WGBH Radio WGBH Radio theclassicalstation.org

Fluffy Ruffle Girls - Women in Ragtime / Virginia Eskin


Release Date: 05/18/1999 
Label:  Koch International Classics Catalog #: 7457   Spars Code: n/a 
Composer:  Marian I. DavisMay AufderheideGeraldine DobynsJulia Lee Niebergall,   ... 
Performer:  Virginia Eskin
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
In Stock: Usually ships in 24 hours.  

This CD is reissued by ArkivMusic.

Notes and Editorial Reviews

I was not very gallant to Virginia Eskin in Fanfare 22:3. In her rag collection Spring Beauties (Koch International 3-7440-2H1), I thought that her playing was brittle and technically not up to snuff. Fluffy Ruffle Girls, recorded in 1985—apparently this is a reissue—is an order of magnitude better. Eskin's playing is grandly brilliant when she wants it to be, and smoothly mellow when it's not. She draws a broad palette of colors out of her Bòsendorfer, a very beautiful instrument totally complementary to this repertoire. There still are awkward moments, but only a few.

This is a collection of rags by female composers; all but the two by Judith Lang Zaimont were written during the first two decades of this century.
Read more These were ragtime's palmiest days, and the genre was dominated by black men. Nevertheless, women were adding their voices to the chorus. They didn't get the recognition that the men did; if their works were published at all, sometimes they were published under male pseudonyms or just a set of initials. Their careers tended to end almost as soon as they began, given society's demands and the needs of wife- and motherhood. Finding these rags and bringing them back to us has been a labor of love for Eskin and musicologists of either gender.

There's nothing here that's second-rate. These composers could write rags just as well as Joseph Lamb did—practically as well as Scott Joplin! It is, however, unlikely that many of the composers could have foreseen that their works would have been included in an hour-long program of other rags, and it is not their fault if this is a CD that is best appreciated when it is sampled instead of played straight through. There's stylistic variety here, but after a while the law of diminishing returns kicks in anyway, and the ear and brain have difficulty swallowing any more rags. ("Block that metaphor!," as they say in The New Yorker.) Having said that, I draw your attention to Irene Giblin's infectious Chicken Chowder, whose tittering chromaticism will put you in a good mood, no matter what. (I'd ask for the recipe, but I am a vegetarian.) And I was mightily impressed by Zaimont's two rags, both written in 1975 during the ragtime renaissance. Both wear wistful smiles, especially Reflective Rag, which is an absolute gem. If a few classical radio stations started plugging this, they might have a genuine hit on their hands.

There are useful notes by Carolynn A. Lindeman, and the cover photo (a vintage shot of women gathering flowers) is beautiful.

– Raymond Tuttle, FANFARE [11/1999] Read less

Works on This Recording

1.
Fluffy ruffle girls Rag by Marian I. Davis
Performer:  Virginia Eskin (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1908; USA 
2.
Novelty Rag by May Aufderheide
Performer:  Virginia Eskin (Piano)
3.
A Totally Different Rag by May Aufderheide
Performer:  Virginia Eskin (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1910; USA 
4.
Possum Rag by Geraldine Dobyns
Performer:  Virginia Eskin (Piano)
5.
Richmond Rag by May Aufderheide
Performer:  Virginia Eskin (Piano)
6.
Horseshoe Rag by Julia Lee Niebergall
Performer:  Virginia Eskin (Piano)
7.
Eatin' Time by Irene Cozad
Performer:  Virginia Eskin (Piano)
8.
Reflective Rag by Judith Lang Zaimont
Performer:  Virginia Eskin (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1974-1975; USA 
9.
That Poker Rag by Charlotte Blake
Performer:  Virginia Eskin (Piano)
10.
Sleepy Lou by Irene Giblin
Performer:  Virginia Eskin (Piano)
11.
The Thriller! by May Aufderheide
Performer:  Virginia Eskin (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1909; USA 
12.
Dusty Rag by May Aufderheide
Performer:  Virginia Eskin (Piano)
13.
Red Rambler Rag by Julia Lee Niebergall
Performer:  Virginia Eskin (Piano)
14.
Black Feather Two Step by Irene Giblin
Performer:  Virginia Eskin (Piano)
15.
Red Peppers by Imogene Giles
Performer:  Virginia Eskin (Piano)
16.
Buzzer Rag by May Aufderheide
Performer:  Virginia Eskin (Piano)
17.
Piffle Rag by Gladys Yelvington
Performer:  Virginia Eskin (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1911; USA 
18.
Hoosier Rag by Julia Lee Niebergall
Performer:  Virginia Eskin (Piano)
19.
Dish Rag by Mary Baugh Watson
Performer:  Virginia Eskin (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1905; USA 
20.
Judy's Rag by Judith Lang Zaimont
Performer:  Virginia Eskin (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1974-1975; USA 
21.
Chicken Chowder by Irene Giblin
Performer:  Virginia Eskin (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1905; USA 
22.
That Tired Rag by Charlotte Blake
Performer:  Virginia Eskin (Piano)
23.
Pickles and Peppers by Adaline Shepherd
Performer:  Virginia Eskin (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1906; USA 

Customer Reviews

Be the first to review this title
Review This Title
Review This Title Share on Facebook




YOU MUST BE A SUBSCRIBER TO LISTEN TO ARKIVMUSIC STREAMING.
TRY IT NOW FOR FREE!
Sign up now for two weeks of free access to the world's best classical music collection. Keep listening for only $19.95/month - thousands of classical albums for the price of one! Learn more about ArkivMusic Streaming
Aleady a subscriber? Sign In