Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
American Beauties: The Rags of Joseph Lamb
Genres: Jazz, Special Interest, Classical
Joseph Lamb, a white musician who lived from 1887 to 1960, was considered one of the major ragtime composers of his era. By the end of his life, he had fallen into total obscurity, and even the ragtime revival hasn't made ... more »
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Joseph Lamb, a white musician who lived from 1887 to 1960, was considered one of the major ragtime composers of his era. By the end of his life, he had fallen into total obscurity, and even the ragtime revival hasn't made him a household name. His rags are different in style from Scott Joplin's, generally briefer and simpler in construction but still filled with lovely melodies and unaffected charm. The "American Beauty Rag," from which this disc takes its name, is only one of Lamb's many delicious miniatures (most of them under three minutes). Virginia Eskin has the style of this music down perfectly. She plays with just the right tempos (a trifle faster than would be appropriate for most of Joplin) and a lyrical sensitivity that doesn't prevent her from showing rhythmic drive. We're used to more than 49 minutes of music on most CDs, but 20 of Lamb's rags in a row are enough for one listening session. Don't give up before you reach the last one, though; "Nightingale Rag" is one of Lamb's best. A fascinating byway in American music is effectively explored and presented in realistic sound. --Leslie Gerber
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Joseph F. Lamb is generally thought of as one of the three greatest of the classical ragtime composers, the others being Scott Joplin and James Scott. It's a matter of taste, but many rank him almost as highly as Joplin, and this exquisite album shows why. Lamb's rags typically soar with wonderful, reverie-evoking melodies, unmatched in the ragtime canon. These melodies are offset by original, exciting, brisk passages. Virginia Eskin executes these gems wonderfully. She presents them always at the proper tempo and as written, without the filigrees that are so common in ragtime playing (Lamb doesn't need them!). The only drawback -- and it is a very minor one -- is that she sometimes treads a little too heavily on the pedal. This album is essential in even a small ragtime collection. In my large collection, it is one of my favorite and oft-played treasures."
Excellent Rags Played with Gusto
tzefirah | Media, PA United States | 08/04/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Up until Joseph Lamb, the only ragtime composer who could satisfy me was Scott Joplin. These rags are excellent and distinctly different from Joplin's, although both composers are obviously from the same genre. According to the liner notes, they even knew each other.The pianist has a great love of the material, and it shows in her playing.I highly recommend this CD to all fans of ragtime."
R. Van Der Kuijl | the netherlands | 07/31/2005
(4 out of 5 stars)
"its a good album but not very good
first of all in several rags virgina doesn't repeat where it says it must. second she plays several rags way to fast. Joe lamb was just like the others that ragtime must not be played fast the feeling get lost in the a rag that is played to fast like ragtime nightingale. I have the sheetmusic myself and it says "slow march tempo" not fast like virginia it plays.
but its a good album she plays with flair and style"