Sep 3, 2011


" Not fast "

we all know ragtime as some somewhat "mechanic" music, often performed from rolls on bar pianos out of tune ...

Regardless whether the following examples of ragtimes are perfect regarding "original speed"   I post some astonishing  examples how ragtime can be heared as well ...

immagine a ragtime like this played on historic pianos this way - not hammered through without feeling.
Did you ever notice the quality as a ballade in a ragtime?

I by the way do not that care whether the scores indications regarding speed are respected perfectly as long as the music "feels good" ....
Same feeling I expressed when I wrote some words regarding "rubato" ...

Score - The Strenuous Life (Scott Joplin)
Did Joplin desire to express "strenuous" as a mechanically continuous flow of action with little modulation or did he desire to express something beside the pure score what I'd like to hope? Was this title written 1902  influenced by a speach of president Roosevelt from 1899? And what might be the real conclusion? It is a pity we do not have records left apart of some piano-player rolls, but better than nothing. So let's have pleasant moments with Joplin anyway.

And now back to the same person again, same piano, seeming less thoughtfull, played faster ...

feels more correct, known, but is a completely different sort of thing...

It is working on other ragtimes obviously as well:

I found a beautiful discussion regarding ragtime beween these both ... and have to state that speed is not all

43 Meyrick1 commented:  Bravo!
You have a unique style and you play like a true musician. I love your slight changes of pace. I think if ragtime is played to strict time, it might as well be played on a pianola.

The Saint Louis rag - Tom Turpin
Bösendorfer 1880 by Michael Szécsényi

I'd like to finish here with the quotation of a pianistic earthquake:
Bach Played Lewd by Brett Youen
Apart of the fact I like most his Solace really a remarcable piece that combines classic with modern times ...
Brett Youen contact

Find here some further scores of Scott Joplin in case of need ...

last not least my still rapidly growing playlist on youtube regarding "ragtime" in general ...

I'd be grateful for further posts or suggestions regarding "living" ragtime on real/historic instruments

outstanding one of his last performances until John Arpin (Toronto) died:
 embedding is not possible, so please click above.

please note the sublime rubato and the tender embellishments.
There are so few recordings left with Joohn Arpin, but I am grateful to know at least these.

Last, but not least: An interview
"Meeting Scott Joplin"

...a terriffic document fixing perfectly the spirit of the age ...

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