GET MIDI "Friday Night" LISTEN

Performer:John Roache
Composer:Donald Ashwander

Here is "Friday Night" by Donald Ashwander (1929-1994).
Donald relates the story of this composition in the liner notes of his unreleased recording project,"On The Highwire":
"I read They All Played Ragtime by Rudi Blesh and Harriet Janis when it first appeared in 1950. I felt an immediate and deep affinity with its authors and what they had to say."
"Though my music had always incorporated elements of ragtime, It wasn't until 1966, after I had moved back to New York City from Mobile, Alabama, settled into a Greenwich Village apartment and acquired a second-hand upright, that I composed my first rag. I finished it on a Friday night. Thus the title."
"On Saturday morning I awoke thinking about the piece and the authors of They All Played Ragtime. On a long chance, I looked into the New York phone directory and lo-and-behold there was the name Rudi Blesh. It had to be the same person. I dialed the number and there was the man himself! I told him about my new rag and he evinced interest. My compositions are often beyond my piano technique, requiring much practice for me to make them known. Friday Night is one of these. Nevertheless, I told Rudi I would play it over the phone. I somehow stumbled through the piece and resumed our conversation. We agreed this was not the best way to hear music. Rudi suggested that we meet the next afternoon at the house of his friend Marshall Stearns (author of Jazz Dancing) on Waverly Place, where there was a fine upright."
"Meantime, I got in some practice and the next day was able to give the piece a halfway decent reading. This began for me one of the most important and satisfying friendships of my life, lasting until Rudi's death in 1985."

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