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#1830946 - 01/24/12 11:18 AM Warsaw Concerto
btb Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/21/04
Posts: 4264
Loc: Pretoria South Africa
Warsaw Concerto by Richard Addinsell

I’ve just stumbled across this work ... once referred to by Spike Milligan as “that bloody Warsaw Concerto” ... in it’s day it was heard daily ... 1941 movie about a brave Polish Pilot doing his thing for Britain in WWII ... but also no ham at the keyboard ... Anton Walbrook starred.

Walbrook was an accomplished amateur pianist,
so his hands are seen playing in the film,
although the music on the soundtrack is played by
the professional pianist Louis Kentner.

Kentner's involvement was initially uncredited,
as he thought that being seen to be playing film music would not help his career. He changed his mind on seeing the film's success.

Having just played and recorded my scratchy rendition of the Concerto I wondered if anyone out there might want to share an appreciation of this work.

As a boy I can remember listening in awe at the image of shrill sirens included in the latter part of the work by Addinsell ...
I’m not sure whether the RAF hero was strapped into a Spitfire or a Hurricane.

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#1830948 - 01/24/12 11:22 AM Re: Warsaw Concerto [Re: btb]
GeorgeB Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/06/10
Posts: 635
I think its such a cheesy piece, a bit wanna be Rachmaninov concerti but not really strong or powerful. I have played it, and its alright.

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#1830953 - 01/24/12 11:27 AM Re: Warsaw Concerto [Re: btb]
btb Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/21/04
Posts: 4264
Loc: Pretoria South Africa
"Cheesy" is a pretty apt description ... that's probably why Spike Milligan referred to it as "that bloody Warsaw Concerto".

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#1830957 - 01/24/12 11:30 AM Re: Warsaw Concerto [Re: btb]
GeorgeB Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/06/10
Posts: 635
When I listened to it the first time i was like "WOW, such a great piece, lovely melodies"

But as i start hearing it over and over again, its just (at least for me) just starts losing interest. An audience pleaser piece but not much more.

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#1831343 - 01/25/12 01:45 AM Re: Warsaw Concerto [Re: btb]
jdhampton924 Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/13/08
Posts: 1030
Loc: Evansville, Indiana
Feels like it was made for Liberace, and his recording is honestly my favorite of it. Yeah it is cheesy, but still fun from time to time.

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#1831349 - 01/25/12 02:05 AM Re: Warsaw Concerto [Re: btb]
Froglegs Offline
Full Member

Registered: 08/23/11
Posts: 105
Loc: Melbourne, Australia
I've never really liked that piece of music....

I'm more into concertos like this:



_________________________
"There is nothing greater than the joy of composing something oneself and then listening to it."
- Clara Schumann

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#1831351 - 01/25/12 02:24 AM Re: Warsaw Concerto [Re: btb]
btb Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/21/04
Posts: 4264
Loc: Pretoria South Africa
Hi Froglegs,

The bland look of the chappie showing off a pencil intrigues ...
Is he

1. Letting us know that he owns a pencil.
2. Marking up all the sharps/flats in the score.
3. Gently waving to the audience.
4. Correcting a bum score.
5. Conducting from a seated stance.

But who is the geyser? ... and is his work worth a listen?

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#1831380 - 01/25/12 04:02 AM Re: Warsaw Concerto [Re: btb]
Toastburn Offline
Full Member

Registered: 09/07/10
Posts: 221
Loc: Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
I have always liked and still do the Warsaw Concerto. Yes, it is an imitation/pastiche/... of Rachmaninoff/Grieg/others but nevertheless IMO it is worthy of inclusion in the serious repertoire. It was very very relevant at the time it was written and gave enjoyment and escape in dark times to many people. Yes its now seen, decades later, as "cheesy" and less than heavyweight. But its no less worthy of serious attention on those points and still deserves a place in the repertoire.


BTW @btb: I think "Geezer" is the word you mean not "geyser". smile
_________________________
A perennially hopeful amateur!
Pianos: Boston GP178, Lipp 1899 upright
Currently attempting: Bach: WTC I/1,5;II/12; Chopin Polonaise in A; Etude 10/5; Brahms Op 118 No 2 Intermezzo in D; Scarlatti Sonata L23.

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#1831395 - 01/25/12 04:39 AM Re: Warsaw Concerto [Re: btb]
Froglegs Offline
Full Member

Registered: 08/23/11
Posts: 105
Loc: Melbourne, Australia
Originally Posted By: btb
Hi Froglegs,

The bland look of the chappie showing off a pencil intrigues ...
Is he

1. Letting us know that he owns a pencil.
2. Marking up all the sharps/flats in the score.
3. Gently waving to the audience.
4. Correcting a bum score.
5. Conducting from a seated stance.

