Piano Rags By Scott Joplin

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Hurrah! – a near-mint Nonesuch record for a quid! Admittedly, this isn’t one of the label’s more collectible or esoteric releases, in fact it’s probably one of their biggest sellers in the UK. Released in 1970, I guess this record must’ve played an important part in reviving interest in the Ragtime pianist and composer Scott Joplin. Tunes like “Maple Leaf Rag” soon became staple numbers in the repertoire of many professional pianist throughout the 1970s, and who could forget Les Dawson’s deliberately wonky attempts to play “The Entertainer”?

DSC02962Joplin’s music is performed by Joshua Rifkin (that’s him on the left) who also wrote the detailed sleeve notes – that’s the great thing about labels like Nonsuch – the rear sleeves are like Wikipedia pages, exhaustively researched facts and figures for the listener to gently absorb in tandem with the actual music.  Rifkin himself was something of a musical scholar,  his education included a stint as a student of Karlheinz Stockhausen, though he began playing Ragtime at the prococious age of 10!

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Published in: on December 7, 2009 at 1:27 pm  Comments (1)  
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  1. This was one of the first 3 records in my collection. A Xmas present from my parents it joined, as I remember, S&G’s Parsely album and the Fabs US Hard Day’s Night soundtrack. I played it endlessly as child still in single digits and, remarkably, still have it! Though I’ve lost my Volume 2–same sleeve, only with a yellow background.


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