articles / Classical Californians

Classical Californians: Michael Feinstein

Content image

Art Streiber

Our Classical Californian this week is Michael Feinstein – pianist, singer of the Great American songbook, as well as the conductor of the Pasadena Pops. He brings together some hard to find recordings that celebrate music-making in LA and Hollywood by some of the great composers and pianists – and several who deserve to be better known. Among them is a tune George Gershwin wrote as incidental music for a Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers movie, as well as a radio broadcast that gave the public its very first chance to hear some of the score to The Wizard of Oz!

He starts off with a transcription of the music of Johann Strauss, Jr. by pianist Leonard Pennario - the Emperor Waltz... Listen to his introduction!

Michael Feinstein - 1

Johann Strauss, Jr.: Emperor Waltz (Leonard Pennario)

Then, the light-hearted "Confetti" by Bronisław Kaper...

Michael Feinstein - 2

Bronisłav Kaper: Confetti

A bit of movie music from George Gershwin, "French Ballet Class"...

Michael Feinstein - 3

George Gershwin: French Ballet Class (first selection)

Followed by Gershwin's friend Oscar Levant, in a rare recording of his own "Blue Plate Special"...

Michael Feinstein - 4

Oscar Levant: Blue Plate Special

Then to Spanish pianist José Iturbi, and a fiery performance of Saint-Saëns' Allegro Appassionato.

Michael Feinstein - 5

Saint-Saëns: Allegro Appassionato (José Iturbi)

Next, it's the Nocturne of Thomas Griselle...

Michael Feinstein - 6

Thomas Griselle: Nocturne

And the wacky, tongue-in-cheek Dis-Concerto by Jacques Press...

Michael Feinstein - 7

Jacques Press: Dis-Concerto

Music from the concert hall finds its way into space , as Aram Khatchaturian's Adagio from the ballet Gayane is included in the soundtrack to 2001: A Space Odyssey.

Michael Feinstein - 8

Aram Khatchaturian: Adagio from Gayane

And now back on earth, we'll go to Kansas, in a rare live radio broadcast of music from The Wizard of Oz before its release in theaters...

Michael Feinstein - 9
Herbert Stothart: Cyclone (Live Radio Broadcast, May 1939)

And the final stop on the tour is Brazil, with a dazzling performance of the Ary Barroso standard by pianist Carmen Cavallero.

Michael Feinstein - 10

Ary Barroso: Brazil (Carmen Cavallero)

Published on 02.14.2024