WGBH Radio WGBH Radio theclassicalstation.org
Welcome to ArkivMusic, the retail store for CLOFO!

Scott Joplin - The Complete Rags Marches & Waltzes / Albright

Joplin / Albright
Release Date: 02/09/2010 
Label:  Nimbus   Catalog #: 2546  
Composer:  Scott Joplin
Performer:  William Albright
Number of Discs: 3 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Low Stock: Currently 3 or fewer in stock. Usually ships in 24 hours, unless stock becomes depleted.  

Notes and Editorial Reviews



JOPLIN Complete Rags, Marches, Waltzes William Albright, (pn) NIMBUS 2546/8 (3 CDs: 211:40)


William Albright was a major figure in the ragtime revival, along with his friend and colleague in academia, William Bolcom. Together they recorded music of Joplin and James P. Johnson; separately, each composed and played many rags on his own, which they sent to the other for amusement and comment. These were recorded as well, though Albright’s album of his own rags is sadly no longer in print. It’s a pity, as he was Read more a fine pianist with a strong technique, and a fine sense of style. That technique and especially the style are on display in this fine set of Joplin’s rags, marches, and waltzes, recorded over a four-day period in 1989 for the defunct MusicMasters label.


No collection of Joplin, of course, can claim to be truly complete. Some rags almost certainly went unpublished, and it is believed others might have been published under pseudonyms. What we have are 49 works definitely by Joplin or composed by him in collaboration with others. They span The Crush Collision March of 1896 to the Magnetic Rag of 1914, his last composition before tertiary syphilis killed him. A third and separate category is formed of doubtful attributions, rags that would have been credited to Joplin at the height of his evanescent fame, much in the spirit that French and Dutch music publishers in the final quarter of the 18th century produced far more string quartets and symphonies by Haydn than Haydn ever wrote. None of these apocrypha are offered here, save one, a curious piece, the Silver Swan Rag , included on stylistic grounds. Discovered in 1970, and twice performed on piano rolls from the 1914–1915 period, it is credited to Joplin, but shows some notable flaws of compositional technique. Albright surmises in his liner notes that it was probably an early work, held back for years, but we’ll likely never know why Joplin would have chosen to record it, if he did, since other, finer works of his were at his fingertips.


Albright avoids an anachronistic, speed demon approach that would be more appropriate to latterday stride pianists such as James P. Johnson or Willie “The Lion” Smith. Nor does he break heavily in such pieces as The Entertainer or the beautiful Weeping Willow for nostalgia addicts. Rhythmically firm, he avoids sudden shifts of tempo, preferring to maintain a steady pace or subtly accelerate through the four strains of a standard rag. His dynamic palette is broad, though he applies variation sparingly once again. Clarity of touch does not preclude beauty of tone, as The Cascades shows. Albright takes obvious enjoyment in the music he is playing.


Potential buyers might want to note that this is not “purist” Joplin, though it is perhaps all the more authentic for not exactly following the published scores. Like an earlier Joplin enthusiast and performer, “Knocky” Parker, Albright sometimes improvises or alters—though always more tastefully than the erratic Parker, who devalued these works by sometimes coining his own additional melodic lines. Albright’s most frequent type of change is the double-dotting of the thematic content, something he applies for example to the B section of Easy Winners , instead of playing it straight as written. Elsewhere, he may perform chords off the beat instead of the written figurations on it, as in the B section of The Maple Leaf Rag ; or strum a figure before the introductory chords to the A section repeat, as in The Entertainer ; or vary the repeat of a few D section chords in a blues direction, as in Elite Syncopations . The results are a matter of brief, tasteful highlights, and typical of the way rags were lightly embellished (by all reports) during and after Joplin’s lifetime.


With good notes by Albright and fine sound, it’s great to see this recording rereleased by a major classical label. Hopefully, it will bring new attention to both the composer and pianist—and maybe lead to Albright’s performance of his own rags showing up once again. Strongly recommended.


