Program 113
"A Bouquet of Roses"

MUSIC: MacDowell: To a Wild Rose, op. 51, No. 1. performed by Philip Martin [Hyperion CDA67379, track 20] [1:53] [under the following]

Welcome to Compact Discoveries. I’m your guide, Fred Flaxman, and I have come prepared with a special treat for you during the next hour: “A Bouquet of Roses.”

In the background you can hear what is perhaps the most famous piano piece about these flowers: the American composer Edward MacDowell’s To a Wild Rose. It is being played by the Irish pianist/composer Philip Martin on a Hyperion compact disc.

Stay with me and we’ll listen to arguably the most famous “rose” orchestral piece of all times, the Waltzes from Rosenkavalier by Richard Strauss. Then we’ll hear one of British composer Haydn Wood’s most famous pieces, his Roses of Picardy. After that we’ll smell The Last Rose of Summer, the Irish folk song, as orchestrated by the American composer Leroy Anderson in his Irish Suite.

Moving from classical and semi-classical to ragtime, I’ll play for you Scott Joplin’s Rose Leaf Rag. Well, I won’t play it for you, but John Arpin will -- on a Pro-Arte recording. Then we’ll hear the most famous French “rose” song of all time, La Vie en Rose, first as sung by the singer who made it so famous, Edith Piaf, then in an orchestral interpretation.
Finally, we’ll hear from a rose of a different color: Michael Rose and his orchestra, along with one of the Rosebuds.

In short, this is a program for musically open-minded people who go for great big band jazz, ragtime, and French popular music as well as the classics. I hope you are one of those and that you’ll stay tuned for the whole hour.

MUSIC: MacDowell’s To a Wild Rose ends

The Dresden 1911 premiere of Richard Strauss’s opera Der Rosenkavalier was the greatest success of his entire career. The work was an immediate hit and was taken up by other opera houses the world over. Its popularity has never waned, and shows no sign of doing so.

The score is full of melodious waltzes and, almost at once, the waltzes were extracted from the opera for concert performances. Strauss himself did not provide these concoctions, but left them to others. Strauss was dissatisfied with these arrangements and in 1944 he decided to put together a sequence of waltzes from Acts One and Two, prefaced by the Prelude to Act One. He developed some of the themes to give the work more organic unity.

Another collection of Waltzes from Der Rosenkavalier was made up from material in Act Three. It was put together by my favorite female composer, Ann Onimus. We’ll hear both compositions now, played back to back, by the Leipzig Gevandhous [LYP-tsihg guh-VAHNT-house] Orchestra conducted by Herbert Blomstedt [BLUHM-steht].

MUSIC: Richard Strauss: Rosenkavalier Waltzes, first sequence, performed by Gewandhousorchester Leipzig conducted by Herbert Blomstedt [Decca B0004645-02, track 2] [12:54]

MUSIC: Richard Strauss: Rosenkavalier Waltzes, second sequence, performed by Gewandhousorchester Leipzig conducted by Herbert Blomstedt [Decca B0004645-02, track 4] [8:01]

Two compilations of waltzes from Richard Strauss’s opera Der Rosenkavalier. The first was put together by Strauss himself; the second by an anonymous orchestrator. They were both played by the Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra conducted by Herbert Blomstedt.

You are listening to Compact Discoveries. I’m your guide, Fred Flaxman, and the theme for this hour is “A Bouquet of Roses.”

[optional break not included in the total timing of the hour]

Next we go from Germany to England and the music of Haydn Wood. His Roses of Picardy was published as a song in 1916 when World War One was at its height. His piece was an immediate success. In the lyrics a lovely French girl hears the voice of her lover far away in Picardy. He’s comparing her to the roses flowering there. The song became one of the most successful of all time, selling over three million records and over two million sheet music copies. Haydn Wood created an orchestral version in 1933, which we hear now as performed by the Slovak Radio Symphony Orchestra of Bratislava conducted by Ernest Tomlinson on a Marco Polo release.


MUSIC: Wood: Roses of Picardy, performed by the Slovak Radio Symphony Orchestra of Bratislava conducted by Ernest Tomlinson [Marco Polo 8.223605, track 7] [5:56]

Haydn Wood’s Roses of Picardy, performed by the Slovak Radio Symphony Orchestra of Bratislava conducted by Ernest Tomlinson.

This hour we are presenting “A Bouquet of Roses” on Compact Discoveries. I’m Fred Flaxman.

Whatever theme I pick for these programs, the American composer Leroy Anderson always seems to have a piece that fits! And he’s not disappointing me for this hour, either. His Irish Suite contains his orchestration of the folksong, The Last Rose of Summer. And here it is, performed by Leroy Anderson and his Orchestra on an MCA Classics release.

MUSIC: Anderson: The Last Rose of Summer from the Irish Suite, performed by Leroy Anderson and His Orchestra. [MCA Classics MCAD2-9815-B, track 24] [3:23]

The Last Rose of Summer from Leroy Anderson’s Irish Suite. Leroy Anderson conducted his orchestra.

