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William Appling | Scott Joplin: The Complete Rags, Waltzes & Marches

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Classical: Piano solo Jazz: Ragtime Moods: Solo Instrumental
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Scott Joplin: The Complete Rags, Waltzes & Marches

by William Appling

Widely acclaimed release of the complete rags, waltzes and marches of Scott Joplin, the "King of Ragtime." 4 CDs with a beautiful 32-page book. First complete Joplin by an African American pianist. 4.5 stars from AllMusic.com. The perfect holiday gift!
Genre: Classical: Piano solo
Release Date: 

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  Song Share Time Download
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1. Sugar Cane
4:18 $0.89
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2. Pleasant Moments
4:17 $0.89
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3. Country Club
5:26 $0.89
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4. The Ragtime Dance
4:22 $0.89
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5. Gladiolus Rag
5:16 $0.89
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6. Combination March
4:15 $0.89
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7. The Cascades
4:09 $0.89
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8. Bethena
7:51 $0.89
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9. Great Crush Collision
6:09 $0.89
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10. Leola
4:37 $0.89
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11. Scott Joplin's New Rag
3:53 $0.89
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12. Maple Leaf Rag
4:07 $0.89
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13. Binks' Waltz
5:44 $0.89
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14. Paragon Rag
4:51 $0.89
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15. Reflection Rag
6:42 $0.89
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16. The Easy Winners
4:28 $0.89
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17. Eugenia
6:26 $0.89
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18. A Breeze from Alabama
5:39 $0.89
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19. Harmony Club Waltz
6:39 $0.89
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20. Original Rags
6:42 $0.89
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21. Cleopha
4:43 $0.89
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22. Antoinette
3:23 $0.89
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23. Euphonic Sounds
4:03 $0.89
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24. School of Ragtime
2:18 $0.89
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25. Elite Syncopations
4:54 $0.89
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26. Peacherine Rag
4:30 $0.89
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27. Searchlight Rag
5:36 $0.89
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28. March Majestic
3:35 $0.89
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29. The Chrysanthemum
6:08 $0.89
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30. The Strenuous Life
4:49 $0.89
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31. Nonpareil (None to Equal)
5:14 $0.89
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32. Prelude To "The Sycamore"
0:38 $0.89
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33. The Sycamore
4:28 $0.89
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34. Pine Apple Rag
4:34 $0.89
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35. The Entertainer
5:22 $0.89
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36. The Augustan Club Waltzes
5:20 $0.89
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37. Wall Street Rag
6:28 $0.89
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38. The Favorite
5:16 $0.89
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39. Rose Leaf Rag
5:25 $0.89
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40. Palm Leaf Rag
4:34 $0.89
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41. Rosebud
3:30 $0.89
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42. Silver Swan Rag
5:26 $0.89
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43. Weeping Willow
4:49 $0.89
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44. Fig Leaf
5:26 $0.89
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45. Stoptime Rag
3:56 $0.89
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46. Magnetic Rag
6:33 $0.89
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47. Solace
7:07 $0.89
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.

ABOUT THIS ALBUM


Album Notes
The release of William Appling’s recordings of the complete piano works of Scott Joplin (1868-1917), comprising all forty-six of Joplin’s rags, waltzes and marches, is the first “complete Joplin” ever recorded by an African-American pianist. These landmark recordings are being released by William Appling Singers & Orchestra (WASO), the acclaimed ensemble founded by Appling in 1979, on the group’s own imprint, WASO Records.

During the last decade of his life, the eminent conductor, educator, and pianist William Appling (1932-2008) immersed himself in the music of Scott Joplin. In 2001, Appling “discovered” Joplin almost by accident when he happened upon a volume of Joplin’s piano music while rummaging through his basement library. Reading it cover to cover, he was astonished by what he found, realizing that the Texarkana-born Joplin was a true genius and that his music had still not received the full recognition or respect it deserved. As he intimately explored each composition, Appling was struck by the complexity of Joplin’s music, his profound harmonic understanding, his exquisite sense of musical balance, and the precision of his voicings. And, perhaps most importantly, he was simply overwhelmed by the dignity and integrity which was revealed in every Joplin composition.

