Joplin: Maple Leaf Rag; The Entertainer

Our rating 
3.0 out of 5 star rating 3.0

LABELS: Sony Essential Classics
WORKS: Maple Leaf Rag; The Entertainer
PERFORMER: Roy Eaton (piano)
CATALOGUE NO: SBK 62833 1995
Scott Joplin was known as the ‘King of Ragtime’ following the astonishing publishing success of pieces like the Maple Leaf Rag and The Entertainer. His music is certainly joyful and often very beautiful, but you have to like it a very great deal it to enjoy a whole CD’s worth. Many of the pieces go at almost exactly the same tempo, they are inherently over-repetitive and the range demanded from the piano is limited. Although Eaton’s playing is sensitive and sympathetic – strong bass line, nice phrasing, not too fast – he does little to add contrast (even the rubatos are repeated exactly as before) and the sound is very dry. Jessica Duchen