Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Ferrante & Teicher: What Was I Thinking?

Louis Teicher passed away on 8/3. May he rest in peace. We had a lot of their albums and we actually listened to them. Why? It's insipid drivel. One reason is that I remember that my mother's best friend's father worked for ABC Paramount Records and we got a lot of brand new freebies. My father however figured out a way to scam Sam Goody's by returning them, e.g. titles like "Frank Fontaine Sings," in order to get credit for Glenn Miller albums. Ferrante and Teicher should have suffered the same fate.
from wikipedia
Ferrante & Teicher were a duo of American piano players, known for their light arrangements of familiar classical pieces, movie soundtracks, and show tunes.
Arthur Ferrante (born September 7, 1921, New York City) and Louis Teicher (born August 24, 1924, Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania died August 3, 2008) met while studying at the Juilliard School of Music in New York. Musical prodigies, they began performing as a piano duo while still in school. After graduating, they both joined the Juilliard faculty.
In 1947, they launched a full-time concert career, at first playing nightclubs, then quickly moving up to playing classical music with orchestral backing. Between 1950 and 1980, they were a major American easy listening act, and scored four big U.S. hits: "Theme From The Apartment" (Pop #10), "Exodus" (Pop #2), "Tonight" (Pop #8), and "Midnight Cowboy" (Pop #10). They performed and recorded regularly with pops orchestras popular standards by George Gershwin, Jerome Kern, Cole Porter, Richard Rodgers, and others.
The duo also had a more avant-garde side. They experimented with prepared pianos, influenced by avant-garde composer John Cage. By adding paper, sticks, rubber, wood blocks, metal bars, chains, glass, mallets, and other found objects to piano string beds, they were able to produce a variety of bizarre sounds that sometimes resembled percussion instruments, and at other times resulted in special effects that sounded as if they were electronically synthesized.
Ferrante and Teicher ceased performing in 1989 and retired in Florida. CDs of their music, some of it not previously released, have continued to appear.

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