Thursday, August 5, 2010

Jean Wiener (1896-1982) - Concerto Franco-Américain and solos

I got to know Wiener as a child, with an Associated Board examination piece by him simply entitled Blues, which was a piece I continued to play long after the exam was over. Other than that, I never heard a note by him until a couple of years ago when David posted this wonderful Concerto Franco-Américain and, in response to a request from me, the B side of the concerto, which features an unlikely programme of piano solos.

The concerto combines the idioms of France, jazz and Broadway in an engaging manner that brings the year 1922 to life before your very ears. The solo playing shows a Poulenc-like alternation of moods with a rapt Non komm der Heiden Heiland segue-ing into Cole Porter's Love for Sale! Hardly has the shock registered when your foot starts tapping.

Many thanks to David for permission to make this wonderful music available.