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Obit: Art Ferrante, Movie Composer (Sept 09)

Rapparee 21 Sep 09 - 02:00 PM
Desert Dancer 21 Sep 09 - 02:15 PM
Desert Dancer 22 Sep 09 - 01:18 PM
Desert Dancer 22 Sep 09 - 01:21 PM
pdq 22 Sep 09 - 01:32 PM
Genie 22 Sep 09 - 02:52 PM
GUEST,TJ in San Diego 23 Sep 09 - 11:13 AM
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Subject: Obit: Art Ferrante, Movie Composer (Sept 09)
From: Rapparee
Date: 21 Sep 09 - 02:00 PM

LONGBOAT KEY, Fla. (AP) - Famed 1960s-era movie pianist Art Ferrante has died at his Florida home at age 88. Ferrante's longtime manager says he died Saturday of natural causes in Longboat Key, about 60 miles south of Tampa. Along with partner Lou Teicher, Ferrante recorded themes to movies such as "The Apartment," "Lawrence of Arabia," and "Cleopatra."

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Subject: RE: Obit: Art Ferrante, Movie Composer (Sept 09)
From: Desert Dancer
Date: 21 Sep 09 - 02:15 PM

Wow. The now both halves of the duo are gone.

"The grand twins of the twin grands" -- Ferrante and Teicher (died 2008) playing Exodus.

A major component of my late-'60s soundtrack...

~ Becky in Tucson

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Subject: RE: Obit: Art Ferrante, Movie Composer (Sept 09)
From: Desert Dancer
Date: 22 Sep 09 - 01:18 PM

NY Times obit:

Art Ferrante, Pop Pianist in Famed Duo, Dies at 88
Published: September 22, 2009

Art Ferrante, who, as half of the piano duo Ferrante & Teicher, entranced millions of listeners in the 1950's and 1960's with florid, arpeggio-packed versions of movie themes and popular songs, sprinkled with classical showpieces, died on Saturday at his home in Longboat Key, Fla. He was 88.

The death was confirmed by his manager, Scott W. Smith.

In the golden age of easy-listening music, when conductors and arrangers like Mantovani and Percy Faith soothed American ears assaulted by rock 'n' roll, Ferrante & Teicher emerged as headliners with their high-energy, declamatory approach to Broadway tunes and film scores, like their hit recordings of the themes from "The Apartment," "Exodus" and "Midnight Cowboy," to name three of their biggest hits.

Their records from the 1950's, which used special effects often intended to highlight the sound capabilities of hi-fi systems, earned them a new generation of fans in the 1990's who embraced them as seminal figures of the space-age bachelor-pad genre, also known as space-age pop.

Arthur Ferrante was born in Brooklyn on Sept. 7, 1921, and began playing piano at an early age. From childhood he attended Juilliard, where he studied with Carl Friedberg and often played duets with a fellow child prodigy, Lou Teicher.

After graduating in 1940 and earning a postgraduate diploma in 1942, Mr. Ferrante worked as an accompanist for the dancer Paul Draper and also worked with Irving Berlin to help orchestrate his film scores in Hollywood. But he returned to Juilliard in 1946 to teach music theory. There he resumed his partnership with Mr. Teicher in earnest.

The two began performing at nightclubs and in 1947 won a contest on a radio program called "The Big Break" with a torrid rendition of "Begin the Beguine." The prize — which they got to choose — was a concert at Town Hall in Manhattan, where they made their debut in 1948.

For the next four decades, Mr. Ferrante and Mr. Teicher, who died last year, maintained a busy schedule of touring and recording, although the early years were tough.

"We were not wealthy kids from wealthy families," Mr. Ferrante told the television show "Entertainment Tonight" in 1986. "We acquired a small fleet of trucks to haul our Steinways in. We drove the trucks, unloaded the pianos, attached the pedals, hammered in the legs. Once we had move them onto the stage we tuned the pianos and practiced. Then we came back and performed a two-hour concert."

