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Jamaican Rumba

1937; originally for two pianos, written for Valerie and Joan Trimble, as the second of Two Jamaican Pieces; solo piano version published in 1945
based on the composer's version for violin and piano; published in 1954

The best-known of all Benjamin’s light-music pieces, Jamaican Rumba was based on a tune he heard in the West Indies while examining there for the RCM. First composed for two pianos in 1937, as the second of Two Jamaican Pieces, it was arranged for many combinations. The original version was in fact composed in a single morning for two of Benjamin’s students, Valerie and Joan Trimble, who were about to give their first recital. The composer made a violin-and-piano version, dedicated to Jascha Heifetz; and this was in turn arranged for the viola by William Primrose and published in 1954. The high-spirited melodic and rhythmic confection of the piece (Howells’s ‘enchanting brevity’) answered to a current vogue for South American and Caribbean idioms created by American jazz and popular music of the 1930s and 1940s.

from notes by Calum MacDonald © 2014


Benjamin (A): Violin Sonatina & Viola Sonata
Studio Master: CDA67969Studio Master FLAC & ALAC downloads available
British Light Music Classics
CDS44261/44CDs Boxed set (at a special price)
British Light Music Classics, Vol. 4
CDA67400Archive Service; also available on CDS44261/4
Piers Lane goes to town
Studio Master: CDA67967Studio Master FLAC & ALAC downloads available


Track 8 on CDA67400 [2'06] Archive Service; also available on CDS44261/4
Track 15 on CDA67967 [1'01]
Track 13 on CDA67969 [1'51]
Track 8 on CDS44261/4 CD4 [2'06] 4CDs Boxed set (at a special price)

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