Dick Kesner and His Magic Stradivarius - rants & raves - craigslist (2024)

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Dick Kesner and His Magic Stradivarius - rants & raves - craigslist (1)

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Hawaiian (-style) music played on a Stradivarius! Why not? This is one of the most beautiful albums in the whole "Hawaiian" genre. Of course, it is ... Great Instrumental Music ... Won't you join me?

Dick Kesner and His Magic Stradivarius

"The Music of Hawaii"



"No alien land in all the world has any deep, strong charm for
me but that one, no other land could so longingly and so
beseechingly haunt me sleeping and waking, through half a
lifetime, as that one has done. Other things leave me, but it
abides; other things change, but it remains the same. For me
its balmy airs are always blowing, its summer seas flashing in
the sun, the pulsing of its surf-beat is in my ear; I can see its
garlanded crags, its leaping cascades, its plumy palms drowsing
by the shore, its remote summits floating like islands above the
cloud rack; I can feel the spirit of its woodland solitudes, I
can hear the splash of its brooks; in my nostrils still lives the
breath of flowers that perished twenty years ago."

It was not mere coincidence that these words, written about Hawaii by America's most beloved writer, Mark Twain, should be brought to our attention in the same twelve months that: Hawaii was declared the 50th State of the Union; that we in America should renew our homage to Mark Twain on the golden anniversary of his passing; and that Coral records should consider making an album about Hawaii with Dick Kesner and his Magic Stradivarius.
Out of the past, and from comparative obscurity, Mark Twain's words were brought to us ... and from them was born the title, The Music of Hawaii, along with the concept of using songs from the islands and about the islands and their people. We would try to portray, through the magic of Dick Kesner's Stradivarius and the orchestra, the same languid, romantic exhilaration we felt as we read and re-read Mark Twain's beautifully sensitive words.
We would like to share with you some of the thoughts in our selection of the songs and musical backgrounds for the album. By recording the twelve selections in two different sessions we were able to create, through the use of two entirely different orchestras and sound effects, a dramatic contrast without losing our nostalgic theme, The Music of Hawaii.
As you listen to side one you will pass from Blue Hawaii (in which we employ lush string sounds, opening with an Hawaiian version of our American blues) to a light, danceable version of a song about the islands, My Little Grass Shack. Listening to the next number you might feel the spirit of its woodland solitudes-the splash of its brooks as Mr. Kesner plays The Legend of the Rain, and the sound effects and music create a scene of island rain in the forest. We continue on through Beyond the Reef with the small orchestra (utilizing the steel guitar and Hammond organ) to a song about the island people, the warm Japanese song, Sayonara; and finally the very beautiful medley of two songs from Hawaii, King's Serenade and Akaka Falls.
Side two opens with a song about the people and their customs, Lovely Hula Hands, which leads us to an unusual treatment of the great Charles King song, Ke Kali Ne Au, or The Wedding Song. The strong Chinese influence in the islands is felt in the next song, an original, Bird of Paradise, given a dramatic and oriental touch by the use of tropical bird sounds in the background. Next we hear the Hukilau Song, the happy song of the island fishermen, which leads us into the beautiful and traditional Nalani. Finally, Mr. Kesner closes with his own violin duet of Charles King's Lei Aloha, Lei Makame or Forevermore.
As you listen, we know you will enjoy a rare, and most romantic experience by reading into the sounds created by Mr. Kesner's violin and the orchestra, the warm meaning of Mark Twain's beautiful dream of Hawaii.
-- Charles Dant
ABOUT DICK KESNER: A native of Sioux City, Iowa, Dick Kesner is perhaps most widely known for his long association, as first violinist, with the famous Lawrence Welk Orchestra. His impressive background includes extensive work with the San Francisco and Chicago Symphonies, the American Broadcasting Company, and the American Conservatory of Music.



See Dick Kesner on The Lawrence Welk Show:



Dick Kesner was one of the best-known violinists of the mid-1900s.

Born in Sioux City, Iowa on October 26, 1912; he attended the American Conservatory of Music in Chicago followed by three years with the San Francisco Symphony Orchestra.

Dick Kenner served the US Army during World War II in the Pacific Theater, where he organized his own combo of musicians to entertain the troops. After the war, he played with Freddie Martin's band and with the ABC music staff in San Francisco before he joined the Music Makers in 1953 as first violin chair.

During his time with the Welk Orchestra, until 1960, he was one of the more popular performers on The Lawrence Welk television show, thanks to his beautiful violin solos, played with his trademark Stradivarius. He also recorded several solo albums on the Brunswick and Coral labels.


... Great Instrumental Music, previously:










... and there's more, even more, and still more:



Great Instrumental Music

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