But who is the geyser? ... and is his work worth a listen?


Haha, it's probably a publicity photo. The composer is Elliott Carter and his music is well worth a listen.
_________________________
"There is nothing greater than the joy of composing something oneself and then listening to it."
- Clara Schumann

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#1831415 - 01/25/12 06:07 AM Re: Warsaw Concerto [Re: btb]
wr Offline
8000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/23/07
Posts: 8364
The sheet music was in my house when I was growing up. I didn't really know about the movie. Even as a kid, I could tell it wasn't very high quality stuff as stand-alone music (which isn't to say it was bad as movie music).

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#1831416 - 01/25/12 06:24 AM Re: Warsaw Concerto [Re: btb]
bennevis Online   content
6000 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/14/10
Posts: 6470
In terms of cheesy concertos (filmic or otherwise), I'd go for the Yellow River Concerto anyday - more fun to play (and very flashy, though sounds more difficult than it really is), extremely well written for the piano (not surprising since the piano writing is by a Tchaikovsky prize-winner), lots of juicy tunes one after the other with no boring repetition.... grin
_________________________
"I don't play accurately - anyone can play accurately - but I play with wonderful expression. As far as the piano is concerned, sentiment is my forte. I keep science for Life."

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#1831429 - 01/25/12 07:07 AM Re: Warsaw Concerto [Re: bennevis]
Toastburn Offline
Full Member

Registered: 09/07/10
Posts: 221
Loc: Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
Agree, the YRC is fun to listen to, perhaps cheesy but very popular in China, naturally, because of its patriotic associations. I heard it twice in Beijing late last year and it was a crowd pleaser both times.
_________________________
A perennially hopeful amateur!
Pianos: Boston GP178, Lipp 1899 upright
Currently attempting: Bach: WTC I/1,5;II/12; Chopin Polonaise in A; Etude 10/5; Brahms Op 118 No 2 Intermezzo in D; Scarlatti Sonata L23.

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#1831445 - 01/25/12 08:07 AM Re: Warsaw Concerto [Re: btb]
pianomie Offline
Full Member

Registered: 10/16/11
Posts: 278
btb, it's a load of CODSWALLOP.
_________________________
'Practice is the great Magician, who not only makes apparent impossibilities performable, but ever easy.' ~ Carl Czerny

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#1831533 - 01/25/12 11:04 AM Re: Warsaw Concerto [Re: pianomie]
argerichfan Offline
9000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/15/06
Posts: 9053
Loc: Pacific Northwest, US.
Originally Posted By: pianomie
btb, it's a load of CODSWALLOP.

That seems a bit harsh. Granted it's no masterpiece -and hardly approaches its model- but it has always been a guilty pleasure (sort of like the 'Adagio' from Spartacus), and the piece is so generous with gorgeous melody.

I'll take it over 'The Yellow River Concerto' any day, which IMO under the garish glitz of the piano writing and orchestration, ultimately sounds so pretentiously fake.
_________________________
Jason

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#1831561 - 01/25/12 11:54 AM Re: Warsaw Concerto [Re: btb]
BDB Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/07/03
Posts: 22619
Loc: Oakland
Most people who know the score only know the solo arrangement, but the 2 piano version was by Percy Grainger, who must have liked it well enough. It has the virtue of being short.

So what other pieces should be on a concert of cheesy film music? Devil's Gallop? Rialto Ripples? Beware of the Blob?
_________________________
Semipro Tech

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#1831680 - 01/25/12 03:39 PM Re: Warsaw Concerto [Re: btb]
BruceD Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/26/01
Posts: 18824
Loc: Victoria, BC
There's a lot of music that is not "great" that I greatly enjoy given the mood of the moment: songs of Victor Herbert, musicals of Sigmund Romberg, Nino Rota's music for the film "War and Peace," and, yes, Addinsell's "Warsaw Concerto" of which I have both the solo piano version and the original (with orchestra reduced for second piano).

Regards,
_________________________
BruceD
- - - - -
Estonia 190

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#1832026 - 01/26/12 12:41 AM Re: Warsaw Concerto [Re: btb]
btb Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/21/04
Posts: 4264
Loc: Pretoria South Africa
You’re giving away your age BruceD by mentioning a penchant for the music of Victor Herbert, Sigmund Romberg, and Nino Rota ...
but aren’t we lucky to have lived through the period of their heyday.

May I add to your list the names of
Gershwin, Cole Porter and Jerome Kern.

