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4.6 out of 5 stars29
4.6 out of 5 stars
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Showing 1-3 of 3 reviews(4 star).Show all reviews
on January 1, 2004
This CD is a selection of pieces from three albums made by Rifkin over 25 years ago. These are probably Joplin's best pieces and Rifkin's playing is excellent. In several, the music and Rifkin's musicianship are simply wonderful. The defect of these recordings is that the sound quality is mediocre. A number of tracks are 'hissy.' This is not surprising as these albums were originally issued on the bargain Nonesuch label.
Joplin was clearly a tremendously talented individual with a unique voice. His relatively early death, from tertiary syphlis, may have deprived us of much excellent and distinctly American music.
A final comment on the Nonesuch label. Older listeners will recall Nonesuch as an excellent label. Run by people with adventurous and discriminating taste, Nonesuch issued a wide variety of modestly priced recordings including a lot of early music, non-western music, and contemporary serious music. These recordings often lacked the production qualities of higher end labels but the choice of music and artists was generally excellent. This set of Joplin recordings, which were probably Nonesuch's best-seller, is typical of Nonesuch offerings.
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on September 13, 2001
This album is a very good one indeed. And yes, it's true that no one plays Joplin's rags better then Joshua Rifkin.....except one. Her name, Ann Charters. Ann Charters successfully created and recorded the album "A Joplin Bouquet", in 1958 on a somewhat out of tune piano. A lot of people might think because the piano was twangy that it made the music sound bad. Actually, it really makes the music come more alive. Hearing her recording is like actually being transformed back to the days when Joplin was alive. In 1972, Ann Charters created a second album called "The Genius Of Scott Joplin", using the same piano and studio, but with the piano completely tuned. It didn't have the same nastolgic sound as her earlier recording, but it still held a great quality of sound. One of the songs she did was the Great Crush Collision. The way she plays it, sounds just like two trains coming down the track and colliding into each other. Another song she did was the Something Doing, in which she incorporated running bass passages in the left hand, just like Joplin had done on his piano roll. Another neat thing about Ann's recordings are that in A Joplin Bouquet, she played the Sycamore in Bb, Eb instead of G, C, which to me, personally sounds better. In fact, I compare her version of the Sycamore with her version of the Nonpareil (on her second album, The Genius Of Scott Joplin), and they sound almost the same in theme and key. Yes, indeed Joshua Rifkin and Ann Charters both played Joplin's music as he intended it to be played. But each one added their own touch to the music, making it unique to themselves. Rifkin is tough to beat, but I give the 5 star to Ann Charters. Incidently, I noticed that Ann's albums are not available on, but you can obtain a copy of the compiled album, The Genius Of Scott Joplin, which contains A Joplin Bouquet, The Genuis Of Scott Joplin, and other rags that Joplin wrote that she played at
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I am a great fan of Scott Joplin and I think this CD is a great ting to have in a Classical Music collection. I don't think that jousua rifkin played as well as on some other Scott Joplin CD's I've heard, but this one is well worth the price.
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