Michael Feinstein  - Songs of War and Peace   -   EMI 49768
Item# PE0241
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Michael Feinstein  - Songs of War and Peace   -   EMI 49768
PE0241. MICHAEL FEINSTEIN, w.Armen Guzelimian (Pf.): SONGS OF WAR AND PEACE c. 1900-1920. EMI 49768, recorded 1967-68. - 0077774976824


“In the second half of the 1980's, Michael Feinstein made a name for himself as a kind of revitalized nightclub entertainer with an academic bent. As a former secretary to Ira Gershwin, he delighted not only in performing songs from the Great American Songbook, but also liked to throw in alternate verses discovered on scraps of paper in crumbling archives; he was as much song detective as singer. As such, the retrieval project offered him one night in 1987 by record producer Patti Laursen was irresistible: to do new recordings of some obscure 1901 art songs composed by Arnold Schönberg. In other words, she wanted him to do something even more arcane than what he was doing already. Naturally, he jumped at the chance. (His recording company, Elektra Records, jumped the other way, graciously allowing the Angel classical division of EMI to handle the album.) Pianist Armen Guzelimian was enlisted to accompany Feinstein in this recital. The resulting disc, Over There, subtitled SONGS OF WAR AND PEACE c. 1900-1920 by Berlin, Cohan, Lehár, Schönberg, Weill and many more, is actually two different collections of material stuck together. First up is a batch of Tin Pan Alley songs and show tunes associated with World War I. This material justifies the album title and the cover photograph of Feinstein in World War I uniform. It is alternately stirring, funny, and sentimental. The album closes with three never-before-recorded songs composed by a young Kurt Weill. Feingold, in his liner notes, suggests that the most striking of them, ‘Riders' Song’, was written when Weill was only 15. Feinstein, the singer, handles them well, as he does all the semi-classical material, even if it is, in effect, appended to an album of songs from the Great War.”

- William Ruhlmann, Rovi