Lew Hoad-A discussion on his career

Discussion in 'Former Pro Player Talk' started by pc1, Sep 17, 2012.

  1. pc1

    pc1 G.O.A.T.

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    I would love to see that Laver-Rosewall match and the Hoad-Gonzalez match.

    Any particular Hoad matches that you would like to see Dan?
     
  2. Dan Lobb

    Dan Lobb Hall of Fame

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    Yes, the quarter-final classic between Hoad and Gonzales at the 1967 Wimbledon Pro, and given the visual quality of the short clip above of Laver/Rosewall in the final, it would be worth seeing.

    Of course, the Wimbledon finals of 1956 and 1957 complete, I have about fifteen minutes of the 1956 final. Several other Wimbledon finals.

    And the 1956 Wembley final, which the BBC broadcast, of Gonzales and Sedgman in a great match.
     
  3. Dan Lobb

    Dan Lobb Hall of Fame

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    Fascinating that the above interview with Hoad took place the very same day as the match shown below, perhaps the best clip we have of Hoad's mature game.

     
  4. Dan Lobb

    Dan Lobb Hall of Fame

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    Here are Hoad and Rosewall at Wembley in 1961. Note the heavy cigarette smoking in the arena.

     
  5. Dan Lobb

    Dan Lobb Hall of Fame

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    This was when smoking was still "cool".
    I saw Hoad on TV during a tournament in 1977 brandishing and pulling deeply on a triple-prong cigarette holder. Not healthy.
     
  6. Dan Lobb

    Dan Lobb Hall of Fame

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    This clip gives an excellent view of the Wembley facility, and I am not impressed...rather dowdy, from this view.
     
  7. hoodjem

    hoodjem G.O.A.T.

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    Yep. Just another "barnstorming" venue.
     
  8. Dan Lobb

    Dan Lobb Hall of Fame

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    It looks like an abandoned factory from the 19th century..I half expect Oliver Twist to show up, begging for more food.
    Smoke so thick you could cut it with a knife, as the London Times sports reporters complained.
    Empty seats everywhere....
    No wonder Hoad never won here...although, from Hoad's sluggish and disinterested appearance in this final against Rosewall, you would never guess that he had just won the match of the year against Gonzales in the semi-final.
     
    Last edited: Dec 18, 2015
  9. Dan Lobb

    Dan Lobb Hall of Fame

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    My apologies... Wembley was constructed in 1934 for the Empire Games, and renovated in 2006...Cliff Richard has held 64 concerts there, and it is a prime location for rock concerts...similar to Madison Square Gardens and Maple Leaf Gardens. Still, a smoky venue in the period we are looking at.
     
  10. Dan Lobb

    Dan Lobb Hall of Fame

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    Here are Hoad and Drobny in the 1953 Italian final, and Hoad and Rosewall winning the doubles final.

     
  11. Dan Lobb

    Dan Lobb Hall of Fame

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    ..........................
     
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  12. Dan Lobb

    Dan Lobb Hall of Fame

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    ............................
     
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  13. BobbyOne

    BobbyOne G.O.A.T.

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    Dan, It's interesting: You mention the "match of the year", which arguably was the 1961 Wembley SF when Hoad fought down pro king Gonzalez but you also find it logical that Hoad played sluggishly and disinterested in the FINAL against Rosewall! Strange!
     
  14. Dan Lobb

    Dan Lobb Hall of Fame

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    I suspect that Hoad was more pumped to play against Gonzales, whom he had opposed on the championship tour that year, than against Rosewall.
     
  15. hoodjem

    hoodjem G.O.A.T.

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    What did Laver say he earned after winning his first Wmbledon: that he got a 15£ voucher and a hearty handshake as reward.
     
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  16. Dan Lobb

    Dan Lobb Hall of Fame

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    And Emerson once stated that he received $10,000 from a tournament promoter for jumping over his suitcase at his hotel apartment.
     
