Aaron Copland. If you think you've never heard his music, you're wrong
(here's the same piece played on the organ
). You can hear an interview with the composer here
. And, though it's really hard to see a live performance of his opera, "The Tender Land," you can watch it on YouTube: 1
. If you want to know more about Copland, watch this documentary
. Then there's this
analysis of "Billy The Kid." Oh, I could go on
. I could even post this link to a cool animation
set to Copland's "Hoedown." (Yeah, yeah: "Beef. It's what's for dinner.") But the real reason I made this post was to talk about my favorite Copland piece, "El Salon Mexico
." I found this clip of Ricardo Montalban playing it. Yes, THAT Ricardo Montalban. And he's RIPPING UP THE PIANO
I'll say it so you don't have to: "Khaaaaaaaan!"
Ok, now that we're past that, the clip is from a 1947 movie called Fiesta. On the imdb
page, someone writes, "I've viewed this film over and over and my piano training says there's no trick photography in the scenes where Montalban plays Green's adaptation of El Salon Mexico. I'm sure the beat-up old piano is not the actual sound source, but Montalban is hitting all the right keys at the right time! His technique is well above average, and anyone who could even fake that well would have to be able to play well too. Yet there's no mention of musical skill or training in any of his bios, nor does he play in any later films. Can anyone shed some light on this mysterious aspect of the multi-talented Senor Montalban?"