Thank you to those who donated to Piano Society in 2017.

Joplin - the most recognisable rags

Discussion in 'Submission Room' started by wiser_guy, Jan 4, 2010.

  1. wiser_guy

    wiser_guy Member Piano Society Artist Trusted Member

    Joined:
    Sep 25, 2008
    Messages:
    366
    Likes Received:
    0
    Gender:
    Male
    Occupation:
    System Software Engineer
    Location:
    Athens, Greece
    Last Name:
    Assimakopoulos
    First Name:
    Pantelis
    I know these two are exhaustively played by pianists but still they are beautiful pieces. Besides, I have almost offensively ignored them all this time playing other Joplin rags and I felt this could not go on.

    The "Maple Leaf Rag" was the first piano piece to sell over a million copies. It was named after the Maple Leaf Club where (as it was rumoured) the composer presented it to publisher John Stark. It was this rag that led to Joplin's reputation as "king of ragtime" and to significant income for him and his publisher.

    "The Entertainer" was not really popular during its time. It owes its fame to the movie "The Sting" which made it an instant success and perhaps the most recognisable ragtime piece.

    Enjoy the music.

    Joplin - The Entertainer ( 04:47 )
    Joplin - Maple Leaf Rag ( 03:03 )
     
  2. techneut

    techneut Active Member Piano Society Artist

    Joined:
    Jun 12, 2006
    Messages:
    9,927
    Likes Received:
    2
    Location:
    Netherlands
    Last Name:
    Breemer
    First Name:
    Chris
    Again, sorry for removing the attachments without providing the URL's. I should have my script do that automagically.

    Benchmark performances as always. I must admit the Entertainer annoys me, and I almost resent The Sting for making this piece so ridiculously popular. But you make the most of it.

    The Maple Leaf is good too, I just do not understand why you all but ignore the rest at the end of bar 6. It sounds strange, like a limp. Apart from that I have nothing to criticize, though it seems your piano sounds a bit sharper than usual.

    I will update the site tonight.
     
  3. techneut

    techneut Active Member Piano Society Artist

    Joined:
    Jun 12, 2006
    Messages:
    9,927
    Likes Received:
    2
    Location:
    Netherlands
    Last Name:
    Breemer
    First Name:
    Chris
    These are up.
     
  4. Nicole

    Nicole New Member

    Joined:
    Aug 30, 2006
    Messages:
    167
    Likes Received:
    0
    Occupation:
    Piano Teacher
    Location:
    Canada
    Home Page:
    Last Name:
    Muller
    First Name:
    Nichole
    Hi there
    I initially put these two new ragtime pieces on as happy background music to my morning coffee and reading of the local newspaper. Instead, I found myself unable to read, distracted by really very interesting and well thought-out playing. Tasteful hints of inobtrusive rubato (in The Entertainer) and intriguing dynamics everywhere within the pieces give incredible personality and charm to both of these. Very well done!!!
     
  5. RSPIll

    RSPIll New Member

    Joined:
    Nov 10, 2009
    Messages:
    536
    Likes Received:
    0
    Occupation:
    Church Musician, Choral Accompanist, Musical Theat
    Location:
    Illinois
    The "Maple Leaf" and "Original Rag" were the only two published that begin with the "Honky-Tonk" rhythm figuration (which as I think about it has the same roots as the "Montuno" rhythm used in Latin American Salsa music.) The publisher of "Original Rag" turned down "Maple Leaf" (I bet he could have kicked himself a few times.) After that, the first themes are more melodically conceived.

    I enjoyed your tempo. But be careful with the L.H. "march" rhythm. It is important that the beats and metric accents are precisely placed so that the syncopated R.H. can play off of it. The slur from the last half beat of meas. 1 into 2 and meas. 3 into 4 slightly displaces the metric accent with an agogic accent on the off beat, this in turn causing a little confusion in the syncopated sound.

    The heavy slur from meas. 4 to 5 and 5 to 6 is more pronounced and also is causing a slight anticipation of the downbeats of 5 and 6. And the downbeat of meas. 7 is anticipated by nearly a 16th note.

    Sorry to be so nit-picky, but this is important music in the devlopment of American Music. And, of course "Maple Leaf" is so iconic (though least representative of Joplin's output).

    Scott
     
  6. wiser_guy

    wiser_guy Member Piano Society Artist Trusted Member

    Joined:
    Sep 25, 2008
    Messages:
    366
    Likes Received:
    0
    Gender:
    Male
    Occupation:
    System Software Engineer
    Location:
    Athens, Greece
    Last Name:
    Assimakopoulos
    First Name:
    Pantelis
    Chris, thanks for listening and putting these up.
    Personally, I like the Entertainer. What I don't like is when nearly everyone play their own version of it or their own arrangement with arguable embellishments or modifications thrown in and parts left out. I suspect this has contributed much to an aversion to it.

    Nicole, thank you for listening. Your comments really made my day. Ragtime is supposed to be enjoyable above everything else. I am so glad when some of the excitement I get from playing these pieces passes on to the listener.

    Scott, thanks for your comments. You troubled me with those details, I'll have to sit down and listen carefully over them. I admit though that I have focused attention to general feel rather than to fine texture. But then again, details make things special.
    The anticipation of the downbeat of measure 7 is intentional. It is supposed to sound as a limp to alert the listener to follow the upcoming wide arpeggio with extra attention where the rhythm columns are restored little be little. This "disturbance" helps to more rhythmic feel. Of course it's different from the score and since Chris also complained about it, I'll have to reconsider myself.
     
  7. RSPIll

    RSPIll New Member

    Joined:
    Nov 10, 2009
    Messages:
    536
    Likes Received:
    0
    Occupation:
    Church Musician, Choral Accompanist, Musical Theat
    Location:
    Illinois
    What you might consider for the interpretation that you desire is:

    1). If you want the anticipation, make sure that it holds through the first 16th of measure 8, thus delaying the start of the arpeggios.

    2.) Actually delay the downbeat of measure 8, start the arpeggios a little slower and use an accelerando through to the downbeat of measure 10.

    In addition, you might consider first playing it straight, then adding the different interpretation and the repeat, further reinterpreting the section on its return.

    As far as the 2 note slurs towards the beginning, they may be more convincing if it also occured on the initial Eb - Ab (you'll of course need careful pedalling there). This would give enough weight to the beginning of the phrase to balance the weight in the middle. Again, you might consider doing it first straight and then re-interpreting on the repeat.

    One other thing to consider is the Trio. Because of the fuller writing (full chords vs. octaves and other intervals) everyone wants to play it full out. But if we consider the nature of the trio section since half of forever, it is generally softer and lighter. Consider, at least the first time through playing it piano.

    Just an aside about the Trio -- only twice did Joplin specifically indicate "Trio" - this one and "Paragon" from ten years later in 1909. In the latter he does specifically indicate "piano". In "Maple Leaf", after having indicated dynamics rather specifically through the first 3 sections, it seems a little strange that he did not in the "Trio", unless he actually used the term "Trio" to indicate his intent. Just a thought.

    Scott
     
  8. hyenal

    hyenal New Member Piano Society Artist

    Joined:
    Nov 22, 2007
    Messages:
    844
    Likes Received:
    0
    Occupation:
    Ph.D student
    Location:
    Germany
    Last Name:
    Lee
    First Name:
    Hye-Jin
    You're right. It's my first time to hear the original Entertainer :shock: But this experience is very pleasant! I'd like to repeat one of Nicole's descriptions "well thought-out". Thanks for sharing :D
     

Share This Page