10-14a: Arcadelt Madrigals : Rooley 1987 - Bing Crosby & Louis Armstrong 1960 - Grieg Lyric Pieces / Gilels 1974

1568 – Jacob Arcadelt (Franco-Flemish composer & singer, active in Italy & France)
1669 – Antonio Cesti (Italian composer, singer & organist)
1771 – František Xaver Brixi (Czech composer, organist & music director)
1847 – William Michael Rooke (Irish violinist & composer)
1857 – Ignacy Marceli Komorowski (Polish composer, pianist, violinist, cellist & teacher)
1877 – Antoine Elwart (French composer, musicologist & writer on music)
1900 – Sándor Erkel (Hungarian composer & conductor)
1909 – Gottfred Matthison-Hansen (Danish organist, composer & teacher)
1919 – Jean Louis Nicodé (German composer, conductor, pianist & teacher of French ancestry)
1923 – George Whiting (American composer, organist & teacher)
1929 – Henri Berger (German composer & royal bandmaster of the Kingdom of Hawai'i)
1957 – Natanael Berg (Swedish composer)
1958 – Jean Poueigh (French music critic)
1966 – Arcady Dubensky [Аркадий Дубенский] (Russian-born American composer, violinist &pianist)
1972 – Joseph Kaminski (Polish-born Israeli violinist & composer, concertmaster of Israel Philharmonic)
1977 – Bing Crosby (American pop singer & actor)

1981 – Ingemar Liljefors (Swedish composer, pianist, writer on music & teacher)
1985 – Emil Gilels [Емі́ль Гі́лельс, Эми́ль Ги́лельс] (Ukrainian pianist & teacher)
1987 – Rodolfo Halffter (Spanish composer)

Well, crap. It's another one of THOSE days! It'll be in two separate posts again. In the second one, I'll be taking advantage of one of our best opportunities yet to commemorate the centennial of Gus Mahler's death. It's a very, very, very prominent Mahlerian in this case! As far as this first post goes, I'd urge you to check out that supplemental reading. It broaches on one of the most treasured enregistral contributions by one of the most celebrated pianists of the mid-to-late 20th century, Emil Gilels.

The reading also tells of Jacob (or Jacques) Arcadelt, one of the greatest Franco-Flemish composers of the generation who were born just after the turn of the 16th century, along with Clemens non Papa and Cipriano de Rore. I'd especially urge you to investigate the readings on Arcadelt since they feature some great singers, most notably Emma Kirkby, that heavenly voice that has contributed so much to historically-informed performances of Renaissance and Baroque music since the 1960s.

Finally, I'd like you to imagine something. Imagine Bing Crosby and Louis Armstrong on an album, together. They're singing and playing a lot of those old tunes from the New Orleans days, like "At the Jazz Band Ball" and Kid Ory's "Muskrat Ramble." Now, imagine they add some great bluesy numbers from the early swing period, such as Hoagy Carmichael's "Lazy River." Now imagine this: they also do that great gospel-tinged number "The Preacher" by hard bop master pianist & composer Horace Silver! Okay, you can stop imagining now. It's there in the extra reading, too!



  1. Got around to giving the Bing/Satchmo a listen, and boy does it rock! I mean, no, it doesn't *rock*, but it's just super. The two of them are superb together, Armstrong's voice and trumpet both sound stellar, as usual, and the arrangements are very clever. Listen to Bing's little chemistry lesson on "Sugar"... one of the funniest things I've heard in a while... well, aside from Eddie Cantor's Ed Wynn impression.

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