Sunday, April 9, 2017

"Scott Joplin: The Complete Rags, Waltzes & Marches," William Appling, Piano, on 4 CDs

Scott Joplin: The Complete Rags, Waltzes & Marches
William Appling, Piano
(Cover Photo of William Appling by Nick Granito) 
William Appling Singers & Orchestra

Scott Joplin (c.1867-1917) is profiled at AfriClassical.com, which features a Bibliography and comprehensive Works List by Dr. Dominique-René de Lerma, http://www.CasaMusicaledeLerma.com. 

This 4-CD release was issued on April 1, 2017, the Centennial of the death of Scott Joplin.  Seven tracks on this recording were previously released on Albany Records TROY1163.  The opening liner notes are by Debra Lew Harder, D.M.A., M.D.  She writes: "William Appling was born in Cleveland, Ohio and lived there during the years of George Szell's tenure as Music Director of The Cleveland Orchestra.  As a gifted young musician, he thrived on the culture's outstanding musical opportunities and educational offerings.  He studied piano with Elizabeth Lambright, Francis Bolton Kortheur, Egbert Fischer and Leonard Shure; he earned his B.A. and M.A. degrees at Western Reserve University.  He was honored with the National Association of Negro Musicians' First Prize in Piano and awarded The Cleveland Orchestra's first Kulas Fellow in Choral Conducting.

For over fifty years William Appling's eclectic career as conductor, pianist and educator directly affected the lives and careers of thousands of students, many composers and music lovers.  His teaching career began at Cleveland's Glenville High School where his choir accepted invitations to sing at the Hollywood Bowl, the New York World's Fair, and at Ohio Educators' Conferences.  Shortly after, while he was Director of the Case Men's Granito)Club and teaching piano at the Cleveland Institute of Music, he gave his debut piano recital at New York's Town Hall followed by performances at the Brooklyn Museum and Severance Hall. 

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In 1979 William Appling founded William Appling Singers & Orchestra (WASO), a professional ensemble that appeared in concert at venues including Severance Hall, Cleveland Museum of Art, Blossom Music Festival, Alice Tully Hall, Philadelphia Museum of Art and Bard Music Festival.

Our previous recordings of the Ragtime music of Scott Joplin focus on a limited sampling of Joplin's compositions.  Listening to the four discs in this set has been refreshing, largely because most of the pieces are new to us, but also as a result of the distinctive approach taken by the pianist, William Appling.

DISC ONE
 1 Sugar Cane 4:14
 2 Pleasant Moments 4:12
 3 Country Club 5:21
 4 The Ragtime Dance
 5 Gladiolus Rag 5:19
 6 Combination March 4:09
 7 The Cascades 4:05
 8 Bethena 7:44
 9 Great Crush Collision 6:04
10 Leola 4:32
11. Scott Joplin's New Rag 3:51

DISC TWO
 1 Maple Leaf Rag 4:06
 2 Binks' Waltz 5:45
 3 Paragon Rag 4:46
 4 Reflection Rag 6:37
 5 The Easy Winners 4:22
 6 Eugenia 6:22
 7 A Breeze from Alabama 5:34
 8 Harmony Club Waltz 6:38
 9 Original Rags 6:37
10 Cleopha 4:40
11 Antoinette 3:18
12 Euphonic Sounds 4:42

DISC THREE
 1 School of Ragtime 2:10
 2 Elite Syncopations 4:58
 3 Peacherine Rag 4:27
 4 Searchlight Rag 5:33
 5 March Majestic 3:27
 6 The Chryanthemum 5:58
 7 The Strenuous Life 4:45
 8 Nonpareil (None to Equal) 5:10
 9 Prelude to The Sycamore 0:38
10 The Sycamore 4:23

DISC FOUR
 1 Wall Street Rag 6:16
 2 The Favorite 5:11
 3 Rose Leaf Rag 5:23
 4 Palm Leaf Rag 4:25
 5 Rosebud 3:23
 6 Silver Swan Rag 5:21
 7 Weeping Willow 4:38
 8 Fig Leaf 5:19
 9 Stoptime Rag 3:54
10 Magnetic Rag 6:33
11 Solace 6:58       

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