The duo broke through as recording artists in 1960 with the theme from "The Apartment," recorded with full orchestra and chorus. The single rose to the upper levels of the pop charts and sold more than a million copies.

Scaling back on the classical selections and embracing film music, the Movie Theme Team, as the duo became known, sold 14 million records in the next four years. "Exodus," their biggest hit, sold 6.5 million copies and rose to No. 1. A string of film-related hits followed, including "Tonight" from "West Side Story" and the themes from "Mutiny on the Bounty," "Cleopatra" and "Lawrence of Arabia."

On stage, the duo developed a flashy, Vegas-style look to complement the trickling glissandi pouring from their keyboards.

"In their patent leather shoes, electric red jackets, black-rimmed spectacles and matching pompadour toupees they are the Tweedle twins of the concert stage," Time magazine wrote in 1965.

Ferrante & Teicher recorded more than 150 albums. While most stuck to the highly successful formula of movie themes, pop tunes and selections from the classics, their early records, from the 1950's, explored the outer limits of sonic special effects. Preparing their pianos with rubber mutes, sandpaper, strips of metal, cotton balls and cardboard, and occasionally pounding or plucking the strings, Mr. Ferrante and Mr. Teicher elicited all sorts of odd sound effects in the albums "Hi-Fireworks" (1953), "Soundproof" (1956) and "Blast Off" (1959).

Mr. Ferrante and Mr. Teicher retired in 1989, after performing about 5,200 concerts and making more than 200 television appearances. On "The New Hollywood Squares" in the mid-1980's, each was given a little electric piano to answer musical questions.

After retirement, they continued to record occasionally. In 2001 they returned to an experimental piece they had begun as Juilliard teachers in 1950, "Denizens of the Deep." They released it on their own label, Avant-Garde Records, which they had founded in 1983.

Mr. Ferrante is survived by his wife, Jena; a daughter, Brenda Eberhardt of Colorado Springs, Colo.; and two grandchildren.

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Subject: RE: Obit: Art Ferrante, Movie Composer (Sept 09)
From: Desert Dancer
Date: 22 Sep 09 - 01:21 PM

However, to correct the subject line, it seems he and Teicher were not composers, but arrangers and performers.

~ Becky in Long Beach this week

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Subject: RE: Obit: Art Ferrante, Movie Composer (Sept 09)
From: pdq
Date: 22 Sep 09 - 01:32 PM

I think of Ferrante & Teicher as the sound of the Kennedy years.

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Subject: RE: Obit: Art Ferrante, Movie Composer (Sept 09)
From: Genie
Date: 22 Sep 09 - 02:52 PM

Thanks for posting this, Rap.

AOL "News" loves to run teasers by you when you go to your AOLonline mailbox. I.e., they are continually using headlines such as "Famed Movie Composer Dies" or "Sixties Singer-Songwriter Collapses Onstage."   (Maximize "hits" to your site by using an ambiguous or vague headline.) I don't like to open their news stories for that reason. I appreciate it when someone uses a headline that tells me what the report is about.)

Nice to know that Art Ferrante lived such a long life.   The music he made with Teicher may not have been my favorite, but I did enjoy it (e.g., the Exodus theme).

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Subject: RE: Obit: Art Ferrante, Movie Composer (Sept 09)
From: GUEST,TJ in San Diego
Date: 23 Sep 09 - 11:13 AM

Much of what we now term "elevator music" or "prozac music" was once a far more prominent part of our lives. In context, some of it was once hit material, mostly pre-1970, I expect. Ferrante & Teicher made music that, while passe' today, certainly helped define an era when melodic instrumental themes were very popular. I can't imagine the reconstituted Jimmy Dorsey band's late '50's hit, "So Rare" would make it today. Perez Prado's "Patricia" was another from the same era. When I hear them now, I am transported back to my teens, zits and all.

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