Sheela-na-Gig aka Jeanne Rathbone

Joshua Rifkin playing Scott Joplin Rags at Wigmore Hall 27th January

Posted in Joshua Rifkin nostalgic late night gig at Wigmore Playing Joplin Rags. by sheelanagigcomedienne on January 28, 2014

We went to hear Joshua Rifkin at Wigmore Hall on Saturday 27th January. It was so nostalgic and we played the the two records from 1970/72 again when we got home.Joshua Rif We loved the gig and felt the nostalgia!


Four decades ago American pianist Joshua Rifkin recorded Scott Joplin’s Piano Rags, recordings which went on to ignite a national passion for ragtime jazz and “created, almost alone, the Scott Joplin revival,” as New York magazine wrote. On 25th January the pianist gives a late-night recital of the tunes he helped to make famous at London’s Wigmore Hall. Joshua Rifkin now

The late night concert was part of the Nash Ensemble American series.

scott Joplin 2 Scott joplins ragsThe programme was

Maple leaf Rag   –   The Entertainer   –   Bethena   –   Rose Leaf Rag   –   Galiolus Rag   –   Pine Apple Rag   –   Country Club   –   Solace   –   Stoptime Rag   –   Magnetic Rag

Joshua Rifkin born April 22, 1944 in New York is an award-winning American conductor, keyboard player   and musicologist        and is currently a Professor of Music at Boston University. As a performer he has recorded music by composers from Antoine Busnois to Si;vestre Revueltas, and as a scholar has published research on composers from the Renaissance to the 20th century. He is famed among classical musicians and aficionados for his increasingly influential theory that most of Bach’s choral works were sung with onl one singer per choral line.

He is best known by the general public, however, for having played a central role in the ragtime revival in the 1970s, with the three albums he recorded of  Scott Joplin‘s works for Nonesuch Records

Scott Joplin (c. 1867/1868? – April 1, 1917) was an black composer and pianist. Joplin achieved fame for his ragtime compositions, and was later titled “The King of Ragtime”. During his brief career, he wrote 44 original ragtime pieces, one ragtime ballet, and two operas. One of his first pieces, the Maple Leaf Rag became ragtime’s first and most influential hit, and has been recognized as the archetypal rag.

Joplin was born into a musical family of laborers in in Texas, and developed his musical knowledge with the help of local teachers.. Joplin grew up in Texarkana, where he formed a vocal quartet, and taught mandolin and guitar. During the late 1880s he left his job as a laborer with the railroad, and travelled around the south as an itinerant musician. He went to Chicago for the World’s Fair of 1893, which played a major part in making ragtime a national craze by 1897.

Joplin moved to Sedalia Missouri, in 1894, and earned a living as a piano teacher, continuing to tour the South. In Sedalia, he taught future ragtime composers. Joplin began publishing music in 1895, and publication of his “Maple Leaf Rag” in 1899 brought him fame. This piece had a profound influence on subsequent writers of ragtime. It also brought the composer a steady income for life, though Joplin did not reach this level of success again and frequently had financial problems.

Joplin moved toSt Louis in 1901, where he continued to compose and publish music, and regularly performed in the St Louis community. By the time he had moved to St. Louis, he may have been experiencing discoordination of the fingers, tremors, and an inability to speak clearly, as a result of having contractedsyphilis. The score to his first opera,  A Guest of Honor, was confiscated in 1903 with his belongings, owing to his non-payment of bills, and is considered lost by biographer Edward A. Berlin and others.

He continued to compose and publish music, and in 1907 moved to New York City, seeking to find a producer for a new opera. He attempted to go beyond the limitations of the musical form which made him famous, without much monetary success. His second opera, Treemonisha, was not received well at its partially staged performance in 1915.

In 1916, suffering from tertiary syphilis and by consequence rapidly deteriorating health, Joplin descended into dementia . He was admitted to a mental institution Manhattan State Hospital in January 1917 and died there three months later at the age of 49. ] He died there on April 1 of syphilitic dementia at the age of 49 and was buried in a pauper’s grave that remained unmarked for 57 years. His grave at Saint Michaels Cemetery in East Elmhurst was finally given a marker in 1974.

the sting The film the Sting is a 1973 American caper film set in September 1936, involving a complicated plot by two professional grifters Paul Newman and Robert Redford to con a mob boss Robert Shaw. It is noted for its anachronistic use of ragtime, particularly the melody The Entertainer by Scott Joplin, which was adapted for the movie by Marvin Hamlisch (and a top-ten chart single for Hamlisch when released as a single from the film’s soundtrack). The film’s success encouraged a surge of popular and critical acclaim for Joplin’s work.

entertainer heet music


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