The Music of Donald O'Connor CD

Now available exclusively from The Donald O'Connor Web Site. This was an album of music composed by Donald O'Connor and performed by The Brussels Symphony Orchestra in 1956. The music is as delightful and effervescent as Donald himself . Since the CD is a copy of my personal LP it also has all the pops and crackles of the original record, but is still very listenable. You can hear a few samples below. The price is $12.00 including postage. To purchase by credit card through PayPal click on the "Buy Now" button below. Make checks or money orders payable to Teresa Murray and mail to: 1060 Powell Street #42 San Francisco CA 94108. Please email me if you have any questions.

Performed by
THE BRUSSELS SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA

Directed by
FERNAND TERBY

Adapted for Orchestra by some of his friends:
WALTER SCHARF
LEO SHUKEN
JACK HAYES

Liner Notes

Here the talents of a giant of the entertainment world has now exerted itself in the most precious avenues of Donald O'Connor's life and the fulfillment is as complete as one would dare. The themes and melodies exposed here have long lingered in Don's soul and were helped to brought alive by some of his friends. (Walter Scharf, Leo Shuken, Jack Hayes).

The realization of the music in its final completion, in orchestral form, has and will urge the talents of this great entertainer to go further and continue to bare his chest so that the world will become richer in its new found music.

WALTER SCHARF


SIDE I

(A) "INTRODUCTION AND IDENTIFICATION" (:52)
This serves as an introduction and also introduces thematically, "HERE COMES DONALD" in short form. The taps on the woodblocks act as a liaison between Donald's talent as an entertainer and his talent as a composer.

(B) "DONALD'S WALTZ" (4:42)

The adaptation of this glorious melody was comparatively easy because it lent itself to the strings of the orchestra and their response has created a thing of beauty. Originally the Waltz was used as a theme for a dance on one of Donald's television shows and it's infectious quality demanded that it be put in concert form as done here.

Sound Sample



(C) "HERE COMES DONALD" (1:01)
The theme of this very charming piece is Donald himself when performing. It has acted as introductory music and exit music and anything that would identify Don. His friends couldn't resist the temptation of putting it in its form as used here exemplifying a very stuffed-shirt woodwind ensemble plus harpsichord playing as rigid and as traditional as possible. At a moment's notice they break out into a slight jazz and finally sink back into the rigidness and stuffiness completing a delightful reading of a delightful theme.

(D) "CHRISTMAS COMES ONCE A YEAR" (5:45)

Mr. Irving Berlin presented Donald with a special piano which when one plays on the black keys, by just sliding a lever, the black keys can become the sound of the white keys.

In introducing "CHRISTMAS COMES ONCE A YEAR" his friends tried to show how the composition was born, exactly how Donald conceived it (on the black keys) and the development that takes place therein so that by its finale, it has gained all the musical stature that it deserves. The acrobatics of the adaptations are very subtly transcribed and a great deal of credit must go to the musicians themselves.
Sound Sample



SIDE II "REFLEXIONES D'UN COMIQUE" (15:05)
In 1956 Don was commissioned to conduct the annual performance of the Doctor's Symphony Orchestra of Los Angeles. For this performance "Reflexions D'un Comique" was born. It's response was great and the last movement had to be played twice to satisfy an encore.

His friends advised that adding another five minutes to this already brilliant work might make it a major orchestral piece. So it went back to the score paper and and out of it came the final result as heard here.

This piece basically is Donald himself with his many moods; the graphic line of emotion is so prevalent throughout the work. It's descriptions orchestrally, are brilliant and rise to the heights that the work deserves. It also supplies a concerto quality with the use of the piano as soloist throughout the opus. This also is supposed to act as a parallel to Donald's "Irving Berlin piano". Let the chips fall where they may and explore a new talent."
Sound Sample



(All Compositions published by ... O'CONNOR AND MILLER MUSIC CORP.(ASCAP) Los Angeles, California.)
PALETTE RECORDS CORP. 1733 BROADWAY, NEW YORK 19, N.Y.

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