Scott Joplin (1867 – 1917) was an African-American composer and pianist. Joplin achieved fame for his ragtime compositions and was named the “King of Ragtime”. During his brief career, he wrote 44 original ragtime pieces, one ragtime ballet, and two operas.
“Bethena, A Concert Waltz” (1905) was the first Joplin’s work since his wife Freddie’s death of pneumonia, ten weeks after their wedding. The waltz did not sell successfully at the time of publication and was soon neglected and forgotten. It was rediscovered as a result of the Joplin revival in the 1970s and has received acclaim from Joplin’s biographers and other critics. The piece combines two different styles of music, the classical waltz and the rag.
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