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I hope a lot of people will take part in this poll. THe music from this era is fantastic. You just gotta get used to the sound of old 78 rpm.
First, my national anthem. This is the best version of Irene, recorded in LA in 1944, with a guy playing a strange German instrument that sounds like a mandolin.
Leadbelly is a fascinating figure : discovered in 1933 in Angola State Pen, LA by John Lomax, murderer, folksinger, ex-cotton picker, he had a voice like dynamite and could sing thousands of songs on his 12-string Stella.
Can we recommand some classics works?
In 1928, the Boléro of Maurice Ravel, one the most famous piece of classical music was created.
I always found this music "rock'n'roll" and Ithink it's possible to incorparate this in any list.
Of course it is possible ! Honorio said that any music that was composed during the era would count.
Oui, nicolas et Romain, you can vote for classical music if you want it. In fact this frightening piece of classical music is gonna be my number 1, Sergey Prokofiev’s “Montagues and Capulets” from “Romeo and Juliet, Suite No. 2 for Orchestra”
In fact I’m reading now (in my very little spare time) the awesome book by Alex Ross “The Rest Is Noise” (the title of the Spanish version is even better, “El ruido eterno”, The Eternal Noise) that I strongly recommend. A passionate overview of the classical music during the XX Century that during the first half in particular (a convulse period that included two World Wars) was fascinating. Strauss, Mahler, Debussy, Schoenberg, Berg, Stravinsky, Bartók, Ravel, Ives, Varèse, Gershwin, Sibelius, Hindemith, Weill, Shostakovich, Prokofiev, Copland or Messiaen and their innovative music universe pass through the pages of Ross book leaving a lasting impression. Not to mention musicians from the second half (Boulez, Xenakis, Cage, Ligeti, Riley, Reich or Part) that sadly got underrepresented in our own lists of the 50s and 60s poll despite receiveing some strong support especially from sonofsamiam, Charlie Driggs, Michael or Mindrocker.
Funny because I just saw that book yesterday at the library and wondered what it was about.
Ys, classical music from th 20th century is great. The only difficulty is to compare it properly to popular music : how can you compare Leadbelly and Debussy or even Schonberg and put them in the same list
But I will do. Except a lot of folk-blues in my list though
I read a very interesting book the other day by a Frenchman named Roland de Cadé on classical music. He said that, while classical music was written, popular and folk music is only available through recordings, and that the recording indusrty widened the gap between classical, educated music and popular music. Think about the sixties in France, where you had serial music one one side and the yé-yés on the other !!
But the meeting of classical and pop music did great things : just think about the Beatles meeting George Martin (who was a classical trained man who didn't know anything about pop music).
But anyway let's play the game.
BTW, here's my second nomination : the FRench national anthem according to Django Reihnardt and Stéphane Grapelli. It is 1946 and France is now a free country.
all this optimism shows in this tune.
One of the most beautiful recordings of the 1920s :
Bessie Smith singing WC Handy's "St Louis Blues" with Louis Armstrong on cornet (1925)
Excellent recommendations so far, nicolas! Keep on comin’!
I’ve done a Spotify playlist as a list in progress nicolas-style, so far I got only a Top 10 but by the end of the month I expect a Top 100 at least. Lot of listening to do and very little spare time.
It's great that we allow classical music. I will at least include the following:
Samuel Barber - Adagio for Strings, Op.11
Carl Orff – Carmina Burana: O Fortuna
Joaquín Rodrigo - Concierto De Aranjuez
Sergei Prokofjev – Romeo And Juliet, Op. 64: Montagues And Capulets
Maurice Ravel – Bolero
Remo Giazotto (Tomaso Albinoni) – Adagio In G Minor
George Gershwin – Rhapsody in Blue
Please recommend me more!
Calypso started in the '30s with great singers like Attila, Lord invader or my favorite, The Tiger, with this little masterpiece.
This version was recorded in 1979, but the original is just about the same.
More information on that song in this River's invitation post
To Henrik : I'll come up with a list of classical music soon, but you can look into my Spotify list every now and then, because I'm feeding it with classical (and thanks for subscribing)
I forgot Claude Debussy's "Clair de lune". These classical pieces are all top candidates for me!
I'm not sure the results of this poll will be relevant if we are too few to take part, but they sure will be eclectic !! (and that's a very good thing).
