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Findlay in Blue - Piano Music of Gershwin, Gottschalk & Gould / Findlay Cockrell

Gershwin / Gottschalk / Cockrell
Release Date: 05/14/2013 
Label:  Albany Records   Catalog #: 1414  
Composer:  George GershwinLouis Moreau GottschalkMorton Gould
Performer:  Findlay Cockrell
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
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Notes and Editorial Reviews

GERSHWIN Three Preludes. Sleepless Night. Merry Andrew. Novelette in Fourths. Jasbo Brown Blues. “ Summertime.” “I Got Plenty o’Nuttin’.” Three Etudes. GOTTSCHALK Souvenir de Porto Rico. Berceuse. Manchega. Le Banjo. GOULD Blues. Pavanne. Boogie Woogie Etude Findlay Cockrell (pn) ALBANY 1414 (54: 41)



Artur Read more Rubinstein reportedly liked to refer to himself as the happiest man he had ever met. I suspect that if Rubinstein had run into his fellow pianist Findlay Cockrell, he might have given some serious thought to revising his aphorism. Cockrell, whom I had the pleasure of meeting in person, is indeed a happy man, someone who lives to perform and communicate through music, and his optimism, enthusiasm, and vitality shine in this new recording, featuring short works by George Gershwin, Louis Moreau Gottschalk, and Morton Gould. To cut right to the chase, Cockrell’s imaginative recital provides nearly an hour of pure fun, and while it is true that none of the featured music leaves much of an aftertaste, I doubt that anyone who hears it will care. Put differently, Cockrell’s recital is all about enjoying the moment and being inspired by it.


There are several reasons why the recital holds together remarkably well. First, it is cleverly organized: Although Gershwin receives top billing, the album features three composers and works that are presented in groups of three. Second, Cockrell keeps things interesting by mixing works that are relatively well known (e.g., Gershwin’s preludes, Gottschalk’s Souvenir de Porto Rico , or Gould’s Boogie-Woogie Etude ) with works that are rarely heard in the concert hall or on record. Third, the spirit of jazz permeates the entire performance, including the Gottschalk works that were heavily influenced by Creole music. Finally, Cockrell supplies consistently fresh and technically astute performances throughout. Although he is not a jazz pianist, Cockrell’s nimble pianism and intuitive music-making fit this repertoire like a glove. It is true that there have been pianists who occasionally bring more light-heartedness and élan to some of the featured repertoire—for instance, I will never forget how stupendously the young Benjamin Grosvenor played the Boogie-Woogie Etude in his New York debut—but, at the end of the day, Cockrell’s seasoned artistry is hard to resist.


The quality of the sound engineering is very fine. The album was recorded on two different concert instruments during recording sessions separated by nearly eight years, but, at least to my ears, the sound is consistent, warm, and transparent.


A terrific recording, which I enjoyed a great deal.


FANFARE: Radu A. Lelutiu
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Works on This Recording

1.
Sleepless Night "Melody no 17" by George Gershwin
Performer:  Findlay Cockrell (Piano)
2.
Preludes (3) for Piano by George Gershwin
Performer:  Findlay Cockrell (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1926; USA 
3.
Porgy and Bess: Jasbo Brown Blues by George Gershwin
Performer:  Findlay Cockrell (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1935; USA 
4.
Novelette in fourths by George Gershwin
Performer:  Findlay Cockrell (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: USA 
5.
Merry Andrew by George Gershwin
Performer:  Findlay Cockrell (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1928; New York, USA 
6.
Show Girl: Liza "All the clouds'll roll away" by George Gershwin
Performer:  Findlay Cockrell (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1929; USA 
7.
Porgy and Bess: Summertime by George Gershwin
Performer:  Findlay Cockrell (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1935; USA 
8.
Porgy and Bess: I got plenty o' nuttin' by George Gershwin
Performer:  Findlay Cockrell (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1935; USA 
9.
Lady, be Good: Fascinating rhythm by George Gershwin
Performer:  Findlay Cockrell (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1924; USA 
10.
Girl Crazy: Embraceable you by George Gershwin
Performer:  Findlay Cockrell (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1930; USA 
11.
Souvenir de Porto Rico, RO 250/Op. 31 "Marche de Gibaros" by Louis Moreau Gottschalk
Performer:  Findlay Cockrell (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1857; Antilles 
12.
Manchega, RO 143/Op. 38 by Louis Moreau Gottschalk
Performer:  Findlay Cockrell (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1851-1856 
13.
Le banjo, Op. 15/RO 22 by Louis Moreau Gottschalk
Performer:  Findlay Cockrell (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1854-1855; USA 
14.
Berceuse for Piano, RO 27/Op. 47 by Louis Moreau Gottschalk
Performer:  Findlay Cockrell (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1860; Antilles 
15.
Pavanne by Morton Gould
Performer:  Findlay Cockrell (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1938; USA 
16.
Interplay: Blues by Morton Gould
Performer:  Findlay Cockrell (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1943; USA 
17.
Boogie Woogie Etude by Morton Gould
Performer:  Findlay Cockrell (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1943; USA 

Customer Reviews

Average Customer Review:  1 Customer Review )
 Do CDs Wear Out?? June 6, 2013 By S. Phillips (Minneapolis, MN) See All My Reviews "This is one of the happiest CDs I've ever bought! Composers and selections make this one a real prize. From smooth and romantic to bouncing-in-my-chair tempi, each belongs. Excellent liner notes add to the sense of history covering the people and compositions. Many thanks for yet another gem to overstuff my shelves!" Report Abuse
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