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Fridays are the day when we at the McElrath Cabaret Blog present blog posts in our Cabaret Through Time series. We present historical cabaret singers, entertainers, venues, writers, and musicians, and often include cabaret videos. We hope that you find them informative!
Featured Composer: Harry Warren
As Harry Warren was from an Italian family, it should come as no surprise that his earliest and strongest influences were the music of great Italian operatic composers – particularly those of the Romantic Period (c. 1825-1900) such as Bellini, Rossini and Verdi. Those with some musical training and familiarity with Italian opera can hear the soaring lyricism reflecting this genre in I Only Have Eyes For You, You Never Know, I Know Why (And So Do You), There Will Never Be Another You -and of course, one of his later songs, a tribute to his roots, That’s Amore.
What does the term “lyricism” mean? While this depends (to a certain extent) on whom you ask, the general consensus is that it describes songs with wide, sophisticated intervals that are nonetheless pleasing to the ear – and above all, are meant to be sung. As marvelous as Harry Warren’s melodies are, they seem incomplete somehow without the actual lyrics being sung. Warren (in my humble opinion) owed as much to those with whom he collaborated as he did luck and his innate talent (surprisingly, he had little in the way of formal musical training) for his success.
Here is a contemporary orchestra with vocal soloist and choir performing the original version of one of my personal favorites, which Warren penned in collaboration with lyricist Arthur Freed for the 1946 film, Ziegfield Follies.
See if this doesn’t give you goose bumps as well.
Over the next few weeks, we’ll be discussing this remarkable tunesmith and his body of work.
Part One of this Harry Warren exploration.
What are your favorite songs from Harry Warren? Have you ever heard of Harry Warren before? Let us know in the comments below–we love to hear from you!
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Till next time,
Weekly Post Lineup At McElrath Cabaret:
Tuesdays: Cabaret Tip Tuesday
Wednesdays: Ask A Cabaret Question
Fridays: Cabaret Through Time