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  17. Dan Lobb

    Dan Lobb Hall of Fame

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    Here is footage from the New South Wales final between Hoad and Rosewall about Nov. 20, 1955, just before Hoad started his great run in 1956.
    Notice the deception in Hoad's passing shots, as a last-second wrist flick changes the direction of his passing shot to a cross-court on the last point.
    Many players noted the "deceptive" nature of Hoad's shots, serves and ground-strokes...it can be attributed to the last second wrist movement.

     
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  18. Dan Lobb

    Dan Lobb Hall of Fame

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    This is one of the few clips we have which demonstrates in good resolution detail how Hoad was able to use wrist movement to control his shots, often confusing his opponent with the misdirection of body movement.
    This also applied to his serve, Gonzales noting how "deceptive" his service motion was.
     
  19. KG1965

    KG1965 Hall of Fame

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    Great style of play , good wins , but in Pro Era Rosewall and Pancho >> .
     
  20. Dan Lobb

    Dan Lobb Hall of Fame

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    Yes, I would rate Gonzales and Rosewall in the top 5 all-time with respect to level of play, together with Hoad, Laver and Federer.

    But both Pancho and Ken had trouble with the Big W...ouch, that hurts!
     
  21. KG1965

    KG1965 Hall of Fame

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    I do not know.
    It's complex to ranking .

    There are champions of which we know everything , others of which little is known .
    Still others mysterious and therefore undervalued .
    As Rosewall , or olds men in long pants .
    Here with Pancho has done an excellent job and it is rightly reassessed .
    This thread has as extraordinary as well as the development of posts .
    Hoad deserves .
     
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  22. Dan Lobb

    Dan Lobb Hall of Fame

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    Indeed.
     
  23. Fiero425

    Fiero425 Hall of Fame

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    Hoad didn't take the game as seriously and he went into the military for a stretch! He could have had some great statistics "if he cared!" All I can remember about the guy was that he owned Laver; winning their first 7 or 8 matches and was 1 match at the US Nat'l in '56 to complete a CYGS! Rosewall thwarted him I believe! ;-)
     
  24. Dan Lobb

    Dan Lobb Hall of Fame

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    Yes, he owned Laver in early 1963, according to Laver, Hoad won his first 14 matches against the Rocket, which was the entire Australian tour in January 1963. Hoad also won a second tour against Laver in 1964. in the New Zealand tour against Laver and Rosewall.
     
  25. Dan Lobb

    Dan Lobb Hall of Fame

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    Yes, Pancho and Ken had more success than Hoad in the Open era.

    BUT....which player defeated both Pancho and Ken at Wimbledon, the only player to do so? Think hard....
     
  26. KG1965

    KG1965 Hall of Fame

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    Hard hard .
    But Wimbledon was without Kramer and the Pro
     
  27. KG1965

    KG1965 Hall of Fame

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    Yes, but there were no Pro in 1956 .
    Pros were at Wembley .

    I understand that the dual circuit not help but slam were less important to many tournaments Pro .
     
  28. KG1965

    KG1965 Hall of Fame

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    .
     
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  29. Dan Lobb

    Dan Lobb Hall of Fame

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    The 1967 tournament was a pro event.
     
  30. Dan Lobb

    Dan Lobb Hall of Fame

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    Answer to trivia question: "Who was the only player to defeat both Rosewall and Gonzales at Wimbledon?" Answer: Lew Hoad, defeated Rosewall in 1956 Wimbledon final, defeated Gonzales in 1967 Wimbledon Pro quarter-final. (Lost 1967 semi to Rosewall).

    It is a small world.
     
  31. Dan Lobb

    Dan Lobb Hall of Fame

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    Both of these historic matches are preserved on video, although BBC has not seen fit to release them yet.
    I have about 15 minutes of the 1956 Wimbledon final, and just reviewed it again...great play by both players, they both had trouble holding serve, so fierce was the returning..finally in the fourth set, down 4 to1, Hoad found his first serve, could not be broken, and ran off the last five games. Ted (Tinling?) the commentator, called it the best PLAYED Wimbledon final he had ever seen, and he claimed to have seen every final from 1929 on.
     
