Claus Ogerman, center, during a recording session for "Fiddler on the Roof" (1964).
on the Artist from Site Visitors
Received: 6/29/00 6:56 PM
I found your site on this great conductor and arranger.
[. . .]
Claus loved Connie [Francis], and Connie has worked with some of the greats.
It is her album tracks that I prefer over her
many million sellers. I am not sure, though, whether Claus had
anything to do with any of her million sellers.
(no last name or location given)
Received: 10/2/01 7:26 AM
Came across your site after being deeply moved by Ogerman's arrangement on Diana Krall's hit "Look of Love." I had no idea that Ogerman had such a deep bio, though I remember him from the Sinatra/Jobim recording, which was just great.
Ogerman has an amazing heart, which comes through in the sweeping thrill that one gets from listening to his best work. It's kind of funny, because I remember the liner notes on the Sinatra record talking about what a starched, proper type of guy he is.
[. . .]
(no location given)
Subject: Re: Nelson Riddle book
Sent: 8/5/02 6:55 AM
[. . .]
I think that we also agree, nobody can equal Ogerman.
Subject: Thanks THANKS and THANKS again
Received: 1/19/03 9:52 AM
Just a note to say how wonderful and a real pleasure it is to find a website that really echoes my sentiments regarding one of the music worlds most underpraised heroes...that of Claus Ogerman.
I am always drawn to these kind of people who steadfastly do sterling work behind the scenes to make other people look or sound good. They might escape other people's notice but not me!
Over the years since I bought my first Ogerman related album "Wave" (around 1972 I think) I have been interested in anything he's been a part of. Whilst I cannot identify with all of his work (some of his jazz collaborations for instance are just too inaccessible for my tastes) I greatly admire his musical prowess and the contribution he's made to music in general. One things for sure though, he cannot disguise his innate nature of sensitivity. His efforts touch people...deeply, whether they are aware or not.
[. . .]
His work on the Diana Krall CD is just gorgeous
isn't it?...a true master of
Subject: Claus OGERMAN
Received: 1/30/03 5:17 PM
I'm also a great fan of Claus Ogerman and I have a great pleasure to see all the documents on your site !
Like you, his music represents so much for me : he is for me the greatest musician of the XXth century ...only the happy few know it...but due to your marvellous work, the number of "fans" is going to grow...
I'm a French civil-servant working in the French Antilles, in La Martinique, during 2 years (I'm coming from Strasbourg in France near the German border) and all the CDs I bring here are from Claus Ogerman (especially "The Man behind the Music" that I found in Germany, in France it was impossible to find and to buy it... Shame on France! where Claus came in December 2001!).
And I can tell you, listening [to] the music of Claus (for me the 2 best are the Sinatra album and "Gate of Dreams") in front of a sunset near the sea is like the paradise!
I'm so lucky also to have since June 2002 the DVD of the Diana Krall's concert in Paris.
Like you, I had a great moment of emotion when I saw Claus "live" for the first time (I only knew photos of him, seen on all the LPs and the CDs). I was also so moved and so happy because this DVD is so good : the mood of the "Olympia", the music, lights, Diana who sings so well, and of course Claus Ogerman conducting in a so much impressive and gently way..
I had the pleasure to meet some years ago,
after a concert in Strasbourg, Stan Getz and Astrud Gilberto: Stan
Getz was very tired and does not want to speak too much about his
work with Claus (at that time, I knew only "Moonlight in Vermont"
played by him with a fabulous strings arrangement) but I speak a long
time with Astrud about Claus and she told me "Ooh Claus! How sweet he
was and what great souvenirs I have from the recording sessions!"
