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Mark O'Connor: American Classics

Audio Samples

>Lampe, J. Bodewalt : Rubber Dolly Rag
>Rosas, Juventino : The loveliest night of the year
>Traditional, Canadian : Rippling Water Jig, traditional dance melody
>Traditional, Jewish : Hava Nagila
>Traditional, American : Herman's Hornpipe
>Carmichael, Hoagy : Lazy River
>O'Connor, Mark [Violin] : Rain Clouds, for violin & piano
>O'Connor, Mark [Violin] : Congress Hoedown, for violin & piano
>Traditional Spiritual : Deep River
>Traditional, American : Liberty
>O'Connor, Mark [Violin] : In the Cluster Blues, for violin & piano
>Cortez, Quirino Mendoza y : Jessie Polka
>Joplin, Scott : The Entertainer
>Traditional, American : Grey Eagle
>O'Connor, Mark [Violin] : March of the Pharaohs, for violin & piano
>Reinhardt, Django : Daphne
>Foster, Stephen : Swanee River
>Traditional, American : Boil 'Em Cabbage Down
>Traditional, American : We Shall Overcome, hymn
>Traditional, Shaker : Simple Gifts
>Ward, Samuel Augustus : America the Beautiful

Album Summary

>Lampe, J. Bodewalt : Rubber Dolly Rag
>Rosas, Juventino : The loveliest night of the year
>Traditional, Canadian : Rippling Water Jig, traditional dance melody
>Traditional, Jewish : Hava Nagila
>Traditional, American : Herman's Hornpipe
>Carmichael, Hoagy : Lazy River
>O'Connor, Mark [Violin] : Rain Clouds, for violin & piano
>O'Connor, Mark [Violin] : Congress Hoedown, for violin & piano
>Traditional Spiritual : Deep River
>Traditional, American : Liberty
>O'Connor, Mark [Violin] : In the Cluster Blues, for violin & piano
>Cortez, Quirino Mendoza y : Jessie Polka
>Joplin, Scott : The Entertainer
>Traditional, American : Grey Eagle
>O'Connor, Mark [Violin] : March of the Pharaohs, for violin & piano
>Reinhardt, Django : Daphne
>Foster, Stephen : Swanee River
>Traditional, American : Boil 'Em Cabbage Down
>Traditional, American : We Shall Overcome, hymn
>Traditional, Shaker : Simple Gifts
>Ward, Samuel Augustus : America the Beautiful
Performers Composers

Notes & Reviews:

The first collection comprised solely of traditional American songs that Mark O'Connor has released since Soppin' the Gravy, from his teenage years. It includes beloved folk songs, fiddle tunes, and classic themes from 400 years of traditional American violin playing, and pulls from all regions of North America and from diverse musical styles including classical, folk, Latin, jazz, rock, and ragtime. The music ties into the repertoire for the O'Connor Method, an approach to music education that The New Yorker calls "an American grown rival to the Suzuki method."

Notes & Reviews:

Recording information: Sean Swinney Studios, New York, NY (06/09/2011-06/10/2011).

The country and bluegrass fiddler Mark O'Connor has been a pioneer in the institutionalization of American vernacular styles, participating in various symphonic and chamber music projects, and establishing an impressive range of educational activities. He has headlined or participated in various recordings involving country-classical or folk-classical fusions (including Yo-Yo Ma's Appalachian Journey). This release lies between his marquee career and his educational empire. It was released in conjuction with a new volume of his O'Connor method violin instruction books, and the arrangements heard are taken directly from that volume. They're straightforward versions of familiar tunes from a large variety of traditions: old-time fiddle music, ragtime, jazz minstrelsy, labor song ("We Shall Overcome" is the representative here), religious music, patriotic songs, spirituals, and more. The piano accompaniments, played by Rieko Aizawa, are in the simple parlor mode of the 19th century. The emphasis is on the diversity of the American tradition rather than on virtuoso performance, and O'Connor's project becomes more and more interesting in this respect as he develops it further. Undeniably, no one has attempted anything of this scope since Dvorák's day, and those intrigued by that, as well as actual students of O'Connor's method, will enjoy this album. For those more interested in the end result, check out one of O'Connor's more extensive classical pieces, such as "Fanfare for the Volunteer." ~ James Manheim



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Works Details

>Lampe, J. Bodewalt : Rubber Dolly Rag
  • Performers: Rieko Aizawa (Piano); Mark O'Connor (Violin)
  • Running Time: 1 min. 59 sec.
  • Period Time: Modern

>Rosas, Juventino : The loveliest night of the year
  • Performers: Rieko Aizawa (Piano); Mark O'Connor (Violin)
  • Running Time: 2 min. 50 sec.
  • Period Time: Romantic
  • Form: Waltz
  • Written: 1891

>Traditional, Canadian : Rippling Water Jig, traditional dance melody
  • Performers: Rieko Aizawa (Piano); Mark O'Connor (Violin)
  • Running Time: 1 min. 17 sec.

