Felicity Rag (1911)

The C section of the Joplin/Hayden collaboration Felicity Rag (1911)—Mozartian in its gracefulness and simplicity—is probably my favorite section of any Joplin rag. The rest of Felicity Rag is quite charming, including the much-maligned bridge. These four consonant measures are a welcome respite from the music’s theretofore constant motion, before the return of the exuberant A section. The title is a notably accurate description of the piece’s cheerful, contented character. Dick Hyman, Richard Dowling, John Arpin, and Scott Kirby (my personal pick, from the album shown) have made very nice, unreservedly recommended recordings of this sunny piece, all available for digital download.

Brandon Byrne Ragtime Piano Composition
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Brandon Byrne is a ragtime composer, performer, and scholar. Max Morath said of Byrne, “Brandon’s unique compositions display unparalleled gifts and hidden virtuosity. His music reflects the past and challenges the future. His playing will touch your soul.” For a full list of his compositions, please visit his website.

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