August 23, 2009

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(Leslie Bridgewater - almost completely forgotten - even the photo is obscure)

When we think about Classical Music, we instantly think of the "meat-and-potatoes" crew. You know, Beethoven, Bach, Brahms - the usual suspects.

But there exists a vast quantity of composers who never became anything even close to household names, whose work has been almost totally forgotten and most all of it never recorded more than once.

Leslie Bridgewater was one of those names. Primarily known as a film and "light music" composer who did a lot of work for the BBC, Bridgewater did compose a number of serious works and almost none of them have been recorded or performed during his lifetime.

One of those works is his Piano Concerto, recorded in 1947 for the small British label Paxton with pianist Iris Loveridge and an anonymous orchestra conducted by the composer. It has not been performed (at least as far as I know) since this recording and it has never been presented in any recorded form other than the original 78's presented here.

Granted, it's not terribly original - borrowing heavily on Rachmaninoff and much of the film music he was composing at the time, making it a little on the generic side. But still, it's a serious piece of music by a composer who worked a lot in the 1940's and 1950's and he's been totally neglected and you get to hear it, probably for the first time.

That's what we're here for - tossing out discoveries.

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