Between 1890 and World War One, the United States experienced a diverse and exciting musical culture that reflected the fun-loving prosperity of the times. One of the most successful American musical styles to emerge was ragtime. It was written mainly for piano playing, and became famous for its syncopated melody.

The undisputed “King of Ragtime” was Scott Joplin, an African-American composer who lived from 1868 until 1917. He elevated the style to what is recognized today as a serious art form. Here’s John Arpin playing Joplin’s Rose Leaf Rag.

MUSIC: Scott Joplin: Rose Leaf Rag performed by John Arpin [Pro-Arte CDD 562, track 2] [4:27]

Scott Joplin’s Rose Leaf Rag performed by John Arpin on a Pro-Arte compact disc.

In case you’ve just joined us, we are experiencing a “Bouquet of Roses” this hour of Compact Discoveries. We started off with classical roses by the American composer Edward MacDowell and the German composer Richard Strauss, then we moved to semi-classical roses by the British composer Haydn Wood and the American composer Leroy Anderson. American ragtime was next, and we are now ready for the most famous French “rose” music of all time, La Vie en Rose by Louiguy. The French chanteuse Edith Piaf made this song famous all over the world. So first we’ll listen to her 1946 recording. Then we’ll hear an orchestral rendition by Richard Hayman and his Orchestra.

MUSIC: Louiguy: La Vie en Rose, performed by Edith Piaf [Capitol CDP 72438 27097 2 5, CD1, track 1] [3:03]

MUSIC: Louiguy: La Vie en Rose, performed by Richard Hayman and his Orchestra [Naxos 8.555009, track 13] [2:38]

La Vie en Rose. First you heard the 1946 recording by Edit Piaf remastered on a Capitol compact disc. Then, the 1990 recording by Richard Hayman and his Orchestra on a Naxos CD.

If you think I was stretching the “Bouquet of Roses” theme to incorporate La Vie en Rose, wait till you hear what I propose next -- a “rose” of a totally different variety: a Michael Rose and his orchestra and his singing quartet called The Rosebuds. I’ll use just about any excuse to get in some cuts from this recording, since it comes from a CD which was derrived from a television special which I helped produce when I was working for WXEL-TV and FM in Palm Beach, Florida. That is where Compact Discoveries originated.

Michael Rose is a native of Long Island, New York, where he first developed the virtuoso trumpet technique that would make me think he is Harry James reincarnated, except for one problem: Harry James died in 1983, and I think Michael Rose was born sometime before that. In any case, Michael Rose made South Florida his home in 1988 and formed his orchestra two years later. The orchestra specializes in playing the arrangements of the famous bands of the Swing Era, performing at the best known venues of the Palm Beaches, including Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago, the Breakers, and the Boca Raton Resort and Club. The band is the official orchestra of WXEL, the PBS and NPR stations for the Palm Beaches and the Treasure Coast, and they have made several commercially available recordings.

We have time for two pieces from their “Live at WXEL” CD. First, Michael Rose as trumpet soloist in a performance which is absolutely unforgettable. In fact it is a song by Irving Gordon called Unforgettable.

MUSIC: Gordon: Unforgettable, performed by Michael Rose and His Orchestra [Michael Rose Orchestra MRO-004, track 21] [3:04]

Michael Rose and His Orchestra playing Unforgettable. Rose uses that beautiful piece as his theme song. The music was recorded on January 22, 2002, in the studios of WXEL. It was the soundtrack from a TV special. I served as the producer for WXEL, and I’m proud to say that I discovered one of the four singers used by the orchestra in a group called the Rosebuds. Evelyn Russell was singing in a restaurant in Boynton Beach, Florida, accompanied by taped music. I thought she had a beautiful voice and that she really knew how to use it, and recommended her to Michael Rose. He agreed, and the rest, as they say, is history. Here’s Evelyn Russell tenderly singing Tenderly by Gross and Lawrence.

MUSIC: Gross and Lawrence: Tenderly, sung by Eveyln Russell with Michael Rose and His Orchestra [Michael Rose Orchestra MRO-004, track 13] [3:34]

Evelyn Russell singing Tenderly with Michael Rose and His Orchestra.

MUSIC: MacDowell: To a Wild Rose, op. 51, No. 1. performed by Philip Martin [Hyperion CDA67379, track 20] [under the following]

Well that does it for this hour of Compact Discoveries and our theme, “A Bouquet of Roses.”

I hope you’ve enjoyed the selections and that you’ll contact me to let me have your reaction to this and other Compact Discoveries programs. I can be reached via the Compact Discoveries website: compactdiscoveries.com.

I would like to thank Jim MacKenzie for audio editing this hour.

You can stream this and other Compact Discoveries programs on demand at prx.org. Compact Discoveries is distributed internationally by the Public Radio Exchange.

MUSIC: ends

ANNOUNCER: Compact Discoveries is made possible in part by Story Books, publishers of The Timeless Tales of Reginald Bretnor, selected and edited by Fred Flaxman. Samples and ordering available at bretnor dot com, b-r-e-t-n-o-r dot com.

PROGRAM ENDS AT 57:37


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