Saturday, January 31, 2009

A man and a mic

Thinking about William Kapell yesterday, I started thinking about something else that should become a recurring feature on this blog.

The square 1950s announcer!

I love these announcers. I had a great one on an old Nat Cole recording I had. You could hear the guy saying: "Well, King Cole, and what do you have for us now?"

And thinking about Kapell reminded me of this Kapell video with Alistair Cooke, pictured above. You can watch it here.

In the video Kapell plays a dreamy Chopin nocturne and Cooke cuts in before it is over. That is a classic moment! I love how Kapell's face never changes. But he conveys his displeasure subtly with his body language.

The last piece does not sound like what the world associates with Kapell. I do not think Kapell captures the piece's Spanish flair and sexiness the way Pennario would have. I thought Kapell's version sounded like a player piano. I thought: Imagine what Pennario would do with this.

But as for Kapell, not bad, not bad.

Heck of a pianist.

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