Richard Rodgers

COMMAND PERFORMANCE

RICHARD RODGERS – COMMAND PERFORMANCE

Tracks

  1. The Girl Friend
  2. The Blue Room
  3. Mountain Greenery
  4. What’s the Use of Talking
  5. Where’s That Rainbow
  6. Selections from the stage musical Peggy-Ann
  7. My Heart Stood Still
  8. Selections from the stage musical Spring Is Here
  9. No Bottom
  10. Roll, Mississippi
  11. Soon
  12. Pablo, You Are My Heart
  13. Down by the River
  14. The Steely Glint in My Eye
  15. The Notorious Colonel Blake
  16. It’s Easy to Remember
  17. Introduction
  18. A Little of You on Toast
  19. Falling in Love With Love
  20. My Heart Stood Still
  21. A Wonderful Guy
  22. Waltz for a Ball
  23. Rodgers Talks About Hart and Hammerstein

This CD amounts to a thrilling archaeological dig. Even Ted Chapin, President of The Rodgers & Hammerstein Organization, was shocked at the discovery. Chapin had no idea that in the 1920s the young turk Richard Rodgers, who was already reinventing American musical comedy, recorded a significant number of piano rolls showcasing Rodgers & Hart songs. All 14 are featured in RICHARD RODGERS: COMMAND PERFORMANCE, a release that Chapin praises as “impeccably produced and packaged. What a treat!”

Writing in the international Gramophone magazine, Donald Rosenberg observes that “the piano rolls shed new light on the composer’s enterprising language and melodic gifts….There are plenty of surprises to alter our perception of Rodgers’s creations. Tempi are generally fleet, rhythms buoyant and accents pronounced….This CD is an illuminating addition to Rodgers scholarship and a release musical theater mavens will treasure.”

In addition to the piano rolls, the CD features Rodgers’s demos from the 1934 film musical Mississippi (with the composer providing his only recorded vocals); a priceless 1937 radio appearance in which Rodgers is joined by Lorenz Hart, Don Ameche and Charlie McCarthy; and other rare recordings of the composer at the piano or conducting his music.

Annotators include Ken Bloom, William Bolcom, Michael Feinstein, Hugh Martin, Albert Petrak and Bill Rudman.

Other entries in the Harbinger Songwriters Series include Strouse and Adams’ All American Backers Audition, Hugh Martin: Hidden Treasures, and Noel Coward Sings Sail Away and Other Coward Rarities.

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