Sunday February 19, 2022
Emerson Avenue Salonlines Proudly Presents
a Live YouTube Broadcast
– A “hybrid” concert –
The Late Romantic Period … With a Beat!
Salon regular, Alex Hassan, finds himself back on the Emerson Avenue piano bench, this coming Sunday night, Feb 19th, at the usual 7:30PM Eastern time. Despite moving down to Richmond with his lovely wife, Sara, two years ago, he continually finds the time, pandemic regardless, to share the joy of popular music between the world wars…what he calls the “late Romantic with a beat”. Rachmaninoff, by the 1920s/30s, was no longer writing the lush tunes for which he’ll forever be known. However, the songwriters of Hollywood and Broadway decidedly kept the melodic tradition, adding a rhythmic beat, whether for dancing, or toe-tapping.
Alex has chosen some gorgeous melodies from his 50,000+ sheet music collection. There’ll be a couple of 30s film medleys of his own devise. To placate jazz lovers, he’ll play two exceptional numbers by the famed stride/swing/blues pianist, Joe Sullivan. There’ll be a Hit Parade tune by Jimmy Van Heusen, which you’ll all know, but in a near unknown arrangement by Van Heusen himself. He’ll play a virtuoso Prelude Moderne, by pianist/songwriter, Frank Signorelli, the beauty of which lingers long after the first listen. Expect an exceptionally lush song, with a clumsy but funny title. Alex will read the lyric, fear not! And, he’ll premiere [likely] the shortest piece in the retro-pop repertoire, arguably as dazzling as anything we’ll have heard in any of Alex’s previous concerts.
(No Super Bowl on Sunday. THAT excuse won’t work! )
See y’all soon–
Alex Hassan has been in total immersion 1920s/30s Tin Pan Alley Popular Piano Styles therapy for over 40 years. A pupil of a pupil of a pupil of a pupil of Franz Liszt (well…it SOUNDS impressive?!), he has been a torchbearer for the melodies of between-the-wars Broadway and Hollywood (and European equivalents), devoting himself more specifically to collecting and resurrecting the great “late Romantic with a beat” popular songs that really never had a chance.
His archival collection of [mostly] popular piano solo and vocal sheet music numbers around 45,000 titles, entirely 1920s/30s. It is a tribute to those heady musical times that there is still so much left to find.
Alex has performed internationally at such venues as England’s Aldeburgh Festival, Husum (2007 & 2015–“Piano Rarities Festival”), Washington DC’s Kennedy Center, the Coolidge Auditorium (Library of Congress), various Manhattan/Baltimore/Washington night spots, and national ragtime festivals. He has recorded prolifically for England’s SHELLWOOD PRODUCTIONS, Los Angeleno label OPERETTA ARCHIVES, and Pennsylvania’s STOMP OFF, and has produced/annotated several reissues of the virtuoso popular pianists of the 78RPM period, for both Shellwood and the Pittsburgh company, RIVERMONT (for which he has also recorded, along with two brilliant singing friends).
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