And now congratulations for your superb poem for Claus. It reminds me the song of the Beatles "A day in a life" (on "Sgt Pepper's" album) Of course it's not the same music ! but your poem is a kind of "A day in my life with the music of Claus Ogerman". I was very touched by your poem because I have often the same feelings that you describe so well when sometimes I listen [to] the music of Claus all the day from the morning to the night. And your poem reminds me [of] what happened to me ten years ago when I was living in Paris. It was during the summer and instead of taking my car to go to my office I preferred to take the bus: Paris is so lovely during the summer. I had a small CD player and I was listening [to] a CD of Claus. When I put my headphones off, a beautiful young girl who was in front of me in the bus asked me: "Can I ask you what was the music you were listening [to] and made you look so happy?!" Wasn't it fantastic!! I wrote for her on a paper the name of Claus and I wish she was becoming a fan of the music of Claus Ogerman! So you can see, your marvellous poem brings me back to this souvenir of the music of Claus Ogerman "that makes you look happy!" Thank you one more time!
Please continue to make us discover the magic of Claus Ogerman!
Subject: Your website about Claus Ogerman
Received: 5/24/03 7:32 PM
Whoever you are,
My name is Marcos Molina.
I am a Spaniard of 37 years living in Mallorca Island, Mediterranean.
It may seem weird but I only discovered the Bossa Nova two years ago, thanks to a friend who lend me a compilation of Brasilian songs from different artists, where "Vivo Sonhando" (taken out from "The Composer Plays" album) just happened to cause a huge magical effect on me...
My goodness me, how beautiful can music be! It's just one of those best songs for all lifetime.
Since then I've been learning, seaching, exploring, buying and enjoying all of Mr. Jobim's albums I can find in Spain, which are quite a lot.
As time passed, I learned that there was a very important man called Claus Ogerman, that was behind the most beautiful tracks of Diana Krall and Tom Jobim. People today don't care at who's composed or arranged a song, they just want to be seduced by the music and the face of the singer, if you know what I mean.
I also like very much the Diana Krall "The Look of Love" Album. . . . With this album, is when I realise that the soul of the best music is the man behind, conducting that sophisticated music: Claus Ogerman, always in the background and, never recognised for its merits, as it never comes out in the cover of the discs.
Of course I bought as soon as it came out, the DVD of Diana Krall "Live in Paris". Wonderful piece, especially as you see Mr. Ogerman playing his role beautifully as we've never seen him before. Diana can be life-time happy to be backgrounded by Claus, who was already retired. The result of the combination of Krall's voice & piano, Ogerman arrangements and the London Philharmonic Orchestra is one of those albums that remain in history as something absolutely extraordinary.
From my little musical formation, I learned that an incredibly talented Mr. Ogerman helped to create the most refined, sophisticated and untemporal music to keep during all generations. It's one of those artists that deserve to be on the throne of best artist forever.
Warmest regards from Spain.
Subject: Re: Walter Wanderley, Claus, Claudio, etc.
Received: 5/30/03 4:57 PM
Re: the Diana Krall DVD: I like the part of the concert, which is conducted by Claus, very much.
Diana did a very professional and good job. She also had a concert here in Freiburg, where I live. But some critics wrote, that she sings and plays too cool and too professional. This may be right in some points, but I think her interpretation of "The Look Of Love" is great, first and foremost her breathing during she sings "don't ever go" (I think at this part of the song she is even better than Dusty Springfield). What impressed me very much is the fact that she leads the Jazz-group so "easily" and that she plays and sings so homogeneous.
[re your review of the DVD] I didn't read it before. The description of your feelings is very impressive, for the most part I had the same feelings.
Absolutely I share your opinion that Claus is not a "cold, brutal" German - quite the reverse: for me, he is one of the most sensitive musicians. The Jobim-album "The composer Plays", which I love very much, is a clear evidence for it.
[re becoming Claus' official site ] Tell me, if I can support you, e. g. in writing a letter to Claus Ogerman, etc.
Subject: Here's a Claus Ogerman recording you may not know about!
Received: 7/6/03 3:15 PM
[. . .] Dave Blume my friend and producer for Paramount Records, brought in jazz musician PAUL HORN to my studio SOUND IDEAS, and we recorded two tunes for 45 RPM, "The Desert is a Circle", based on the music of the film's original composer Alexandro Jorodorowsky, and "JOY", composed by Paul Horn.
