Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
|Scott Joplin, Mac Darden, Guido Nielsen|
Scott Joplin: The Complete Rags, Marches, Waltzes & Songs (1895-1914)
Genres: Jazz, Special Interest, Pop, Classical
Guido Nielsen's third ragtime CD features all of the great ragtime composer Scott Joplin's rags, marches, waltzes and songs on four discs! Stunning cover design by Chris Ware, it is bundled with two booklets and excellent ... more »
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Guido Nielsen's third ragtime CD features all of the great ragtime composer Scott Joplin's rags, marches, waltzes and songs on four discs! Stunning cover design by Chris Ware, it is bundled with two booklets and excellent liner notes
Treasure the liner notes, beware the CDs
John McWhorter | New York, New York United States | 03/19/2005
(3 out of 5 stars)
"I hate to say that Nielsen's playing is, while precise and clean, almost strangely unexpressive and unnuanced. He lacks a feel for the certain "catch" in syncopated rhythm that makes players like Max Morath and Dick Hyman such a joy to listen to. His versions are basically demonstrations of what is on the page played by a thoroughly competent pianist who nevertheless does not really "feel" this music, rather as if it were 1904 and he was a pianist at a music store on hand to play through anything you asked for so you could hear how it sounded.
To rip through SUGAR CANE as if it were CAROLINA SHOUT, for example, is to miss what Joplin meant with this piece. And overall, Nielsen seems to render what should be crisp staccato closing notes for phrases as full ones, which especially blunts the snap of stop-time sections in pieces like THE RAGTIME DANCE. Nielsen plays the same way on his Scott and Lamb recordings -- all of these sets are of reference value only.
But Galen Wilkes and Edward Berlin's liner notes are some of the best ever written anywhere for any recording. The text is scholarly in its richness of information, the photographs are invaluable, and Chris Ware's artwork is splendid. This set is worth it for the liner notes alone, including penetrating capsule treatments of each and every piece Joplin wrote and new news on his life and work from research over the past several years. I consider myself to have basically spent the money on a great BOOK, with accompanying CDs as a kind of demonstration bonus."
Guido Nielsen plays Scott Joplin Complete Works
JellyRoll WannaBe | Akron, OH USA | 12/25/2004
(3 out of 5 stars)
"I've always liked Ragtime music, usually heard only as brief movie background sound clips. That all changed around 1973 when I saw the blockbuster movie, The Sting, starring Paul Newman and Robert Redford. All the movie's music was Scott Joplin Ragtime Music played by Marvin Hamlisch.
I became then, and still am, a Ragtime Music devotee. For me, Ragtime can be uplifting, joyful, satisfying, and just fun to listen to. It may help fight Depression. I bought the Dover Publication Book of Joplin's Piano Music. And I learned to play a number of the best known pieces: The Entertainer, Maple Leaf Rag, Cascades, Sugar Cane, Elite Syncopations, and others. I don't claim to be anything other than a serious amateur, playing for my own enjoyment, and for house guests.
The movie soundtrack from The Sting, made Joplin's music widely known, and temporarily popular. Pianist Joshua Rifkin recorded three LP 33 1/3 records under the Nonesuch label of Joplin's music. Each of the CD's had 8 tracks totaling about 30 minutes of music. Sadly, these LP's and the corresponding CD's are out of print - no longer available. However, Nonesuch released a Joplin CD 7559-79159-2, with pianist Rifkin, 17 tracks, total time 71:15. This CD is currently available.
I bought Guido Nielsen's recordings of the Ragtime Piano Music of Joseph Lamb, and James Scott. I greatly enjoy these recordings. I obtained the sheet music for a number of the songs that I liked and I've had some success in actually playing the music. Nielsen is certainly a superb pianist.
To finally "get to the point" of all this. I bought the Joplin set of 4 CD's, performed by Nielsen, and I'm disappointed. It seems that Nielsen plays much of the music as if it's a "chore." I don't hear passion, enthusiasm, vitality. Perhaps he simply doesn't like Joplin's music. I'm sorry that I bought the set.
With all due respect to marvelous pianist Nielsen, I challenge anyone who takes issue with my comments to listen, really LISTEN, to Joplin's music as performed by Marvin Hamlisch and Joshua Rifkin. Then listen to Nielsen's recordings and form your own opinion.
JellyRoll WannaBe | 05/11/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Arguably the greatest ragtime cd ever released. Basta has set the standard (in my book) for all others to be measured by. Fantastic packaging including 4 compact discs with 2 substantial booklets of heavily detailed information on Joplin's life and music. Majestic and true, Nielsen plays on a full, in-tune grand piano, which means you won't hear any heavy reverb or digital piano harshness found on other recordings. Gone are the numerous trills and improvised passages at speeds not befitting the orignal score. Also missing are the arm garters and straw boater undermining Joplin's music and influence. With all due respect to Rifkin, Zimmerman, Arpin etc., this release is without equal. Filled with extraodinary music, liner notes, photos and artwork by Chris Ware, it is an amazing achievement."