seats. Williams was commissioned to write this chime music as well, so by incorporating it in this composition - the chimes also make their debut.

Jennifer Lin, age 14 at the time of this recording, shows an incredible gift for technique and improvisation.

The Prokofief Third Piano Concerto is one of my favorite piano compositions - especially for the third movement you can see here. This concerto demonstrates the wide range of possibilities of this instrument. There's amazing action and drama and the excitement that comes from the great technical challenge to the performer. This performance by Jeffrey Biegel has no particular significance to me, but it seems to be the best video available of the concerto that I could find. The instrumentation of this concerto is interesting - as it includes, for example, castanets. It was premiered in 1921. Turn your base up, as there is some great, powerful percussive sounds in this piece. Hang in for the end. Its the best part.

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