Scott Joplin: Complete Piano Works

Album cover art for upc 028948301348
Label: DECCA
Catalog: 4830134
Format: CD

Dubbed the 'King of Ragtime', Scott Joplin (c. 1868-1917) was one of the most important and influential composers at the turn of the 20th century. He was born in Texarkana, Texas and grew up in a musical family. At age seven, he discovered a piano in a neighbour's house and began experimenting with it by ear. His father soon bought a second-hand piano, and by age eleven Joplin's gifts were the talk of the community. In 1897, Joplin had his breakthrough, when he completed his Maple Leaf Rag. He was discovered by the publisher John Stark in the Maple Leaf Club in Sedalia, Missouri. Stark purchased Maple Leaf Rag for 50 dollars, offering Joplin a continuing royalty and the rest was history. The Maple Leaf Rag and The Entertainer are amongst his best-known works, the latter of which has become very much Joplin's "theme tune". Joplin's music featured prominently in the Academy Award-winning 1973 film The Sting, including The Entertainer and Solace. The Entertainer became a huge hit and the ragtime craze launched in 1893 came full circle. Phillip Dyson, recognised as one of Britain's most sought after and innovative concert pianists and broadcasts regularly on the BBC and Classic FM, has recorded Joplin's Complete Piano Works for Decca, reaffirming Joplin's reputation as a serious and influential American composer. Joplin's music has prevailed. Ragtime scholars and speciality pianists have kept his memory alive for decades. His rags, marches and waltzes are securely ensconced in the piano repertoire.

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