Appling regretted that he had not discovered Joplin sooner and realized that the fast, honky-tonk, often careless versions of the music, still so common, had obscured Joplin’s greatness to him for all those years. He began speaking frequently and passionately to friends and colleagues about his Joplin revelations: “Why didn’t I know about this man before?” “Just when I think I’ve figured him out, I find something else; I’m always going deeper.” Fired with the single purpose of getting Scott Joplin “out there with the best of the well-known European composers,” Appling soon conceived of a large-scale project, Celebrating Scott Joplin, which would include a recording of Joplin’s complete works for piano, a recording of his songs, and a fully-staged performance of his opera Treemonisha. Because of his declining health, Appling was ultimately able to accomplish only the first part of his dream: over a two year period from 2006-2007, he recorded all of Joplin's piano compositions for solo piano (with the exception of those co-written with other composers), a total of forty-six pieces. Seven selections were released on Albany Records in 2010, William Appling Plays Scott Joplin and J.S. Bach, a recording which also included two major keyboard works by Bach, the Partita No. 1 in B-flat, and the Italian Concerto. Soon after this, WASO began the work of selecting and editing the many takes made of the remaining thirty-nine works. This painstaking process was completed in 2016 and William Appling’s recordings of the Joplin’s complete rags, waltzes and marches are now ready for worldwide release.

While several recordings of Joplin’s complete piano works have been made over the years, this set will be the first-ever by an African-American pianist. As an African-American musician growing up in Cleveland, Ohio, in the 1930s and ‘40s, Appling felt a personal empathy with Joplin’s struggles, and he understood his persistence and compelling drive to create in the face of society’s oppression. He knew firsthand the types of obstacles that stood in Joplin’s way and how much inner strength it must have required to pursue the career he did. At the same time, the insights which Appling had into Joplin’s music were profound, particularly regarding the tempos he chose for many pieces. Appling believed that the vast majority of Joplin performances were too fast, and he fervently ascribed to Joplin’s dictum: “Do not play this piece fast. It is never right to play ragtime fast.” In fact, Joplin had these instructions printed prominently at the top of 30 of the 46 solo piano works. Appling believed that his more deliberate tempos were clearly what Joplin envisioned. At the same time, he never minimized the joy and humor which pervades many of Joplin’s works, and in one of the selections, Stoptime Rag, listeners are treated to Appling’s unique “foot” stomps (called for in the score) and his spoken commentary at the end.

Writing about William Appling’s performances of Joplin’s rags on his Albany recording, the eminent Joplin biographer Edward A. Berlin said, “I can't think of another Joplin recording that is quite like this, performed with such loving care and attention to all the details.” It was this care and attention to detail that were paramount in Appling’s approach to Joplin. He knew and greatly admired Marcus Roberts’s Joplin improvisations, and Appling himself was an accomplished improviser, having worked early in his career with the legendary jazz guitarist Jim Hall. But for these performances, he was determined to strictly follow Joplin’s stated intentions, not only in terms of tempo, but in dynamics, rhythm, phrasing and articulation. In his own detailed “Remarks” to his School of Ragtime, Joplin writes that ragtime will only achieve the “weird and intoxicating effect intended by the composer” by “giving each note its proper time . . . by scrupulously observing ties,” and that each note must be “played as it is written, as it takes this and also the proper time divisions to complete the sense intended.” William Appling took Joplin’s instructions to heart and has produced a recording which may well be considered “the definitive Joplin.”

With his extraordinary ability to find and express the essence of each piece, to fill his playing with the dignity that Joplin must have felt as an artist and as a man, William Appling has brought Scott Joplin’s music to another level.

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A happy buyer!

The Great Scott Joplin, Beautifully Played!
I read an article about this recording recently (http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/a-hollywood-ending-to-william-applings-scott-joplin_us_58ddc0b0e4b0efcf4c66a775) and I had to get it. It's a really interesting story about how Appling came to "discover'" Scott Joplin late in life and completely immersed himself in the music. I have to say, after only one time through I realized this would become one of my all-time favorite Scott Joplin albums, and I have just about all of them! While the performances are somewhat slower than I'm used to hearing, there's a depth of feeling and soulfulness you usually don't hear from most Joplin pianists. I've already discovered several "new" favorites—pieces I thought I knew but realized I didn't remember all that well: "Eugenia," "Combination March," "A Breeze from Alabama," and several others.

But I think my main point here is: Scott Joplin is one of the greatest composers that ever lived! His tunes are absolutely addictive. It might sound odd, but Joplin actually reminds me a lot of the Beatles. It's like he couldn’t write a bad tune if he tried. Every section of every piece sounds fresh and original. I guess that’s what genius is! I feel like Appling really understands this in the way he shows such respect for every single piece. Clearly there was a lot of love that went into this recording, not to mention a lot of work! I feel very lucky I found this CD. I hope others do too.
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