FANFARE: Barry Brenesal
Read less

Works on This Recording

1.
Maple Leaf Rag by Scott Joplin
Performer:  William Albright (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1899; USA 
2.
Original Rags by Scott Joplin
Performer:  William Albright (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1899; USA 
3.
The Favorite by Scott Joplin
Performer:  William Albright (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1904; USA 
4.
The Easy Winners by Scott Joplin
Performer:  William Albright (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1901; USA 
5.
Peacherine Rag by Scott Joplin
Performer:  William Albright (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1901; USA 
6.
The Entertainer by Scott Joplin
Performer:  William Albright (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1902; USA 
7.
The Strenuous Life by Scott Joplin
Performer:  William Albright (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1903; USA 
8.
Elite Syncopations by Scott Joplin
Performer:  William Albright (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1902; USA 
9.
A Breeze from Alabama by Scott Joplin
Performer:  William Albright (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1901; USA 
10.
Palm Leaf Rag by Scott Joplin
Performer:  William Albright (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1903; USA 
11.
Weeping Willow by Scott Joplin
Performer:  William Albright (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1903; USA 
12.
The Cascades by Scott Joplin
Performer:  William Albright (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1904; USA 
13.
The Sycamore by Scott Joplin
Performer:  William Albright (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1904; USA 
14.
The Chrysanthemum by Scott Joplin
Performer:  William Albright (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1904; USA 
15.
Leola by Scott Joplin
Performer:  William Albright (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1905; USA 
16.
Eugenia by Scott Joplin
Performer:  William Albright (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1905; USA 
17.
The Ragtime Dance by Scott Joplin
Performer:  William Albright (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1899; USA 
18.
Nonpareil by Scott Joplin
Performer:  William Albright (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1907; USA 
19.
Reflection Rag by Scott Joplin
Performer:  William Albright (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1917; USA 
20.
Gladiolus Rag by Scott Joplin
Performer:  William Albright (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1907; USA 
21.
Searchlight Rag by Scott Joplin
Performer:  William Albright (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1907; USA 
22.
Rose Leaf Rag by Scott Joplin
Performer:  William Albright (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1907; USA 
23.
Pine Apple Rag by Scott Joplin
Performer:  William Albright (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1908; USA 
24.
Fig Leaf Rag by Scott Joplin
Performer:  William Albright (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1908; USA 
25.
Sugar Cane by Scott Joplin
Performer:  William Albright (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1908; USA 
26.
Country Club by Scott Joplin
Performer:  William Albright (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1909; USA 
27.
Paragon Rag by Scott Joplin
Performer:  William Albright (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1909; USA 
28.
Wall Street Rag by Scott Joplin
Performer:  William Albright (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1909; USA 
29.
Euphonic Sounds by Scott Joplin
Performer:  William Albright (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1909; USA 
30.
Solace by Scott Joplin
Performer:  William Albright (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1909; USA 
31.
Stoptime Rag by Scott Joplin
Performer:  William Albright (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1910; USA 
32.
Scott Joplin's New Rag by Scott Joplin
Performer:  William Albright (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1912; USA 
33.
Silver Swan Rag by Scott Joplin
Performer:  William Albright (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: by 1915; USA 
34.
Magnetic Rag by Scott Joplin
Performer:  William Albright (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1914; USA 
35.
Great Crush Collision by Scott Joplin
Performer:  William Albright (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1896; USA 
36.
Harmony Club Waltz by Scott Joplin
Performer:  William Albright (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1896; USA 
37.
Combination March by Scott Joplin
Performer:  William Albright (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1896; USA 
38.
Swipesy Cake-Walk by Scott Joplin
Performer:  William Albright (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1900; USA 
39.
Augustan Club Waltz by Scott Joplin
Performer:  William Albright (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1901; USA 
40.
Sunflower Slow Drag by Scott Joplin
Performer:  William Albright (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1901; USA 
41.
Cleopha by Scott Joplin
Performer:  William Albright (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1902; USA 
42.
March Majestic by Scott Joplin
Performer:  William Albright (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1902; USA 
43.
Something Doing by Scott Joplin
Performer:  William Albright (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1903; USA 
44.
Bethena by Scott Joplin
Performer:  William Albright (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1905; USA 
45.
Rosebud by Scott Joplin
Performer:  William Albright (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1905; USA 
46.
Bink's Waltz by Scott Joplin
Performer:  William Albright (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1905; USA 
47.
Antoinette by Scott Joplin
Performer:  William Albright (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1906; USA 
48.
Heliotrope Bouquet by Scott Joplin
Performer:  William Albright (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1907; USA 
49.
Lily Queen by Scott Joplin
Performer:  William Albright (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1907; USA 
50.
Pleasant Moments by Scott Joplin
Performer:  William Albright (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1909; USA 
51.
Felicity Rag by Scott Joplin
Performer:  William Albright (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1911; USA 
52.
Kismet Rag by Scott Joplin
Performer:  William Albright (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1913; USA 

Customer Reviews

Be the first to review this title
Review This Title