  32. Dan Lobb

    Dan Lobb Hall of Fame

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    This, the 1956 Wimbledon final, may be the Wimbledon where Rosewall played his best tennis at that location...in the interview with Teddy (Tinling?) after the match, he pronounced himself satisfied with his performance.
     
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  33. Dan Lobb

    Dan Lobb Hall of Fame

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    There was another poll conducted by Limelight Magazine in 2011 of 100 of the greatest pianists in the world at that time, asking which pianist inspired them the most.

    The answers,

    1) Rachmaninov

    2) Horowitz

    3) Richter

    4) Rubinstein

    5) Gilels

    6) Cortot

    7) Gould

    8) Brendel

    9) Kempff

    10) Schnabel

    This represents the view of the top 100 classical pianists polled, the inside view. That's right, only ONE North American pianist made the list, Glenn Gould, just ahead of Brendel.
    The absence of any American or German, apart from Kempff, and Schnabel, is startling.
    Only one French pianist, Cortot, with whom my own piano teacher masterclassed.
     
  34. Dan Lobb

    Dan Lobb Hall of Fame

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    This poll of the 100 top professional pianists shows how important the Russian, East European and French piano repertoire is for public performance. The German repertoire may be more significant musically, but doesn't sell the tickets worldwide that Tchaikovsky, Rachmaninoff, Prokofiev, Chopin, Liszt, Debussy, Ravel can succeed in.

    If we break the list above into two sections, one for the Russian/East European/French repertoire, another for German repertoire, we get the following ranking,

    1) Rachmaninov
    2) Horowitz
    3) Richter
    4) Rubinstein
    5) Gilels
    6) Cortot

    and for German music,

    1) Glenn Gould
    2) Alfred Brendel
    3) Wilhelm Kempff
    4) Artur Schnabel

    Of course, this list is from professional pianists. For "listeners" of classical music, Richter and Gould top the list overall, and both of these giants emerged with breakthrough recordings in the 1955-56 year, becoming famous first through recordings.
     
  35. NonP

    NonP Hall of Fame

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    This poll is interesting but far from definitive. You'll be surprised at how unfamiliar some of the pros are with old recordings.

    Also I love Rach the pianist myself but based on available recordings alone there's no way he stands alone at the very top. This top berth here has more to do with name recognition than with honest/systematic assessment.

    A few choice names apart from the usual suspects:
    • J. Lhevinne (with all due respect to his wife)
    • Friedman
    • Lipatti
    Each of course made few recordings, but what we do have reveal an astonishing depth and understated virtuosity. Had these guys come along later and/or lived longer they would've almost certainly belonged near the very top of the class.

    Friedman's stunning Chopin etudes (you have no idea how hard I tried, but of course failed, to match his mighty "Revolutionary"):



    Also who can forget this classic, rightly considered among the most stunning technical achievements ever:



    And it's hard to imagine anyone else ever playing this greatest of all Chopin waltzes with more rhythmic verve and poignancy:

     
  36. Dan Lobb

    Dan Lobb Hall of Fame

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    I have recordings of all three, including Friedman's Chopin Piano Concerto number 1, and many unofficial Lipatti recordings, Lipatti being one of my piano professor's idols.
    Also worth a listen is Backhaus' 1939 Brahms Second Concerto with Bohm.
     
  37. NonP

    NonP Hall of Fame

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    If you have the old Friedman recordings on Pearl or other labels you should replace them with the more recent Naxos cycle (available only individually, alas--some of them are out of print but can be obtained easily on Amazon) whose remasterings by Ward Marston are generally considered to boast the best sound. Ditto the Lhevinne recordings. OTOH Lipatti's discography (like Michelangeli's) has been such a disgraceful mess I've stopped trying to supplement my collection until they finally come out with a definitive box set a la the recent Gould/Rubinstein/Cortot/Callas/Bream/fill-in-the-blank ones.

    I must say I'm not too familiar with Backhaus' performances. He and Serkin are the two big names (among pianists) I should investigate more.
     
