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#447919 - 08/24/01 07:06 PM Book about Oscar Levant
pianoloverus Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/29/01
Posts: 20458
Loc: New York City
I've just finished "A Talent for Genius- the life and times of Oscar Levant" by Kashner and Schoenberger. The book has everthing- incredible stories, incredible wit from Levant, and insights into the many famous people Levant knew, from Broadway stars to Horowitz, Chaplin, Berlin, Schoenberg, Gershwin, Toscanini etc. I'd rate the book an A plus! Has anyone read any of the books by Levant or heard any interesting stories about him? Apparently, at the height of his popularity, Levant was paid more than Horowitz or Rubinstein!

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#447920 - 08/25/01 07:29 AM Re: Book about Oscar Levant
BruceD Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/26/01
Posts: 18878
Loc: Victoria, BC
"... piad more than Horowitz..." probably because at the height of his popularity much of his income was derived from his appearances in movies, and we have some idea, even then, of how inflated Hollywood salaries were.
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#447921 - 08/25/01 06:59 PM Re: Book about Oscar Levant
pianoloverus Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/29/01
Posts: 20458
Loc: New York City
Acccording to the book, he was paid more than Rubinstein or Horowitz were for his piano concerts! He was incredibly popular as a pianist and although he had tremendous pianistic talent, his popularity as a pianist was due in part ,no doubt, to his popularity as a radio and TV personality.

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#447922 - 08/28/01 08:21 PM Re: Book about Oscar Levant
netizen Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/02/01
Posts: 1926
Loc: New York
He's one of those pianists from the past that I'd really like to have met. And, unfortunately, I am not old enough to have caught any of his tv appearances (Jack Parr and a short lived show he had). I know of him only through his recordings, books, and movies. Definitely read his semi autobiographical "Memoirs of an Amnesiac".
_________________________
"To announce that there must be no criticism of the president, or that
we are to stand by the president right or wrong, is not only unpatriotic and servile, but is morally treasonable to the American public."-- Theodore Roosevelt

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#447923 - 08/29/01 09:45 AM Re: Book about Oscar Levant
AndrewG Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/26/01
Posts: 2506
Loc: Denver, Colorado
Didn't Liberace make more than Horowitz and Rubinstein combined? Sort of like Michael Jackson earned much more than Domingo...

Aren't we comparing apples to oranges? No?

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#447924 - 08/29/01 01:50 PM Re: Book about Oscar Levant
Hank Drake Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/31/01
Posts: 1690
Loc: Cleveland, Ohio
Pearl has a reissue due of Oscar Levant's American Columbia recordings 1941-1947. They will include all of his recordings from that time except for his Gershwin recordings, which are already available.
_________________________
Hank Drake

The composers want performers be imaginative, in the direction of their thinking--not just robots, who execute orders.
George Szell

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#447925 - 08/29/01 06:52 PM Re: Book about Oscar Levant
netizen Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/02/01
Posts: 1926
Loc: New York
Hank, do you have more info about the reissue? I am curious as to what it might include (I've not heard, but interested in his recording of the Khachaturian Piano Concerto). I'll have to keep an eye out for it.
_________________________
"To announce that there must be no criticism of the president, or that
we are to stand by the president right or wrong, is not only unpatriotic and servile, but is morally treasonable to the American public."-- Theodore Roosevelt

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#447926 - 08/29/01 07:10 PM Re: Book about Oscar Levant
Hank Drake Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/31/01
Posts: 1690
Loc: Cleveland, Ohio
It doesn't have the Concerto, but it DOES have his arrangement of the Sabre Dance. Also, works by Chopin, Debussy, Poulenc, and various other short works.

It should be out in the next few months.
_________________________
Hank Drake

The composers want performers be imaginative, in the direction of their thinking--not just robots, who execute orders.
George Szell

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