Andrei Strizek

Music | Musings

Filtering by Tag: solo piano

Grainger on Grieg and Gershwin

By Central News Photo Service, via Wikimedia Commons

"'The Man I Love' is one of the great songs of all time, taking its place in immortality beside the finest love-songs by Dowland, Schubert, Schumann, Brahms, Grieg, Tchaikovsky, Gabriel Fauré, Henri du Parc, Hatton, Maude Valerie White, Cyril Scott, Roger Quilter, Debussy and John Alden Carpenter.

... Such similarities (to Grieg) amounts to almost identicalness! But none of this detracts from Gershwin's immense and indisputable originality. It only shows what a life-giving inspiration Grieg's startling innovations provided for almost all truly progressive composers that cam after him: Debussy, Ravel, Delius, Cyril Scot, Albeniz, Stravinsky, MacDowell, Gershwin. And it goes to prove how deeply Gershwin's genius (whatever inspiration it also drew from popular and local sources) was rooted in the traditions of classical cosmopolitan music. So much of Gershwin's unique and subtle greatness lies in his humanistic universalism - in his effortless ability to reconcile hitherto unreconciled contrasts and seemingly opposing tendencies."

-Percy Aldridge Grainger, June 22, 1994 (forward to his concert version of The Man I Love)

My Real Book Still Works

I'm proud to report that, even though it was a little dusty, my Real Book still functions properly. I won't go so far as to say it's aged like a fine wine - the missing table of contents and back pages would say otherwise - but it's still functional. I got it at Birch Creek Jazz Camp when I was in 11th grade (and somehow I've acquired both a Bb and bass clef version over the years, in what will probably go down as one of life's great mysteries) and put it to a lot of good use, but I haven't had much reason to use it lately.

But I brought it out for I had a gig two weeks ago at Krannert Center with two fine singers. We played for a wine tasting, and centered our musical presentation around showtunes. I played some solo tunes, and one of those - clearly not a showtune - was Fleurette Africaine by Duke Ellington:

I hadn't played this piece in public in a very long time, probably since my busy gigging days of late high school and early college. I love it, and while my rendition isn't as great as Vijay Iyer's (that goes without saying), I'm still happy with it.

Thanks for watching and listening!

Powered by Squarespace. Background image by Andrei Strizek.