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Bach goes to town 'Prelude and Fugue in swing'


Alec Templeton (1910–1963) was an American born in Cardiff. He was blind from birth, but blessed with absolute pitch and an uncanny ability to improvise. He was only twelve when he began to be heard on the BBC, and studied at both the Royal College and the Royal Academy in London. At the age of eighteen he wrote a Trio for flute, oboe and piano that was praised by Ralph Vaughan Williams. Seven years later Jack Hylton, the British bandleader, took Templeton to the States, where he was broadcasting a series of radio programmes for the Standard Oil Company. Templeton remained there, becoming an American citizen in 1941. He had enormous success as a radio and television personality, appearing frequently on The Bing Crosby Show, later having his own programme called It’s Alec Templeton Time. He recorded Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue for Columbia in the 1940s and later Gershwin’s Concerto in F with the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra. Critics praised his musicianship and interpretation, while noting his somewhat limited technical prowess. Bach goes to town, subtitled Prelude and Fugue in swing and covered by Benny Goodman’s band in 1938, has become a perennial favourite. Templeton notes it was written as Bach might have written it, had he been alive today. He also noted that music doesn’t need to be ponderous to be good. It can be everything from Bach to jazz. His British sense of humour often revealed itself in his titles: Mozart Matriculates, Scarlatti Stoops to Conga and the Pocketsize Sonata for clarinet and piano. His more ambitious piano works include the Concertino lirico (1942) and the Gothic Concerto for piano and orchestra (1954).

from notes by Piers Lane © 2013


Piers Lane goes to town
Studio Master: CDA67967Studio Master FLAC & ALAC downloads available


Movement 1: Prelude
Movement 2: Fugue

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