"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
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
MUSIC: MacDowell’s To a Wild Rose ends
The Dresden 1911 premiere of Richard Strauss’s opera Der
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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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