Friday, September 10, 2021



A fun part about the Marx Brothers was how when the music started, Harpo would get serious and down to business.  Chico's slap-finger style of playing - something even virtuosos struggle to emulate - kept some of the levity.  But for Harpo, once he entered into the music, it was serious devotion to the craft.  That always impressed me.

What's more, this is one of the 'Everest' pieces for the piano.  I never kept on with piano lessons, being stupid.  But I still learned to play enough that I can appreciate the different levels of difficulty in various works.  Contrary to popular belief, not all difficult pieces of music are created equal.  There are some compositions out there that most, even the greatest, pianists will never master.  Certain pieces written by the likes of Beethoven, Mozart, Chopin and Liszt are to the world of piano what Mount Everest is to mountain climbers.  Something only conquered by an elite fraternity.  

That Harpo could take one of the most difficult of these pieces and put it to the harp - one of the most difficult instruments to master - shows just how much of a world class prodigy he was.  Also, it's worth noting, he was every bit as talented at the piano.  

BTW, that Hungarian Rhapsody is considered one of those 'Everest' pieces is what always made this Tom and Jerry gem so special:   

How many of my generation were introduced to the classics through Bugs Bunny or Tom and Jerry?  In this case, the music is all the more impressive because it had to be played in conjunction with the action on the cartoon.  Not to mention a rather jaunty digression into some Big Band era riffs in the middle of the composition.  This was accomplished by Scott Bradley, who was MGM's musical director - and clearly a master pianist in his own right. 

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