>Traditional, Jewish : Hava Nagila
  • Performers: Rieko Aizawa (Piano); Mark O'Connor (Violin)
  • Running Time: 1 min. 54 sec.

>Traditional, American : Herman's Hornpipe
  • Performers: Rieko Aizawa (Piano); Mark O'Connor (Violin)
  • Running Time: 1 min. 32 sec.
  • Period Time: Romantic

>Carmichael, Hoagy : Lazy River
  • Performers: Rieko Aizawa (Piano); Mark O'Connor (Violin)
  • Running Time: 1 min. 56 sec.
  • Period Time: Modern
  • Form: Vocal

>O'Connor, Mark [Violin] : Rain Clouds, for violin & piano
  • Performers: Rieko Aizawa (Piano); Mark O'Connor (Violin)
  • Running Time: 2 min. 44 sec.
  • Period Time: Contemporary

>O'Connor, Mark [Violin] : Congress Hoedown, for violin & piano
  • Performers: Rieko Aizawa (Piano); Mark O'Connor (Violin)
  • Running Time: 1 min. 31 sec.
  • Period Time: Contemporary

>Traditional Spiritual : Deep River
  • Performers: Rieko Aizawa (Piano); Mark O'Connor (Violin)
  • Running Time: 2 min. 42 sec.
  • Written: by 1875

>Traditional, American : Liberty
  • Performers: Rieko Aizawa (Piano); Mark O'Connor (Violin)
  • Running Time: 1 min. 19 sec.
  • Period Time: Classical

>O'Connor, Mark [Violin] : In the Cluster Blues, for violin & piano
  • Performers: Rieko Aizawa (Piano); Mark O'Connor (Violin)
  • Running Time: 1 min. 34 sec.
  • Period Time: Contemporary

>Cortez, Quirino Mendoza y : Jessie Polka
  • Performers: Rieko Aizawa (Piano); Mark O'Connor (Violin)
  • Running Time: 2 min. 7 sec.
  • Period Time: Modern

>Joplin, Scott : The Entertainer
  • Performers: Rieko Aizawa (Piano); Mark O'Connor (Violin)
  • Running Time: 2 min. 40 sec.
  • Period Time: Post Romantic
  • Written: 1902

>Traditional, American : Grey Eagle
  • Performers: Rieko Aizawa (Piano); Mark O'Connor (Violin)
  • Running Time: 1 min. 23 sec.
  • Period Time: Romantic

>O'Connor, Mark [Violin] : March of the Pharaohs, for violin & piano
  • Performers: Rieko Aizawa (Piano); Mark O'Connor (Violin)
  • Running Time: 3 min. 17 sec.
  • Period Time: Contemporary
  • Form: March

>Reinhardt, Django : Daphne
  • Performers: Rieko Aizawa (Piano); Mark O'Connor (Violin)
  • Notes: This work was written in collaboration with Stéphane Grappelli (1908 - 1997).
  • Running Time: 1 min. 58 sec.
  • Period Time: Modern

>Foster, Stephen : Swanee River
  • Performers: Rieko Aizawa (Piano); Mark O'Connor (Violin)
  • Running Time: 3 min. 11 sec.
  • Period Time: Romantic
  • Form: Vocal
  • Written: 1851

>Traditional, American : Boil 'Em Cabbage Down
  • Performers: Mark O'Connor (Violin); Rieko Aizawa (Piano)
  • Running Time: 1 min. 17 sec.

>Traditional, American : We Shall Overcome, hymn
  • Performers: Rieko Aizawa (Piano); Mark O'Connor (Violin)
  • Running Time: 3 min. 7 sec.

>Traditional, Shaker : Simple Gifts
  • Performers: Rieko Aizawa (Piano); Mark O'Connor (Violin)
  • Running Time: 3 min. 27 sec.
  • Period Time: Renaissance
  • Written: 18th Century

>Ward, Samuel Augustus : America the Beautiful
  • Performers: Rieko Aizawa (Piano); Mark O'Connor (Violin)
  • Running Time: 3 min. 2 sec.
  • Period Time: Post Romantic
  • Form: Choral
  • Written: 1895