The third ”goodie” in December is program 31 in the Duke Ellington series broadcasted by the Danish Radio in the mid-1980s to the mid-1990s. The broadcast is available in the “Goodies” section of the website.
This program was broadcasted on August 23, 1985 and the presenter is Erik V. Krustrup.
It is totally focused on the music that Ellington wrote for the film Racing World or The Impressionists At The Racetrack). However, the musical part is most commonly known as The Degas Suite.
The film was to be a 30 minutes documentary about paintings and sketches of race courses by foremost Degas but also other impressionist painters like Forain and Dufy. Unfortunately, the project run out of money before the film was finished so it was never released.
Using the many pieces of music recorded for the film found in Mercer Ellington’s donation, Krustrup tries to bring The Degas Suite to the listerners in a form close to what it was meant to be.
As an appetizer, the broadcast start with one of the takes of Race. This one is played by Paul Gonsalves. Then the program continues with some examples of recorded snippets and how they were used to build larger musical blocks like for the opening squence of the film.
Four takes of Race comes next – two with Johnny Hodges and two with Ellington. They are followed by Promenade (aka Red Circle), COPA II, Racing, Trump, Sonnet and Daily Double.
The broadcast ends with a piece called Improvisation and another take of Race.
Improvisation was later used in The River and then called The Run. It is the same theme as The Queen’s Guard, which Ellington played on piano at the rehearsal for the telecast from Cirkus in Stockholm on February 8, 1966.
More of The Degas Suite is in the next broadcast.