06 January 2014

Bach to Bach - and Bach again!

Yesterday I came across the video above of Stephane Grappelli, Django Reinhardt and Eddie South improvising on the First Movement of Bach's Double Violin Concerto in D minor. I think it was in the autumn of 1981 when I was doing a sabbatical year in Toronto that I attended a concert by Stephane Grappelli. There was a full house, the audience ranging in age From one to ninety-two, to quote The Christmas Song. It was an occasion on which I felt I was in the presence of someone doing exactly what God had made him to do. that's the only way I can describe Grappelli.

There is a comment under this video that reads,  This is beautiful. I'm sure the old man himself would appreciate. Here is the same music played as 'The Old Man' wrote it by two of the great classical violinists of our time, Yehudi Menuhin and David Oistrakh. Menuhin and Grappelli teamed up many years later to make some memorable recordings, blending their two very different styles.

I'm sure 'The Old Man' would also approve of this vocal arrangement of the same music by The Swingle Singers, from the 1960s.

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