Live Concert sponsored by Piano Cleveland on The Quarantine Concert Series
0:00 Medley of Marches – J.P. Sousa
2:20 Shaker Hymn/The Open Prairie – A. Copland
5:38 Beautiful Dreamer – S. Foster
6:52 Solace (fragment) – S. Joplin
8:22 Someone To Watch Over Me – G. Gershwin
12:43 My Own True Love – M. Steiner
13:57 Star Wars/E.T./Raiders March – J. Williams
17:00 Edelweiss – R. Rodgers
19:50 Take The A Train – D. Ellington/B.Strayhorn
22:45 America The Beautiful – Arr. C. Fischer
25:21 Cloudburst/On The Trail – F. Grofé
29:27 The Stars And Stripes Forever – J.P. Sousa
Marshall Griffith and Friends
This “Concert” is a summary of my musical life for over 40 years and the selections were chosen to showcase and thank my many musical partners. The recordings used were created in many locations with diverse recording techniques and thanks to Jon Guggenheim of C Town Sound for mixing and making this compilation come together.
Almost all of my partners are connected to my Alma Mater, The Cleveland Institute of Music where I received a first-class musical education in Composition/Piano and made so many musical connections. The selections also highlight my musical interests, Standard Repertoire, Reimagining and Arrangements of Standard Repertoire, Original Compositions, Jazz, Christmas Music, Broadway and Popular Song.
The first track is the concert complete and the individual selections follow with a testimonial to my musical friend. Enjoy!
Witold Lutoslawski, Paganini Variations:
Marshall Griffith, Jacqueline Buckley Platten, Pianos
Jackie and I met at The Fine Arts Association in Willoughby, Ohio and formed a duo piano team called the Fine Arts Duo which performed throughout the Midwest for 10 years during the late 1970’s and throughout the 1980s. When I heard her playing a Mozart Sonata through a practice room door, I thought that I was listening to myself. Collaborations like this are quite rare and it was a joy to play much of the wonderful repertoire for piano, 4-hands and two pianos. We were able to coach with Vitya Vronsky Babin, Grant Johannesen and my beloved piano teacher, Olga Radosavljevich at the Cleveland Institute of Music which was a great addition to my and our musical foundation.
W.A. Mozart, Sonatina, Allegro: from the Basset Horn works: arr. Griffith:
Virginia Crabtree, Flute, Marshall Griffith, Piano
Virginia is my most current regular collaborator and we began playing together as Resident Artists for The Cleveland Clinic. Since then we have performed many concerts and senior events. We are an odd mixture of musical abilities, I’m more the improvisatory player and Virginia is a more structured player with the most beautiful tone and intonation one can imagine. Together our skills make for a dynamic ensemble which I cherish. The Mozart on this recital reflects my lifelong love of his music. You can hear Virginia and I on Christmas albums, a Jewish Holiday album and many of the Medleys on this web site.
John Williams, Theme from Schindler’s List:
Kallen O’Connor, Violin, Marshall Griffith, Piano
Kallen and I have more fun making music than we probably should but we can’t help ourselves. We have that “IT FACTOR” but she probably has that with everyone she plays with because of her amazing musical instincts and listening ability. There is a spontaneity in performing with Kallen that is captivating both for us but to our audiences as well. You can also hear Kallen on this website in the Medley section where she is featured on the Halloween Fantasy and the Brahms Medley.
Leonard Bernstein, I Feel Pretty: arr. Griffith For Two Pianos
Steven Mark Kohn piano, Marshall Griffith, Piano
Steve and I are both composers who write music that is fairly accessible which always put us out of sync with the academic composition scene. Neither of us care about that very much because we write what is in our musical hearts and write with an audience in mind. This performance is from one of the many Lunch and Listen Concerts presented by alumni of the Cleveland Institute of Music. We both love musical theatre and my arrangement of I Feel Pretty is for two pianos with a little nod to Igor Stravinsky and Errol Garner.
Pietro Mascagni, Intermezzo: arr. Griffith
Linda White, Flute, Marshall Griffith, Piano, Dean Newton, Bass
Linda White is truly a professional musician. She can, and will play anything and do it well. She and I have played classical concerts, jazz gigs, new music presentations and weddings. I composed a work for her called Portraits of the West, as she is from Wyoming and I spent much of my youth in Nebraska. A recording of that work is on this website. This recording is also from a Lurch and Listen Concert from The Cleveland Institute of Music and reflects one of long term interest, the reimagining of standard works. Here is a version of this well-known Intermezzo presented in a minor key with some altered harmonies. Linda can also be heard on this website on the Christmas 2022 album where she plays four different flutes in a quirky version of the Grinch tune called, The Case of The Stolen Christmas.
