Joshua Rifkin

Biography

Born: April 22, 1944; NY  
Pianist, conductor, and musicologist Joshua Rifkin enjoys a status of high authority and expertise in four distinct genres -- Johann Sebastian Bach, the Beatles, sacred vocal music of the fifteenth through seventeenth centuries, and in piano ragtime of the early twentieth century. Rifkin's initial line of musical study was as a composer; he was a student of Vincent Persichetti at the Juilliard School, from which he earned a degree in 1964. He Read more also continued his education well after his career as a recording artist started, studying at New York University, the University of Göttingen, and at Princeton where he took a class under Milton Babbitt.

Rifkin first made an impact in 1965 when Elektra Records impresario Jac Holzman asked for help in realizing a crazy idea of his, an album of Beatles hits as restated in the musical style of Baroque composers. Witty and unique, the resulting Nonesuch album The Baroque Beatles Book swiftly became a best seller, featuring Rifkin's clever take on Beatles standards such as "Help!" and "Please Please Me," and it was widely imitated. In 1970, Rifkin began an extensive project of recording Scott Joplin's rags for Nonesuch that stretched into 1974 and resulted in three LP volumes. With the release of the hit movie The Sting featuring Joplin's music, theretofore mainly known to early jazz buffs, Rifkin's recordings of the piano originals were thrust into prominence and also became best sellers. So enormously popular were Rifkin's efforts on behalf of Joplin that for the rest of the 1970s his was a household name among classical music fans as well as a cross-section of popular music listeners. Rifkin ended the 1970s on a high note with Digital Ragtime, an album for EMI featuring the first digital recordings of ragtime piano music; it also proved very popular.

Despite the success Rifkin enjoyed as an interpreter of Joplin's piano rags, he did not lose sight of his strong interest and expertise in Baroque vocal music. In 1982, Rifkin recorded for his edition of Johann Sebastian Bach's B minor Mass for Nonesuch that proved a highly controversial sensation; it employs only one singer per part in the chorus rather than the sizeable choral forces that then proved the standard in modern performances of the work. Although Rifkin's proposal of this idea was contested in many quarters at the time, it has since been widely adapted among groups that perform Bach's music in period style. Rifkin has gone on to record several of Bach's cantatas, Haydn symphonies, and works of Antoine Busnois; in 2004 he published a scholarly monograph on the music of The Beatles. Read less

Biography

Born: April 22, 1944; NY  
Pianist, conductor, and musicologist Joshua Rifkin enjoys a status of high authority and expertise in four distinct genres -- Johann Sebastian Bach, the Beatles, sacred vocal music of the fifteenth through seventeenth centuries, and in piano ragtime of the early twentieth century. Rifkin's initial line of musical study was as a composer; he was a student of Vincent Persichetti at the Juilliard School, from which he earned a degree in 1964. He Read more
WORKS ALBUMS
TITLE/COMPOSER
LABEL
Handel: Organ Concerto No.3 in G minor, Op.4 No.3 HWV 291 - 1. Adagio
Handel: Organ Concerto No.3 in G minor, Op.4 No.3 HWV 291 - 2. Andante
Handel: Organ Concerto No.3 in G minor, Op.4 No.3 HWV 291 - 3. Allegro
Handel: Organ Concerto No.3 in G minor, Op.4 No.3 HWV 291 - 4. Adagio
1. Coro: "Herz und Mund und Tat und Leben"
2. Recitativo: "Gebenedeiter Mund!"
3. Aria: "Schäme dich, o Seele nicht"
4. Recitativo: "Verstockung kann Gewaltige verblenden"
5. Aria: "Bereite dir, Jesu"
6. Choral: "Wohl mir, dass ich Jesum habe"
7. Aria: "Hilf, Jesu, hilf"
8. Recitativo: "Der höchsten Allmacht Wunderhand"
9. Aria: "Ich will von Jesu Wundern singen"
10. Choral: "Jesus bleibet meine Freude"
Chor: "Ein feste Burg ist unser Gott"
Arie: "Mit unsrer Macht ist nichts getan"
Rezitativ: "Erwäge doch, Kind Gottes"
Arie: "Komm in mein Herzens Haus"
Choral: "Und wenn die Welt voll Teufel wär"
Rezitativ: "So stehe denn bei Christi blutgefärbter Fahne"
Duett: "Wie selig sind doch, die Gott im Munde tragen"
Choral: "Das Wort sie sollen lassen stahn"
1. Chorus: Liebester Gott, wann werd ich sterben
2. Aria: Was willst du dich, mein Geist entsetzen
3. Recit: Zwar fühlt mein schwaches Herz
4. Doch weichet, ihr tollen, vergeblichen Sorgen!
5. Recit: Behalte nur, o Welt, das Meine!
6. Chorale: Herrscher über Tod und Leben
Chor: "Wachet auf, ruft uns die Stimme"
Rezitativ: "Er kommt, er kommt, der Bräutigam kommt!"
Arie (Duett): "Wann kommst du, mein Heil?"
Choral: "Zion hört die Wächter singen"
Rezitativ: "So geh' herein zu mir"
Arie: "Mein Freund ist mein!"
Choral: "Gloria sei dir gesungen"
Aria: "Jauchzet Gott in allen Landen"
Recitativo: "Wir beten zu dem Tempel an"
Aria: "Höchster, Höchster mache deine Güte ferner alle Morgen neu"
Chorale: "Sei Lob und Preis mit Ehren"
Aria: "Alleluja"
1. Chorus: Jesu. der du meine Seele
2. Wir eilen mit schwachen, doch emsigen Schritten
3. Recit: Ach! ich bin ein Kind der Sünden
4. Aria: Das Blut, so meine Schuld durchstreicht
5. Recit: Die Wunden, Nägel, Kron und Grab
6. Aria: Nun du wirst mein Gewissen stillen
7. Chorale: Herr, ich glaube, hilf mir Schwachen
1. Allegro
2. Grave
3. Allegro


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
Already a subscriber? Sign In