  38. Dan Lobb

    Dan Lobb Hall of Fame

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    Yes, I had the Pearl transfer of the Chopin 1 by Friedman, a great performance....I will look for the Marston transfer.
     
  39. Dan Lobb

    Dan Lobb Hall of Fame

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  40. Dan Lobb

    Dan Lobb Hall of Fame

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    ...............................
     
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  41. Dan Lobb

    Dan Lobb Hall of Fame

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    Sorry, NonP, I should have stated that the great recording of the Chopin 1 was by Rosenthal from 1930, not Friedman.

    I listened to the Friedman Chopin Etudes above, fantastic technical equipment, a truly original, personal interpretation...they don't make them like that anymore, the pianists of today emerge from the conservatories as if they were stamped out by the same cookie-cutter, bland, routine run-throughs.

    Here is Rosenthal, who was a student of Mikuli, and Mikuli was the most famous of Chopin's own students...authenticity in spades. Notice especially the drawn out slowing down in the slower passages, freedom of tempo there, and the strong rhythmic pulse in the faster passages, making logical sense of the musical phrases.

     
    Last edited: Jan 22, 2016
  42. Dan Lobb

    Dan Lobb Hall of Fame

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    Here is a bio sketch of Mikuli, who was Chopin's teaching assistant and right-hand man, editor of Chopin's music. Rosenthal was Mikuli's foremost student, and even in Rosenthal's recordings of the 1930's, the authentic style, quite "romantic" and drawn out in the slower passages, with natural tempo extensions, is clearly evident, even though Rosenthal was getting up in years. Also, in the faster passages, a stronger rhythmic pulse than is standard today, which makes the musical phrases more logical.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Karol_Mikuli
     
    Last edited: Jan 22, 2016
  43. Dan Lobb

    Dan Lobb Hall of Fame

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    Mikuli even wrote down some of Chopin's actual improvised ornamentations to his compositions...here is one recently recorded.

     
  44. NonP

    NonP Hall of Fame

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    Yes, it took me a while (a ridiculously long one, I admit) but I realized later that the only concerto recording of Friedman's in existence is the Grieg. (He actually made many other recordings including those of complete concertos for an Australian radio station but none of them survived... because when it went bankrupt it consigned all of those invaluable treasures to a nearby landfill!) In my defense I'll add that disc 2 of the Friedman cycle on Naxos is the only one I don't own yet, hence my brain lapse. (It was more expensive than the others at the time of my purchase, in addition to being perhaps the least successful of the series. But given its rock-bottom price at the moment I'm about to place a far-too-overdue order for it.)

    Friedman's technique was indeed stupendous, especially in Chopin's Op. 10, No. 7, which impressed even your country boy Hamelin, probably the single greatest piano technician the world has ever seen. (BTW that interview is well worth reading in full.) And you're right about his highly personal interpretations. (Interestingly Rach himself was closer to his modern successors in his more objective approach). As equally famous as his Chopin etudes are his Chopin mazurkas, among the very greatest readings this deceptively simple music has ever received:





    In fact Friedman's only rival here is Rubinstein (Lipatti might have belonged in this elite company had he committed more to disc). Not even Cortot can match these two in this repertoire.

    Actually there's another who comes close, who happens to be the guy you mentioned:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MStF_PeC-k0

    Of course Rosenthal was more famous as a student of Liszt's than of Mikuli's, and judging by what little evidence we have, perhaps the greatest of them all. (BTW Hamelin discusses with admiration Rosenthal’s Papillons in that interview.) I should've added him to the Lhevinne-Friedman-Lipatti trio, perhaps at the top of the list thanks to his razor-sharp wit (Wiki has some choice quotes from Schonberg's highly readable The Great Pianists).

    Chopin probably used more rubati and pianissimos than here. (I forget who but one time this attendee at the end of one of Chopin's recitals screamed at the top of his lungs, so he was asked about it and replied: "I needed to hear a fortissimo for once. All I heard tonight was pianissimos.) But if you're looking for the ultimate Chopin Nocturne look no further than Friedman's own Op. 55, No. 2, often considered the single greatest Chopin recording ever made:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Wqp4JpvNxaw

    I personally wouldn't go that far (my pick among his Chopin recordings would be his dynamite "Revolutionary"), but once you hear Ignaz's drop-dead gorgeous tone and immaculate control of the part-writing it's easy to see why.

