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CD: Buywell

Don Bradman – The Music He Loved
see end of review for track listing
ABC CLASSICS 532 2945 [78:12 +76:21]


Experience Classicsonline

I should think even the most convoluted of university academics armed with a battalion of ‘tropes’ would have a tough job complicating the title of this disc. The man is Don Bradman and this is the music he loved. The only complication is the biographical one. Bradman was the greatest batsman cricket has known; a prodigious, rapacious run-making machine the like of which the world had never seen before and most likely never will again. The immensity and consistency of his scoring was and is unparalleled. He is the Australian sporting hero in excelsis. He is the paradigm of grinding the opposition (usually English) into the dust. He was, in the song of the day, ‘Our Don Bradman’, though not all Australians – some of his team-mates included – shared the sentiment.
But how many cricketers today play the piano? Some play the fool, some possibly the spoons, but not many would claim to play the piano as Bradman did. He wasn’t Horowitz but he wasn’t a mug either. One of the things I rather regret about this release is that ABC hasn’t dug out the 78s he made during his 1930 tour to England when he recorded 'Old Fashioned Locket' and 'Our Bungalow of Dreams' for Columbia, and later that same year, back in Australia, when I believe he recorded 'Every Day is a Rainbow Day for Me' for Davis & Co. A recording of this jolly tune, sung by his granddaughter, Greta, is included in this CD, and delightfully too.
All the recordings here derive from The Don’s own collection. This was the music he had, and liked, and listened to. He came from a pretty musical family. His father played the violin, his mother the piano and organ; and his sister was a proficient pianist too, from whom he learned a lot. Bradman had sung in the choir of St John Simon and Jude as a boy. Later he was to acquire a John Brimstead piano, which he played for the rest of his life – his family too.
His favourite composer? Chopin. His favourite piece? Probably his B minor sonata. He had the Lipatti LP. He also loved the sound of the soprano voice and his favourite was Schwarzkopf, though he had recordings by Sutherland and Streich in his collection as well. We read that he enjoyed musicals. He even liked The Phantom of the Opera.
So this is the music DB loved, in performances he owned and listened to. Quotidian it may be, but there’s a frisson too, surely. You’d like it if someone did it for you. But then, let’s face it, you’re not Don Bradman.
Jonathan Woolf

Track listing
CD 1
Johannes BRAHMS (1833-1897)
Symphony No.3 in F major Op.90; Poco allegretto [6:07]
Wiener Philharmoniker/Rafael Kubelik
Fryderyk CHOPIN (1810-1849)
Piano Sonata No. 3 in B Minor, Op. 58 3rd Mvt: Largo [8:57]
Dinu Lipatti (piano)
Felix MENDELSSOHN (1809-1847)
Octet in E flat major Op 20 - Scherzo (Allegro leggierissimo) [4:42]
Wiener Oktett
Edward ELGAR (1857-1934)
Violin Concerto in B minor Op.61 – Andante [13:04]
Yehudi Menuhin (violin)/LSO/Edward Elgar
Pyotr Ilyich TCHAIKOVSKY (1840-1893)
Symphony No.5 in E minor Op.64; Valse (Allegro moderato) [5:26]
Leningrad Philharmonic Orchestra/Yevgeni Mravinsky
Wolfgang Amadeus MOZART (1756-1791)
Piano Concerto No.21 in C major K467; Andante [7:12]
Géza Anda (piano)/Camerata Academica des Mozarteums Salzburg
Fryderyk CHOPIN (1810-1849)
Nocturne No.1 in B flat minor, Op.9 No.1 [6:32]
Roger Woodward (piano)
Maurice RAVEL (1875-1937)
Trio in A minor; Pantoum (Assez vif) [4:27]
Trio Di Trieste
Franz SCHUBERT (1797-1838)
Impromptu in G Flat D899 No.3: Andante [4:54]
Artur Schnabel (piano)
César FRANCK (1822-1890)
Symphonic Variations
Eileen Joyce (piano)/Paris Conservatoire Orchestra/Charles Munch
CD 2
Don BRADMAN (1908-2001)
Every Day is a Rainbow Day for Me [2:50]
Greta Bradman (vocal)/Leigh Harrold (piano)
Leo FRIEDMAN (1869-1927)
Let Me Call You Sweetheart [3:11]
Bing Crosby (vocal)/George Stoll and his Orchestra
Jerome KERN (1885-1945)
Ol' Man River [3:51]
Paul Robeson (bass)/Ray Noble and his Orchestra
James THORNTON (1861-1938)
When You Were Sixteen [3:03]
Al Jolson (vocal)
Cyril ORNADEL (b.1924)
If I Ruled The World [2:57]
Harry Secombe (tenor)/Wally Stott Chorus and Orchestra/Wally Stott
Sigmund ROMBERG (1887-1951)
The Student Prince - Golden Days [1:28]
Mario Lanza (tenor)/Orchestra/Constantine Callinicos
Claude DEBUSSY (1862-1918)
Clair de lune [3:03]
Larry Adler (harmonica)/George Stoll and his orchestra
Friedrich von FLOTOW (1812-1883)
Last Rose of Summer (Thomas Moore) from Martha [2:58]
Rita Streich (soprano)/RIAS Symphony Orchestra Berlin/Kurt Gaebel
Stephen ADAMS (1841-1913)
The Holy City - Peter Dawson
Benjamin GODARD (1849-1895)
Jocelyn; Berceuse - "Cachés dans cet asile, où Dieu nous a conduits"..."Oh, ne t'éveille pas encore" [5:13]
Rita Streich (soprano)/Radio-Symphonie-Orchester Berlin/Kurt Gaebel
Franz SCHUBERT (1797-1828)
An die Musik, D.547 (Op.88/4) [2:42]
Gérard Souzay (baritone); Dalton Baldwin (piano)
Wolfgang Amadeus MOZART (1756-1791)
Così fan tutte, K.588 - Come scoglio (Fiordiligi) [4:32]
Elisabeth Schwarzkopf (soprano)/Philharmonia Orchestra/Karl Böhm
Don Giovanni - Troppo mi spiace…Non mi dir [6:41]
Joan Sutherland (soprano)/Philharmonia Orchestra/Carlo Maria Giulini
Ludwig van BEETHOVEN (1770-1827)
Piano Sonata No.8 in C minor Pathétique; Adagio cantabile [4:54]
Wilhelm Kempff (piano)
Sergei RACHMANINOFF (1873-1943)
Piano Concerto No.2 in C minor Op.18 – First Movement [11:29]
Tamás Vásáry (piano)/London Symphony Orchestra/Yuri Ahronovitch
Antonín DVORÁK (1841-1904)
Symphony No.9 in E minor Op.95 From the New World – Largo [11:48]
Wiener Philharmoniker/István Kertész



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