A Ghostly Melody

I’ve been thinking about the recent Gil Shaham recital (http://www.theclassicalgirl.com/?p=81), how I enjoyed it, and how we as the audience were all delighted when Shaham and his accompanist delivered us an encore. It was a lovely one, a rag-based melody. As is often the case when the musician calls it out, I wasn’t sure about the title. I heard “Ghost rag” with a “graceful” before it, but whether that was the title or just a description, I didn’t know. Nor was I sure whether the composer was “Bolton” or “Bolcom.” It therefore went unmentioned in my last blog. But Gil Shaham’s rendition of the piece lingered in my mind, my heart.

The other morning I woke hearing the loveliest piano music on my HD classical music digital alarm. It was perfect for that half-dream, half-awake state, sort of ephemeral and melancholy-but-not. Ghostly, one might say. Something tugged at my memory. I grew more alert, eager to hear the composer and the title at the end of the piece.

Aha. “Graceful Ghost Rag,” composed by William Bolcom. Gil Shaham’s encore. How’s that for serendipity?

And here are a few tastes of it. First, on violin, by YeonKyung Joo: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2nnfhGtOLKs

And here it is on the piano, played by Richard Dowling: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pQVoY3f-Ctc

Give it a listen. It’s lovely. It’s a tune that will haunt you.

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