THE STING

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dulcinea
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THE STING

Post by dulcinea » Wed Apr 19, 2017 4:25 pm

When I went with my family to watch Roy Hill's movie I was interested in the plot; I was not particularly concerned with the music. However, when the first notes of THE ENTERTAINER started, my hair stood up, my eyes popped out, and my blood ran up and down, and I and everybody else in the theatre started humming that gloriously catchy tune. That remained the case for the entirety of the movie, and by the end it was obvious that Joplin's music had helped THE STING to be a major hit.
How did you like the movie and its music when you first experienced them? And also a personal question: why did Hamlisch choose turn of the century rags to musicalize a crime story set in the 1930s? Wasn't that a little like using Baroque music for a Western?
Let every thing that has breath praise the Lord! Alleluya!

dulcinea
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Re: THE STING

Post by dulcinea » Sun Apr 23, 2017 12:25 pm

You have heard of Scott Joplin and ragtime, right?
Let every thing that has breath praise the Lord! Alleluya!

Wallingford
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Re: THE STING

Post by Wallingford » Tue May 16, 2017 10:41 am

Actually, as of late 1973 there was a big revival in general of Joplin's music--E. Power Biggs released two albums on Columbia in which he played Joplin's music on the pedal harpsichord (not really the best medium for this music), and pianists like Max Morath were busy plying their trade.

Gunther Schuller's arrangement of "The Entertainer" was a huge factor in its becoming a #1 pop hit.
If I could tell my mom and dad
That the things we never had
Never mattered we were always ok
Getting ready for Christmas day
--Paul Simon

John F
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Re: THE STING

Post by John F » Tue May 16, 2017 11:06 am

Never saw the movie. I've heard "The Entertainer" and other music by Joplin - it's pop music, nothing to do with Classical Music Chatterbox.

As for your "personal" question, this from Wikipedia's article about Joplin: "Jazz bands and recording artists such as Tommy Dorsey in 1936, Jelly Roll Morton in 1939 and J. Russell Robinson in 1947 released recordings of Joplin compositions."
John Francis

jserraglio
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Re: THE STING

Post by jserraglio » Tue May 16, 2017 2:23 pm

John F wrote:
Tue May 16, 2017 11:06 am
. . . music by Joplin - it's pop music, nothing to do with Classical Music Chatterbox.
In my view, Joplin's ragtime music very much belongs here, as does The Sting ST (arr. Gunther Schuller).








diegobueno
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Re: THE STING

Post by diegobueno » Thu May 18, 2017 8:18 am

Classical musicians are often the conservators of older styles of popular music, especially those that can be set down accurately on paper and played as written.

I remember chuckling when I saw a publication with the light green Edition Peters cover and the title "JOPLIN Ausgewählte Rags". I realized that somehow Scott Joplin had made it into the canon.

John F
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Re: THE STING

Post by John F » Thu May 18, 2017 9:48 am

Come on, guys. Scott Joplin's rags are pop music, as they were when he wrote them, and while their fans might like to promote them to the more prestigious category of classical music, no dice.That they are sometimes played and orchestrated by classical musicians doesn't signify, any more than that Beatles songs and Rogers & Hammerstein are sometimes sung by opera singers.

Ragtime rhythm, like jazz, did find its way into some classical compositions in the 20th century, such as Stravinsky's "L'histoire du soldat" and:


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ohnFQDtKXJc

And William Bolcom has composed several piano rags, as recently as 1970:


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-jftAt4mXFk

Like Bolcom's cabaret songs, these are artful in ways that the original pop music wasn'tand couldn't be, but I don't believe he'd call them classical music, or popular music either - in-between music, perhaps.
John Francis

jserraglio
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Re: THE STING

Post by jserraglio » Thu May 18, 2017 10:03 am

Presenting Scott Joplin performed by Josh Rifkin from the Nonesuch catalog, chock full of pop titles produced by Theresa Sterne.

Last edited by jserraglio on Thu May 18, 2017 10:05 pm, edited 1 time in total.

diegobueno
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Re: THE STING

Post by diegobueno » Thu May 18, 2017 12:11 pm

"in-between music" works for me. In any case, I am always drawn to those moments when the high and the low draw close to each other, when the lines are a little bit blurred even.

Joplin's Euphonic Sounds is a fine example of a popular musician stretching the boundaries of his style in subtle ways with sophisticated changes in texture and tonality. The stride bass, usually a constant in this kind of music, is often abandoned altogether in order to provide a more varied texture. The 2nd and 3rd strains are very Schubertian in their tonal peregrinations.

This rag is one of the reasons Bolcom became inspired to write the Graceful Ghost and his many other efforts in the ragtime genre.

I remember one day sitting in a classroom at Cornell, where professor Edward Murray was going to give a class on Schenkerian analysis. He walked into class, sat down at the piano and said "before I begin, here's one piece of music that everyone in this room needs to be familiar with" and he played the Graceful Ghost Rag. Only then did he get down to expounding upon prolongation and harmonic unfolding in Beethoven and Mozart.


Wallingford
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Re: THE STING

Post by Wallingford » Thu May 18, 2017 7:16 pm

Speaking as an ex-keyboardist, I distinctly recall, in my volumes of piano rags, that Joplin specifically wanted these works to be rendered in a classical manner, and that huge embellishments and liberties are a decided no-no. He wanted them to be treated as seriously as a Chopin piece.

