October 29, 2018
Ferdinand Rudolph Von Grofé was born in March 27, 1892, in New York. He was the only son in the family. He was an American composer, arranger, pianist and instrumentalist. During the 1920s and 1930s, he went by the name Ferdie Grofé. His parents are all known in their musician careers. His father, Emil von Grofé, was a baritone who sang mainly light opera. His mother, Elsa Johanna Bierlich von Grofé, a professional cellist, was also a versatile music teacher who taught cello and piano which she also taught Ferde to play the viola and piano.
Back to Ferde, after the death of his father, his mother took him to abroad to study about instruments. Ferde became proficient on a wide range of instruments including piano, violin, viola and piano was his favorite one. His parents wanted him to be a lawyer, however he doesn’t like it and he left school. Soon, he became the first arranger of other composer, music was given to him like a gift and he was soon becoming a composer in his own right. He used to work a lot of different jobs as well after he left home at the age of 14. He worked as a milkman, truck driver, etc. and made few bucks a night. During this hard time, he still practicing his instruments and not stopped. He was performing with dance bands at 15 age and 17 years old was when he wrote his first commissioned work. At the beginning of 1920, he played jazz piano with the Paul Whiteman orchestra. He served as Whiteman’s chief arranger from mid-1920 to 1932. He can made very popular song in just snap of the finger. Ferde’s most memorable arrangement is George Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue. He died on April 3, 1972, at age of 32. He was like one of the fathers of music.
Beyond his creation of music, The Grand Canyon Suite is a suite for orchestra he composed between 1929 and 1932. Including of five movements in the video: sunrise, painted desert, on the trail, sunset, cloudburst, each of represent the meaning of the Grand Canyon. Paul Whiteman and his orchestra gave the first public performance of the work, it was at the Studebaker Theatre in Chicago concert on November 22, 1931. On the trial story has been used as the soundtrack for the Grand Canyon Diorama in many movies or plays. It was also the theme music for commercials for Philip Morris cigarettes on US radio and television from 1934 until sometime in the 1960s. Paul Whiteman and his Orchestra recorded the movements of the suite in three studio sessions on April 26,27,28, 1932 for RCA Victor at their studios in Camden, New Jersey.
The Grand Canyon Suite: On the Trail has the instrument soloist is a violin, it’s the one he used as main instrument in the video. A violin is a pretty ideal instrument for this song since in the western world, the violin was kn...