Claus Ogerman, conducting in Paris, 2001.
I became better acquainted with the arrangements of Claus Ogerman in the early 1970s when I began buying albums by Antonio Carlos Jobim for the first time. I had just graduated from high school. And I loved the arrangements on those albums. They were full and rich sounding, and I really liked the way Claus used the string section. I would guess that the most famous album he was associated with at that time was Tom Jobim's "Wave" album, which, of course, is a classic. That album accompanied me to college and was my main source of comfort during times when it was discouraging for me to be a music major playing the drums and trombone in what was then an all-women's school. Ogerman's arrangements of Jobim's "Look to the Sky" and "Antigua" were my favorites on that album.
Every once in a while I would come across another album that had more of Claus' arrangements on them. I have two all-time favorite Ogerman instrumental arrangements which appear on the "A Certain Mr. Jobim" & the "Terra Brasilis" albums and that same piece is Jobim's own "Someone to Light Up My Life". Both arrangements have something to recommend them and I'm not able to choose one above the other for preference.
But my actual introduction to the work of Claus Ogerman came much earlier in 1963 when I was just ten years old. I was on vacation with my parents in New York City and we stayed at the Hotel Manhattan. I distinctly remember what the radio in the hotel room was playing when we arrived. It was the Kai Winding hit "More" from the movie Mondo Cane. Soon after, I bought the 45 rpm version of the hit song. That Claus Ogerman arrangement where Kai plays the ondioline and trombone definitely caught my ear and I probably played that record to death. It remains one of my favorites to this day.
The sheer versatility of Claus simply cannot be overstated. I know of no one else who is so at home within SO MANY varied styles of music and works in them equally well, across the board. I believe that this openness and non-prejudice toward varied musical styles is one of the greatest gifts he brings to music. He has arranged top hits for rock and roll stars, music for soul artists & rhythm and blues musicians. This is in addition to all the music he has arranged from the Broadway stage as well as his orchestrations for many jazz artists and bossa nova pioneers Jobim, Joao Donato & The Gilbertos. Not to mention Claus' many arrangements crafted for easy-listening orchestras and even a Roaring 20's album. It seems as though there is almost no style of music that has escaped his exquisite touch.
And if you are not familiar with any of Claus Ogerman's own compositions, you are missing out on a whole other side to this musician. He has composed individual pieces of pop instrumental music, music for the Broadway stage, concertos (both classical and jazz), a suite for ballet and orchestra, other substantial classical works, a suite which has a mix of classical, jazz, and modern elements within it; film scores for German films, tracks for his own German Oktoberfest album, tracks for big band albums and much more. All of this work is listed throughout this website.
My own personal homage to Claus is contained on
the pages listed at the end of the main Index below and will all
eventually become part of what is shaping up to be "Part II" of this
site. Among several other things, Part II will consist of items I
have written myself and which I will hope visitors
to this site will take the time to read. They are an "unofficial"
part of Claus' site - but certainly important enough to be
included. Right now, these items can only be accessed directly
from the Index.
No discography is created with albums one
person alone owns. I would like to acknowledge special thanks to Doug
Payne - CTi Discographer, for his faithful support in this project
when it began and also for providing me with six Claus Ogerman albums
- without which I would not have been able to add those cover scans
and complete listing information to this site. Likewise, my
sincere thanks extends to Tom Johnson for his numerous textual
contributions to this site and also for providing me with many more
Ogerman album scans and photos for inclusion on the site. Thanks
also to Forrest Patten for providing rare album cover scans for the
site. I am grateful to Michael Newcomb and Jose Sanches Perez for
their contribution of album covers & sheet music book scans.
Gratitude goes out to Alan Watts for writing the condensed bio on Claus
which is included in this site. Sincere appreciation likewise
goes out to Arnaldo DeSouteiro
and Ithamara Koorax for providing many album listings, scans of
photos and albums for this site - as well as to Eric van Aro from
ERAKI Entertainment for supplying the Caterina Valente information
& photos. Appreciation also goes out to Randy Kosht, Sal Presti,
Paul Lewis, Marcel Gärtner, John ("JAK") Knowles, Wolfgang
Weissbrodt, Hans-Peter Huebschen & Peter Schlinke for
providing missing album listing information, foreign 45 rpm listings,
rare acetate scans and many other needed details for the site. My gratitude
Kempkes for not only providing some missing listing information
covering several albums, but for also providing valuable information
on Claus Ogerman's career in the early 1950s. Thanks also go to Harry
de Louw of the International Pop Music Consultancy for providing
listing information and cover photos for some European releases of
Claus' records and to Jim Braun for his contribution of the Gene Lees Jazzletter. I'm
Serge Elhaik for his purchase of
rare, online auctioned items - which color scans of those same items
have helped to complete this site. It is always great for me to have
artists themselves involved and willing to contribute items to the site
- and to this end, I am most appreciative for the rare photo that
Hannelore Cremer permitted to be used on the site and heartfelt thanks
to Oliver Härle for scanning it (and for providing other needed
info as well in email to me). My gratitude to Chris A. Radcliffe
from Black Patch Productions/Lucky Duck Music Publishing for sending me
label scans belonging to records made by his father Jimmy Radcliffe,
who worked with Claus Ogerman in the recording studio.
Appreciation also goes out to Oliver Schneider - Nürnberg, Germany
for his contributions of German 45 rpm listings and scans for this
site. Thank you to Michael Fishberg of Harkit Records [UK] for
his assistance in providing licensed UK listings for the site.
special thanks to Peter
Bay, Conductor & Music Director of the Austin Symphony Orchestra,
who has gone above and beyond the call of duty many, many times in
sending me whole packages of numerous album photos as well as
providing technical information and listing information about the
recordings for inclusion on this site from his hours of library
research. A good portion of this site exists because of the many
contributions of material that Peter himself has donated.
Last but certainly not least, I'd like to thank the man who was and who continues to be the inspiration for this site, Claus Ogerman himself, for his interest in the project and for the items he has personally submitted to me for inclusion on this site.
I hope you enjoy this tribute to a most
wonderful composer/conductor/arranger, Claus Ogerman.
--B.J. (Barbara J.) Major
Introduction amended on 01/12/12.
|PART I - Claus Ogerman Pictorial
& Career Details
DISCOGRAPHY and VIDEOGRAPHY: ALL-RECORDINGS INDEX--HEREIncluding 45 rpm, 78 rpm, Extended Play (EP), LP, CS, Reel-to-Reel, CDs, CD Singles and Radio Broadcasts;
Broadcast TV, Live Concert, LaserDisc, VCD, DVD, Blu-Ray, DVD-Audio, VHS, Film Composer (Germany & USA) & YouTube
| Claus Ogerman Published Sheet
Claus Ogerman Sheet Music (Original Manuscripts)--HERE
Claus Ogerman Through the Years--HERE
| EDITORIALS - Why is Claus so hard
In Defense of Claus--HERE
Gene Lees and Claus' Work For Pop Artists--HERE
|PART II - "My Great Love" - Personal
Writings to, for and about Claus Ogerman
(all items this section will eventually contain are not yet listed or available for viewing)
in 2004 for Claus Ogerman's 74th Birthday--HERE
Or read a specific poem: Presence, Original Ogerman Composition Verse, Dreams and Despair, It All Began in New York, The Consummate Conductor,
Pieces of a Puzzle, The Craving, Mail Time, Change For a Cymbal,
Following The Path, Depth of Feeling, Dream Number 4,
Three Years Ago
discography online since January 2001 **
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