Remember, too, that Joplin did pen an opera, Treemonisha.
If I could tell my mom and dad
That the things we never had
Never mattered we were always ok
Getting ready for Christmas day
--Paul Simon

jbuck919
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Re: THE STING

Post by jbuck919 » Thu May 18, 2017 8:07 pm

John F wrote:
Thu May 18, 2017 9:48 am
Come on, guys. Scott Joplin's rags are pop music, as they were when he wrote them, and while their fans might like to promote them to the more prestigious category of classical music, no dice.That they are sometimes played and orchestrated by classical musicians doesn't signify, any more than that Beatles songs and Rogers & Hammerstein are sometimes sung by opera singers.

Ragtime rhythm, like jazz, did find its way into some classical compositions in the 20th century, such as Stravinsky's "L'histoire du soldat" ....
A cakewalk is also a rag.



(If this is a true representation of a Debussy performance, he doesn't quite get it, does he?)

The intention of the composer is not necessarily the determinant of the outcome. "Something in between" is also about the best I can give to Joplin, and that is true also of Porgy and Bess, which in spite of the fact that I went to hell and back years ago on this site over the matter, I still consider more of a great Broadway musical than a classical opera, no matter what Gershwin's intentions, efforts, and ultimate achievement might have been. P.S. to Neill (Wallingford), other composers in the Great American Song Book such as Irving Berlin and Cole Porter, without claiming to be classical, also wanted "straight" interpretations of their songs, though they rarely got them.

There's nothing remarkable about it. All one has to do is hit the right keys at the right time and the instrument plays itself.
-- Johann Sebastian Bach

John F
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Re: THE STING

Post by John F » Thu May 18, 2017 8:38 pm

As jbuck919 says, how Joplin wanted his music played has no bearing on the kind of music it is. Besides, much classical piano music was usually performed with liberties and embellishments up to and including Joplin's time.

"Treemonisha," which frankly I don't think much of, doesn't prove that Joplin's other music is classical, any more than "Porgy and Bess" (undoubtedly an opera) and the piano concerto prove any such thing about "Oh, Kay!" and "Funny Face."

The cakewalk was a 19th century precursor of ragtime and was a form of African-American popular dance music. Debussy knew that; a gollywog was a black fictional character or doll.
John Francis

jserraglio
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Re: THE STING

Post by jserraglio » Thu May 18, 2017 9:33 pm

Whether Joplin's ragtime music is classical music is open to dispute, but contrary to what was stated earlier in this thread, his rags have everything to do with Classical Music Chatterbox.

Works of music may change over time. I think that Joplin's rags, whatever their origins, whatever their composer intended, may be considered legitimately classical now. But if the historicists would rather call them pop, so be it. Classical music's loss, pop's gain

More important than than the label put on them is that I am moved to listen again to the joyful Joshua Rifkin Nonesuch classical recordings that first brought Joplin to my attention.

jserraglio
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Re: THE STING

Post by jserraglio » Wed May 31, 2017 8:59 am

Joplin performed in a classical manner. Pieces pour clavecin with the distinguished harpsichordist, Elisabeth Chojnacka who died 5/28 at age 77.










dulcinea
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Re: THE STING

Post by dulcinea » Thu Jun 01, 2017 12:40 pm

Regarding Gershwin's sublime creation, I remember two performances on TV of SUMMERTIME, AND THE LIVING IS EASY; FISH ARE JUMPING, AND THE COTTON IS HIGH sung by a black soprano and a black tenor, and the audiences at both occassions, which were at least half black, went wild with enthusiasm.
Let every thing that has breath praise the Lord! Alleluya!

jbuck919
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Re: THE STING

Post by jbuck919 » Thu Jun 01, 2017 5:50 pm

dulcinea wrote:
Thu Jun 01, 2017 12:40 pm
Regarding Gershwin's sublime creation, I remember two performances on TV of SUMMERTIME, AND THE LIVING IS EASY; FISH ARE JUMPING, AND THE COTTON IS HIGH sung by a black soprano and a black tenor, and the audiences at both occassions, which were at least half black, went wild with enthusiasm.
\
I believe you mean "was," not "were," half black. Also, if I am not mistaken, "Summertime" is only sung by female characters in the opera, though I am not surprised if you heard it sung by a tenor.

There's nothing remarkable about it. All one has to do is hit the right keys at the right time and the instrument plays itself.
-- Johann Sebastian Bach

barney
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Re: THE STING

Post by barney » Fri Jun 02, 2017 7:57 am

John F wrote:
Thu May 18, 2017 9:48 am
Come on, guys. Scott Joplin's rags are pop music, as they were when he wrote them, and while their fans might like to promote them to the more prestigious category of classical music, no dice.That they are sometimes played and orchestrated by classical musicians doesn't signify, any more than that Beatles songs and Rogers & Hammerstein are sometimes sung by opera singers.

Ragtime rhythm, like jazz, did find its way into some classical compositions in the 20th century, such as Stravinsky's "L'histoire du soldat" and:


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ohnFQDtKXJc

And William Bolcom has composed several piano rags, as recently as 1970:


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-jftAt4mXFk

Like Bolcom's cabaret songs, these are artful in ways that the original pop music wasn'tand couldn't be, but I don't believe he'd call them classical music, or popular music either - in-between music, perhaps.
I like the way you characterise this music. I believe I heard the Stravinsky Ragtime before the Joplin; it is fascinatingly orchestrated. And the Soldier's Tale is an old favourite. So I must have been predisposed to like ragtime. When I did get to know the Joplin it was via Rivkin, like many people. Rivkin's performances seem to me very faithful.

barney
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Re: THE STING

Post by barney » Fri Jun 02, 2017 8:07 am

Jbuck, I am assuming the Debussy is a piano roll. I have several CDs of piano rolls, and they are often a bit "off". That one certainly is, as you suggest.

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