Wednesday, July 26, 2017
Leroy Shield: The Original Laurel & Hardy Piano Music – Alessandro Simonetto (Download 48kHz/16bit)
This album recreates the atmosphere and feeling of the 1930s comedies from the Hal Roach Studios, the "Lot of Fun" where Laurel & Hardy, Our Gang, Charley Chase, The Boy Friends and Thelma Todd created their biggest successes. These short films were usually enlivened by the catchy background tunes composed by Leroy Shield (1893-1962). Although the titles of these tunes remained known only to insiders, the music is all too familiar to anyone who ever saw Stan and Ollie embark on one of their doomed journeys. Trained as a classical pianist, Shield eased into the new medium of film music with apparent ease and knocked off dozens of short, catchy background tunes in record time. It is not funny "comedy music" in itself; rather, it ranges from slow, sentimental ballads to uptempo dance numbers. Sometimes, there are echoes of Stravinsky, Satie and Casella!
Tracking down original sheet music took years of detective work. For the first time in history, this cd contains renditions of original piano music and original piano transcriptions made by Shield himself – written before the orchestral versions were recorded – of tunes such as "All Together", "Little Dancing Girl", "Gangway Charlie", "Riding Along", and "The Moon and You".
It also contains piano transcriptions of Shield's background tunes from 1930-1931 as originally published as loose-leaf sheet music: "Bells", "You Are The One I Love", "In My Canoe", "On to the Show", "Riding Along" and "Good Old Days". Originally published in 1931 but impossible to find today, the "Leroy Shield Song Album" is a collection of ten popular film background tunes transcribed for piano: "Prelude", "Bride's Song", "Here We Go", "Look at Him Now", "Cascadia", "Dash and Dot", "Let's Go", "Antics", "Give Us a Hand" and "It Is to Laugh". The CD also contains in first world release the reconstruction of the piece "Snowing", written appositely for the film Laughing Gravy; and the complete set of effects and short melodies named as "Goofs", including some unheard and never included pieces.
Pianist Alessandro Simonetto, praised by the composer of Charles Spencer Chaplin, Eric James, as an immense talente, has just recorded "Early and Esoteric Works", a 3 CD-set containing all the piano music by Erik Satie written before and during his mystic period (1887-1897).
Leroy Shield (1893-1962)
The Original Laurel & Hardy Piano Music (1930/31 and 1935/36)
1. All Together / The Moon and You / Gangway Charlie (from "Looser Than Loose")
2. Bassooning / Riding Along / Beer Barons / Good Old Days / Excitement (from "Pardon Us")
3. Ah! 'Tis Love, Dear with Me (from "Doctor's Orders")
4. On to the Snow / In My Canoe / Going Places / Confusion (from "Be Big!")
5. Gardein Gaieties / Winding Path / Miss Crabtree / By Rote (from "Teacher's Pet")
6. Beautiful Lady / Intermezzo / Cops / Fliver Flops (from "Another Fine Mess")
7. Bells / Drunk / Rocking Chair (from "Scram")
8. Untitled Effect / Candy Candy / Little Dancing Girl (from "Bargain Day")
9. Here Are the Pets / Nothing at All / You Are the One I Love (from "Chickens Come Home")
10. If It Were Only True / The One I Love Best / Little Dancing Girl (from "Girl Shock")
11. Why the Old Flirt / Untitled Effect / Untitled Piece (from "Helping Grandma")
12. Snowing, Pt. 1 / Dog Song / Snowing, Pt. 2 / Funeral March (from "Laughing Gravy")
13. Tango / Just a Melody Sweet / There'll Always...
14. Seasons / Beyond the Rainbow / Love Is Everything to Me
15. Mys-tee-ree / Colonial Gaieties
16. We Are Just an Happy Family / Valse / On a Sunny Afternoon (from "Our Relations")
Alessandro Simonetto, piano
Recorded: Saletta acustica Eric James, Pove del Grappa, Vicenza, Italy, 2016
Aevea Classics 2017
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Sources: israbox.one, sanet.cd
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Alessandro Simonetto (b. 1974) is musician, producer and sound engineer.
Studies of Pianoforte (graduated) under the guide of G. Di Toma at the "Steffani" Conservatory in Castelfranco Veneto; Electronic Composition (graduated) with P. Zavagna and N. Bernardini at the "Pollini" Conservatory in Padova; and Harpsichord with L. Levi-Milzi and C. Lombardino at the above conservatories.
He deepened aspects tied to jazz composition and silent-film music studying with C. Mc Bee and G. Dial in Italy at the summer courses. He was friend and maintained an active and productive corrispondance with Eric James, the associate composer of Sir Charles Chaplin, until his death. In 2000, a few minutes before his performance, James put a paper on the grand piano and wrote this sentence in front of him and the audience: "Alessandro is a pianist of immense talent and will surely make his mark on the musical profession [...]".
Alessandro started composing at a very early age. At only 14 y.o. he wrote a cycle of Mazurkas inspired to Chopin. He composed music for piano, organ, harpsichord, disklavier, computers; chamber music and choral music (masses, motets, arrangements), songs. He was quoted by the "Ecole supérieure d'art d'Aix-en-Provence" for a composition for disklavier, pre-recorded sounds and accordion; he has also a work of countemporary music inside the Mediateca delle Marche archive.
Always passionate about choral music direction he studied with Mazuccato G., A. Cetrangolo, G. Acciai, C. Hoegset on various courses, and directed over 250 concerts with male, folk choirs (Coro Bassano a.k.a. Coro Montegrappa). He is the custodian of the omnia works, even in manuscript, by the Venetian composer, Marco Crestani.
As an harpsichordist he recorded the Premiere of the "Suittes voor Clavicembel" (Suites Op.1) from "Exempla Music Neerlandica" by the Dutch baroque composer Pieter Bustijn. The recording has been released by Brilliant Classics in 2010. It has been recognized as "Bargain of the Month" by Music Web International reviewer Bizantyon who wrote: "Nearly eighty minutes of enormously appealing, high-octane invention superbly rendered by Alessandro Simonetto. [...] This superlative recording is the one to get".
As a fan and scholar of the renowned duo Laurel & Hardy, he has recently recorded in its world premiere "Leroy Shield: Laurel & Hardy's Original Piano Music" with the collaboration of the main scholar in this field, Piet Schreuders.
Simonetto has also recently recorded, for the Aevea label, the Early and Esoteric Works by Erik Satie, the complete piano compositions, written in the period 1887-1897 including the rarely listened poems in three acts "Le Fils des étoiles" and "Uspud", and also including some unedited and uncompleted sketches.
Coming to the harpsichord, he has just signed with Brilliant Classics for the complete recording of works by Johann Mattheson in 2 CDs.
He is often invited to be part of the jury in International Competitions.