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Anthony Goldstone and Caroline Clemmow: Gershwin/Ravel, Music for Piano Duo

review goldstone x1 cong

Anthony Goldstone died in January 2017 and in a review of one of his more “serious” collections, we lamented on lost talent. This new CD is more a cause for celebrating a life as he plays (with his wife Caroline Clemmow) some tunes that will bring a smile if not some tapping of toes.

The programme opens and closes with two very famous pieces, Gershwin’s Rhapsody In Blue getting things going and Ravel’s Bolero bringing the programme to an end.
Surprisingly (to us, anyway) “modern” George Gershwin was born just before the end of the 19th century but died young in 1937, the same year as “classical” Maurice Ravel, who was two decades older.

They did meet: in January 1928, Ravel was on a four-month tour of North America, and asked to meet Gershwin at a party for his (Ravel’s) 53rd birthday.
Gershwin played the Rhapsody In Blue, and Ravel was “astonished” at Gershwin’s playing and gift for weaving complicated rhythms. Gershwin later took Ravel to hear jazz played in Harlem.

Even casual fans of the classical will know both these tracks. Rhapsody combines classical music with jazz; Brian Wilson of The Beach Boys has said it influenced Smile, and songs such as Good Vibrations. It was also used in the 2013 film The Great Gatsby.
Boléro is reportedly the most performed piece of classical music — allegedly it is performed somewhere in the world every 15 minutes — and is even more famous thanks to the film 10 and Torville and Dean.

In between these two tracks are a number of other similar pieces of music, alternating between the two composers, all with a jazz influence. Pour yourself a glass of illegal hooch and pretend you’re in a speakeasy.

This was recorded at the Church of St John the Baptist, Alkborough, North Lincs, England, and is out on Divine Art: DDA25055.


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