    Also I find it a great shame that Friedman and Perahia, the two greatest exponents of Mendelssohn's Songs Without Words, never committed the complete set to disc. Not my favorite repertoire, but after listening to their complete recordings I might have been forced to revise my opinion:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cCTszN-8dyo
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5e8A-Vhl6zU
     
  45. Dan Lobb

    Dan Lobb Hall of Fame

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    I also have the Friedman/Huberman Beethoven Kreutzer, but the Chopin recordings you list are stunning.
    I have heard my countryman Hamelin live with the Toronto Symphony, yes, he keeps the Romantic tradition alive.
     
  46. Dan Lobb

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    The second clip above highlights the significance of the year 1956 for Australia, surely their Golden Year of Sports, with an all-Australian Wimbledon (starting at 2:40 in the clip above) and Forest Hills final, Peter Thompson winning his third straight British Open golf title, and such swimmers as Murray Rose, John Kondrat, and Dawn Fraser winning gold medals for Australia at the Melbourne Olympics.
     
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  47. NonP

    NonP Hall of Fame

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    You really should grab the whole Friedman cycle on Naxos. (And I mean Naxos and nothing else. Marston did remasterings for Pearl as well but every review I've read rates his later work for Naxos as superior.) A regretfully tiny discography, but an absolute must-have for piano mavens.

    As for Hamelin I've had the good fortune of listening to your countryman play a selection of the Chopin-Godowsky etudes live. One of my all-time favorite recitals (easily the top favorite from my student days), and I still have the original program with his autograph in my collection.

    Speaking of which, while getting my program signed I half-jokingly moaned he could've played some Liszt, and he cracked a ready-made but sincere "Maybe next time." Well, after all these years I do have the chance of hearing him follow through on his word next month. The one snag is that he's playing his Hungarian predecessor's glossy No. 1, which as you may recall doesn't exactly feature prominently on my playlist, and as a general rule I don't fork out $50 or more unless I'm intrigued beyond measure. Plus I heard Fischer úr lead his fine native band through three warhorses just last year and am not too keen on repeating the same. Right now the only development that might tip the scales the other way is your other countryman exceeding expectations within the next few days. ;)
     
  48. Dan Lobb

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    I have an unofficial recording of Hamelin playing Liszt 1 from a few years ago, plus his official CD of Liszt solo works, amazing stuff.
    But these are the glory days of Canadian pianism, Hamelin is just one. His fellow student (same teacher) Louis Lortie has made some superb CD's, and a 20-year old Canadian piano student from the Glenn Gould School in Toronto has just last week followed Gould's path and performed the Beethoven 4 at Carnegie Hall with the Philadelphia Orchestra under their Canadian conductor,

    The Beethoven 4 starts at 24:00 in this transcript,

    http://www.wqxr.org/#!/story/philadelphia-orchestra-plays-music-vienna/

    Also, another Canadian-trained pianist here plays a nicely-nuanced performance of the Ravel G major with Charles Dutoit, long-time conductor of the Montreal Symphony,

     
  49. Dedans Penthouse

    Dedans Penthouse Legend

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    Listening to Lew Hoad play the haunting opening to Edvard Grieg's "Solveig's Song" (from Peer Gynt) was as chilling as a fine cuvée de prestige on ice.

    Nice hi-jack btw!​
    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Jan 28, 2016
  50. Dan Lobb

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    Hoad was a HUGE music fan, especially of jazz, his friends included Louis Armstrong, Frank Sinatra, Ella Fitzgerald, Stan Getz, many other jazz musicians.

    Hoad would have loved the jazz passages in the Ravel G major concerto played by Yuja Wang above. Yuja Wang plays the Gershwin concerto, also. Pure jazz.
     
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