ON THE VERY FAMILIAR, AND VERY MYSTERIOUS, SCOTT JOPLIN

[FIRST, A PRELUDE: everybody knows Scott Joplin’s name by his most famous work, the “maple leaf rag.” You wouldn’t be able to concentrate on the many other facets of his creative imagination discussed here until you had heard that one. So here it is: go ahead and listen to this classic performance by Joshua Rifkin: ]

[INTERLUDE 1: Here is the Great Crush Collision March. Did you know this piece previously? Watch how Joplin labels the musical events starting at around 3'22":]

[INTERLUDE 2: Here’s a video montage of The Entertainer, as it’s well known from the classic 1973 movie The Sting, which contributed to the ragtime revival of the ‘70s:]

[INTERLUDE 3: I can’t leave this post without sharing The Chrystanthemum. This “Afro-American Intermezzo,” performed here by Lara Downes, gives voice to yet another side of Joplin’s wonderful creative imagination:]

[INTERLUDE 4:] Tremonisha (a separate entry in my Historical Dictionary) is a truly remarkable and beautiful work, and one that is still in serious need of a source-critical edition. The best known part — one of the only two ragtime elements in the opera, is the Finale, titled “A Real Slow Drag.” I hope you’ll enjoy this!]

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