The Grainger suite:
The pop hit:
shepherd’s hey and and in an english country garden were the first songs i heard in elementary school- when music and art appreciation were taught in the schools seventy-five years ago
An Australian original and m eccentric of great gifts, excellent pianist, practically adopted by the Griegs. His recording of Grieg’s concerto yields pleasure and insight; his music for band is valuable; and solo piano records such as his lovely “A Ramble on Love” medley from “Der Rosenkavalier” is a delight of tone and ideas, earning his nick-name “the Rosenklavier.”
He probably loved his mother better than any boy since Oedipus, and painted the only full-length frontal nude self-portrait by a pianist-composer, so to speak out-stripping Berg, Schoenberg. Brendel. Fischer-Dieskau and other Sunday painters.
What other happy wanderer hiked and knapsacked overland to his concerts with a dress suit on his back?
Not to mention his fetish for self-flagellation and large collection of whips found after his death.
The version to hear is Leopold Stokowski’s, with Grainger filling in the few piano notes. Grainger wrote the arrangement for the recording Stokowski proposed (and made for RCA Victor) of Grainger favorites in new orchestrations. Grainger took the opportunity to thumb his nose at his own piece and the Stokowski recording is faster, funnier, and more knock-about and sophisticated (which itself is funny, given the simplicity of the tune).
Another visit for the restorative view of the gardens on a very hot day…
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