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Buy 'The Concert Sinatra' from Amazon.co.uk.The Concert Sinatra

Forty years ago, on Thursday evening, November 1, 1923, American popular music came to the concert hall for the first time when Eva Gauthier gave a recital in New York's Aeolian Hall.

Besides singing her repertoire of Bellini, Byrd, Bartok, Hindemith, Schoenberg and other expected composers, she included a group of six American songs, beginning with Berlin's "Alexander's Ragtime Band" and concluding with Gershwin & Caesar's "Swanee." George Gershwin was Miss Gauthier's accompanist for that section of the program. Reviewing the performance the next morning, Deems Taylor wrote:

"The audience was as much fun to watch as the songs were to hear, for it began by being just a trifle patronizing and ended by surrendering completely to the alluring rhythms of our own folk music."

Since the night of the Gauthier recital, some American popular music - especially that written for the stage - has slowly become part of the concert repertoire. What is the difference between performing a show ballad on the Broadway stage and performing it in a concert auditorium? Considerable. No better illustration could be found than this album. The voice of Frank Sinatra, the arrangements of Nelson Riddle, the selection of material - all these we think we know. Even the combination of these elements contains no surprises. Or so we think. And then we listen and we hear a new Sinatra, set to some of the purest arrangements we have ever heard. And suddenly eight well-known songs become not well-known at all. The frisson of discovery, the chilling thrill, the impulse felt along the heart, the revolutionary moment of seeing the familiar in an unfamiliar way that Coleridge called the imaginative experience - the achievement of all that is the aim of the concert artist. His is the world of art for art's sake. A Concert Sinatra presents the best-known voice of our time in a new achievement of artistic purity and control, while Nelson Riddle's expansive arrangements are a reduction to that paradoxical amalgam of strength and delicacy, always subordinate to, and in support of, Sinatra's voice.

Lawrence D. Stewart

The Concert Sinatra (1963)

Reprise 7599-27024-2

I Have Dreamed
My Heart Stood Still
Lost In The Stars
Ol' Man River
You'll Never Walk Alone
This Nearly Was Mine

Buy The Concert Sinatra from Amazon.co.uk.

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