Pastoral Dream/Beethoven: arr. Griffith
Brian Sweigart, Pedal Glockenspiel, Marshall Griffith, Piano
Brian has one of the most amazing ears of anyone I have ever worked with. We were both on the Eurhythmics Faculty of The Cleveland Institute of Music and have played a variety of events together over the years. Brian commissioned my composition, Three Latin Dances which is also on this website. This odd presentation of fragments from Beethoven Symphonies was made extraordinarily better by Brian suggesting Pedal Glockenspiel as the choice for the percussion component of the arrangement.
Duke Ellington, Take The A Train:
Carl Topilow, Clarinet, Marshall Griffith, Piano
Carl and I have been making music together for over 40 years. Before he founded the Cleveland Pops Orchestra, there was just Carl and I in a duo called Clarinet Pops which did benefit concerts for The Cleveland Institute of Music and The National Repertory Orchestra in Colorado. We always had a mixture of popular music, jazz and classical on our programs and one could say we have done it all.
Edgar Sampson, Stompin’ At The Savoy:
Dave Morgan, Bass, Marshall Griffith, Piano
Dave Morgan defines what it means to be a consummate musician. He is a composer, teacher and one the finest jazz bassist I have ever had the privilege to work with. This recording is from The Allegheny College Music Festival Concert Series in Meadville, Pennsylvania.
Marshall Griffith, Moose Crossing:
Joan Griffith, Guitar, Dave Karr, Soprano Saxophone, Gordy Johnson, Bass, Marshall Griffith, Piano
My sister, Joan, has been a tremendous influence on my musical life. She and I have played together frequently over the course of our entire life and we’re not done yet. She played the premiere of Jazz Impressions of Cleveland (on the Web Site) and I wrote a set of jazz influenced works for her called, Jazz Impressions of Minnesota. This unusually organized blues work pays homage to Steven Sondheim and Maurice Ravel.
George Gershwin, Rhapsody In Blue:
CIM/CWRU Wind Ensemble, Gary Ciepluch, Conductor, Marshall Griffith, Piano
Playing Rhapsody in Blue was challenge and a joy. I ended up playing every version of the piece during the Gershwin Centennial year but my favorite is the original version which is the one presented here. I had the fortunate opportunity to coach the work with Cleveland pianist, Eunice Podis, which was a wonderful experience. Gary and I are musical and golf friends and still regularly see one another to make birdies (hopefully) and music.
Jerome Kern, All The Things You Are:
Irving Berlin, Cheek To Cheek
Beverley, soprano, Marshall Griffith, Piano
Beverley was on the faculty of The Cleveland Institute of Music where we met and she became part of The Clarinet Duo with Carl Topilow because she could sing Opera and Broadway arias equally well. This recording is from one of my many benefit concerts for The Cleveland Institute of Music. My arrangement of the Kern song has strong influences of Faure and the Berlin tune is just plain fun.
All The Things You Are
Cheek To Cheek
DePaul/Johnston/Raye, I Remember April
McHugh/Fields, I Can’t Give You Anything But Love
Alan Safier vocalist, Marshall Griffith, Piano
I met Alan because he was a friend of my famous pop piano student, Jim Brickman. He was doing a theatre program about George Burns and needed to make a CD of songs popular during that era. He came in from New York and we, in two rehearsals, put together a really fun and beautiful recording. I Remember April
I Can’t Give You Anything But Love
Barry Manilow, Even Now
Lennon/McCartney, Come Together
Katherine Wolfe Sebo, vocalist, Marshall Griffith, Piano
I have the extreme pleasure and honor of being Cantor Kathy’s accompanist at The Temple Tiferreth Israel in Beachwood, Ohio. We work together on Friday Shabbat services and frequent Mitzvah services. During Covid we did a series of five livestream concerts (Live and Under Rehearsed Concerts With The Cantor) of music primarily by Jewish composers. It is impossible to put into words how talented Kathy is, she can sing beautifully in any style, plays the piano and is a wonderful colleague.
The selections indicate musical interests of mine: 70’s pop music and the works of the Beatles. Even Now
Gannon/Kent, I’ll Be Home For Christmas
Elizabeth Huff, soprano, Marshall Griffith, Piano
If you look at my website it is obvious how much time of my musical life is devoted to Christmas Music. When my good friend Liz, and fellow Cleveland Institute alumni, was doing her Christmas CD she asked to participate which I happily did. This arrangement, of one of the most popular Christmas songs during World War II, pays homage to Satie and Tchaikovsky.