Ragtime Composition Notes

The Flowers

A || B || C || D || E || F || G || H || I || J || K || L || M
N || O || P || Q || R || S || T || U || V || W || X || Y || Z


Have a Nice Weekend (Buen Fin de Semana) (Ezequiel Pallejá, 1999). After a busy week, a thought that is always welcome. [Ezequiel Pallejá]

Heliotrope Bouquet (Louis Chauvin & Scott Joplin, 1907). Arguably one of the most beautiful ragtime pieces ever written, the first two strains of this rag are one of only three compositions (the other two are songs) still existing by a young musical genius from St. Louis, Missouri by the name of Louis Chauvin. It can only be considered a great tragedy that Chauvin died in 1908, of syphilis and excessive use of alcohol and opium, at the age of only 24 years.

Chauvin, reputedly a prolific composer, apparently never learned to write music. The only thing definite is that the original drafts of all three compositions were transcribed by the same hand, probably that of another ragtimer named Sam Patterson. While visiting Arthur Marshall in Sedalia, Missouri, in 1906, Scott Joplin found Chauvin playing around with a couple of beautiful themes which, in 1907, became the first two strains of "Heliotrope Bouquet". Joplin then added two more strains of his own to complete the piece. Despite the fact that these two, additional, strains are very well matched to the earlier ones, the differences in style are quite clear.

Hemlock Leaf Rag (Gilles Monfort, 2000). This rag was inspired by the first bar of a study by Czerny, which passed into Gilles' hands by chance. He played the first two chords, and inspired by them he wrote the main theme of "Hemlock Leaf Rag". He then wrote a more coventional second strain. The third strain brakes with the stride-like left hand, usually employed in ragtime, creating a mysterious and romantic atmosphere. Finally, the fourth strain borrows some ideas from an unpublished song fragment by Scott Joplin, which was recently re-discovered by Reginald R. Robinson (a photo showing a barely visible music score on the music rack of Scott Joplin's piano).

Hopes Alive! (Esperanzas vivas) (Ezequiel Pallejá, 1999). The emotional fuel required to brave new attempts. [Ezequiel Pallejá]

Hot Garbage (Hamish Davidson, 2001). Have you ever walked by a dumpster on a hot day? At first, you think, is that me? No... It couldn't be... Oh, it's coming from over there. This rag is written as a sequel to Benjamin Intartaglia's "That Rubbishy Rag". Benjamin writes some great stuff. With "Hot Garbage" I am trying to get your ears to 'hear' some funky smells, but every now and then I might give you a break. Let's say some sheila walks past, wearing some expensive *French* fragrance. [Hamish Davidson]

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Copyright © 1996 Oleg Mezjuev.
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