No one can sing the blues like Blind Willie McTell.
And I bet Robert Plant and Jimmie Page knew this song
very well because it justs sounds like it's out of "Led Zeppelin IV".
He was from Georgia, played a 12-string guitar.
yes, Le Sacre is beautiful. Here's the beginning :
To make a complete list of the best music from 1900-1949, you must not forget that the king of romantic opera, Giacomo Puccini, premiered three of his greatest operas after 1900.
"Vissi d'Arte" - Tosca (January 1900)
"Un bel di Vedremo" - Madame Butterfly ( February 1904)
"Signore ascolta!; " - Turandot ( April 1926)
(Renata Trebaldi, Jussi Björling)
"Nessun Dorma" Turandot ( April 1926)
(Jussi Björling, 1944)
The first clip from Turandot is the best 7.5 minutes of music ever!
Hello, just some Charles Trenet recomandation.
Que reste-t'il de nos amours ?
Y'a dl'a joie !
Le jardin extraordinaire
Let's not forget country music. Here's a blugrass anthem. I love this version, recorded in 1954, just after Elvis did his own. Old Bill beats him hands down.
And here is a better version of Choo Choo'Ch boogie, which will be in my top 10 for sure.
And now, Hank with another pre-rock'n'roll standard
It's almost the melody of Rock around the clock
Choo Choo Ch' Boogie + Move It On Over = rock'n'roll
Today's pick is en français
My favorite Piaf song, first recorded in the40s, here a 1955 live version. Tragic story of a prostitute who's in love with an accordeon player.
Roy Acuff is one of my favorite pre-1950 country artists. He was the one who did the transition between hilbilly and honky tonk, between Appalachian folk and Hank.
PS : hope I don't bother you with my daily posts, and hope I don't discourage you from posting your own suggestions
Here's a little masterpiece by Jimmie Rodgers, the first country music star.
His most acclaimed pieces are the excellent Blue yodels, but this lesser-known great ballad is my favorite.
The pre-history of country music is fascinating, especially those folk songs from the Appalaches. Fans of The Tallest Man On Earth will recognize a few verses.
Bascom Lamar Lunsford was a lawyer from North Carolina who collected and performed many songs.
Some jazz now with one of the greatest bandleaders of the era
A great recommendation by Honorio that I second. One of the greatest, if not the greatest of tango singers.
Thanks, Nicolas, glad you liked it. Gardel is a mythical name in Argentina tango and he recorded hundreds of great songs (excellently represented on Miguel’s list). This is the You Tube link:
And here’s a link to a page with the English translation.
I posted the wrong video and didn't even noticed !
Coleman Hawkins was my first choice yeserday and then I thought of Gardel. So you had both of them and that's cool.
Today's pick is John Lee Hooker, one of the very greatest bluesmen. I wanted to post "Boogie Chillen", but I didn't find the 1948 version on Youtube, the one with just JLH and his guitar. So I posted the sequel to Boogie Chillen, when you can hear this haunting rhythmic playing on the guitar. It is blues at its rawest, the closest to its African roots : one chord and a half, and this foot tappping on the floor.
Here's another song that will be in my top 30.
A great example of hillbilly blues, eg blues played by the white folks in the South. Jimmie Rodgers was the most famous of them, but Sam McGee was a great guitarist that played like a real bluesman.
Another song of him that I love. I have a better, slower version from my father's collection, but I couldn't find it on video.
Lonnie J was the first guitar hero of the blues era, and he influenced a lot of guitar players in the thirties. Robert Johnson took his name and pretender he was his brother. But the man himself was more of than a bluesman. He played with Louis Armstrong, and did these wonderful duets with guitarist Ediie lang.
And now the queen of couintry yodelling. Delicious song
Erik Satie was one of the first minimalists, a great influence for people like Philipp Glass.
here's "Je te veux" a waltz that he wrote for the cabaret when he needed money.
I love music in 3/4
This is the last one (this here version is from 1952)
It was great to post these songs, even if I didn't get comments. Now i promise i won't come back and Kanye west can stay on top of the forum page.
The appreciative comments are in the lists of the actual 1900-1949 forum poll, Nicolas. If you take a look at them, you'll notice that many participants picked titles from your recommendations and included them in their lists.
By the way, we're still eagerly awaiting yours.
... in a few minutes