Where would we have been without
Summertime
I've Got You Under My Skin and
Smoke Gets In Your Eyes.

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#1832040 - 01/26/12 01:49 AM Re: Warsaw Concerto [Re: btb]
argerichfan Offline
9000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/15/06
Posts: 9053
Loc: Pacific Northwest, US.
Originally Posted By: btb
You’re giving away your age BruceD by mentioning a penchant for the music of Victor Herbert, Sigmund Romberg, ...
but aren’t we lucky to have lived through the period of their heyday.

Herbert's heyday was prior to the Great War, Romberg during the '20's. Surely you guys didn't live through that did you?

As an accompanist I've played a number of their songs- and loved them! To which you can add 'Without a Song' by Vincent Youmans. One of the most thrilling moments I can recall was playing that for a splendidly gifted baritone. Wonderful.

But didn't Rodgers and Hart subsequently steal the limelight from Herbert and Romberg?
_________________________
Jason

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#1832066 - 01/26/12 03:05 AM Re: Warsaw Concerto [Re: btb]
btb Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/21/04
Posts: 4264
Loc: Pretoria South Africa
My NZ-born father trained as an architect in London in the 1920s but hedged his bets by training as an opera singer at the same time ... so his Cape Town bred children had a fair share of listening to baritone Dad singing Victor Herbert’s “Ah! Sweet Mystery of Life.” Nelson Eddy was then piping his rendition over the steam-radio.

My guess is that Sound of Music-Richard Rodgers stole the limelight from all around him ... who can forget

Bewitched, Bothered and Bewildered
Blue Moon
Carousel
Getting to Know You
I Can’t Say No
If I Loved You
June is Bustin’ Out All Over
The Lady is A Tramp
Manhattan
Mountain Greenery
My Favorite Things (wish the Americans could spell right)
My Funny Valentine
Oklahoma
Out of My Dreams
People Will Say We’re in Love
Shall We Dance
Slaughter on 10th Avenue
Some Enchanted Evening
South Pacific
Surrey with the Fringe on Top
There’s A Small Hotel
With A Song in My Heart

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#1832193 - 01/26/12 09:59 AM Re: Warsaw Concerto [Re: btb]
BruceD Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/26/01
Posts: 18824
Loc: Victoria, BC
Originally Posted By: btb
You’re giving away your age BruceD by mentioning a penchant for the music of Victor Herbert, Sigmund Romberg, and Nino Rota ...
but aren’t we lucky to have lived through the period of their heyday.

May I add to your list the names of
Gershwin, Cole Porter and Jerome Kern.

Where would we have been without
Summertime
I've Got You Under My Skin and
Smoke Gets In Your Eyes.


You really missed one of my points and certainly jumped to conclusions on another.

1. Even though I may be one of the oldest contributors on this forum, I did not live through the heyday of Herbert and Romberg. Does that mean I can't enjoy their music? By extension, you seem to suggest that music we love and/or enjoy is music we have to have lived with, live, when it first appeared; that is sheer nonsense.

2. I said that there is a lot of music that I enjoy greatly that is not great music. That excludes what comes from the pens of the likes of Gershwin, Porter and Rodgers among others. I consider their music as genuinely great, so it didn't fall into my category of guilty pleasures.

Regards,
_________________________
BruceD
- - - - -
Estonia 190

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#1832232 - 01/26/12 11:01 AM Re: Warsaw Concerto [Re: btb]
bennevis Online   content
6000 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/14/10
Posts: 6470
The best piano concerto film music I know of is that for Elvira Madigan, an obscure Swedish film. Mozart wrote his K467 slow movement for it...... grin
_________________________
"I don't play accurately - anyone can play accurately - but I play with wonderful expression. As far as the piano is concerned, sentiment is my forte. I keep science for Life."

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#1832279 - 01/26/12 12:10 PM Re: Warsaw Concerto [Re: bennevis]
argerichfan Offline
9000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/15/06
Posts: 9053
Loc: Pacific Northwest, US.
Originally Posted By: bennevis
Mozart wrote his K467 slow movement for it...... grin

...with Geza Anda in mind. wink
_________________________
Jason

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#1832316 - 01/26/12 01:10 PM Re: Warsaw Concerto [Re: argerichfan]
BruceD Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/26/01
Posts: 18824
Loc: Victoria, BC
Originally Posted By: argerichfan
Originally Posted By: bennevis
Mozart wrote his K467 slow movement for it...... grin

...with Geza Anda in mind. wink


... anda few others, perhaps?
_________________________
BruceD
- - - - -
Estonia 190

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