Irving Berlin: Great Man of American Music - A New Interpretation
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|Irving Berlin: Great Man of American Music - A New Interpretation
℗ © 2013 Countdown Media GmbH
Conducting an orchestra of fifty-five and a chorus of twenty, Poliakin interprets these major American standards with characteristic warmth and rhapsodic sweep, but also in rhythms that are strongly marked. Because of the fact that Irving Berlin’s long-range popularity has been due to the artful simplicity of his melodies, Poliakin makes certain that the melodic lines are vigorously and soaringly delineated.
Aside from his capacity to create melodies that are easily remembered, Berlin has been so remarkably, successful a writer because he has never felt that pop song composing was in any sense demeaning. He is not a frustrated classical composer. “Irving,” says Oscar Hammerstein “has no sophistication about writing hits. He likes hits. And he loves his songs – when someone else loves them. He has almost a beginner’s eagerness to have you like what he’s just written.”
Berlin, moreover, has put all of himself into his work. “Songwriting,” he has said, “is not alone a business or a hobby with me. It’s everything.” Irving Berlin has been a professional songwriter for more than fifty years. Now 72, he is still writing and as anxious as ever that his songs be accepted. He’s had more than 800 published, and there are even more he’s held back until the time is right, he feels, for their release.
For this album, Raoul Poliakin has chosen eleven of Berlin’s best known songs, tunes that bear out Harold Arlen’s contention that Berlin’s melodies “sound as if they were born that way – not written.” Poliakin has had an extensive background in classical music, having been a concert violinist, a member of several major American symphony orchestras, and a conductor. He does not approach popular music of this quality with condescension. Poliakin feels that several of the standard popular songs will last as long as the classics, and he molds his versions of them with the care and enthusiasm with which he approaches a classical work.