Ogerman arranged and conducted both tunes with
his usual brilliance.
[. . .]
New York, NY
Subject: Remarkable Site!
Received: 11/3/03 8:09 AM
Hello Ms. Major,
You have done us all a great service by creating the C.O. site and collecting and presenting his recorded work.
I appreciated your story about discovering C.O. as a kid on vacation. My exposure as a kid was similar, but the record was "Watusi Trumpets". I have looked for a cd reissue but never found it.
I'm curious to know if you are a musician? And if you are also a fan, say, of Don Sebesky, who did arrangements for CTI in the 70's; or Johnny Mandel, who arranged the Diana Krall record released before "Look of Love"?
I notice a similarity between the sound of "S'Wonderful" on the Joao Gilberto recording "Amoroso" (1976), and [the] same song done by Diana Krall on"Look of Love". Both records were arranged and produced by Ogerman and LiPuma respectively. Do you hear it too?
Mr. O has had a very creative and productive musical life. Thank you for recording it.
Steve, Dallas (Texas)
Subject: Question on ur website.....
Received: 11/13/03 3:08 PM
Hello, your website is excellent!
Had question: Is there way to find out who the voices are on the STAN GETZ album VOICES? My friend Harry Duvall worked with Claus Ogerman on the Jerry Ross Symposium from which I believe the hit BRANDY originates. He said Claus was very cool, polite and nice to work with.
In addition to that, my friend is also on a few Sinatra and Tony Bennett recordings namely CYCLES and IF I RULED THE WORLD. My friend was part of the Will Bronson Singers.
I played him the cut I DIDN'T KNOW WHAT TIME IT WAS from the STAN GETZ-VOICES album and he think it may be possible that he's on it; at least he thinks he recognizes the high pitched female voice as someone that he worked with too. Plus, he remembers the VAN GELDER recording studios....
Anyway, any help would be great.
Subject: dear bj. About Claus Ogerman's rare recording.
Received: 11/20/03 8:24 AM
I came across your site about one of my biggest influences in music: Claus Ogerman. I play the piano since very early in my life and Ogerman's harmonic choices and lyricism never ceases to inspire me and my piano playing (along with Keith Jarrett's music..and Bach's music...and some absolutely genius of British Classical Music).
I have hopes that perhaps you could help me find a recording of Claus Ogerman piano and vocal music with mezzosoprano and piano Brigitte Fassbaender, John Wustman. Acanta 43579. I was able to get his choral works recording with one of my teachers at Berklee in 1999. I can't find the scores nor the recording. Do you think you could help me with this matter? I would be in heaven if I listen to this music.
[. . .]
In Ogerman's music, every single second is meaningful and is meant to reach the listener, to bypass the brain and go straight to the heart.
I look forward to hear from you.
Subject: Re: Ogerman Web site
Received: 12/11/03 5:30 PM
I'm a great fan of Claus Ogerman and I think
your web site about him is great! I got hooked on his stuff back in
the 70's. Your picture collection of him on the site is cool to say
the least. I've learned as much as possible about him over the years
that time allows.
[. . .] I knew he was great, but the volume of work he has accomplished is just staggering and you have done a terrific job displaying it.
Can you possibly help me on this question? I have a vinyl record LP of a Stephane Grappelli project called " Uptown Dance". It came out around 1979 on the Columbia label and that's when I bought it. I played it to death to say the least and I'd like to replace it.
Do you know if it ever made it to CD? And if so, where I might be able to purchase it? Can't seem to find it on amazon.com or anywhere else. Most people in CD stores nowadays hardly know who Grappelli is much less Ogerman.
It's a brilliant album. Ogerman shines on it! Thanks so much.
North American Network
Subject: RE: Claus Ogerman Website
Received: 1/17/04 9:35 PM
Hi B J,
Great website, thank goodness someone has collated all the things I ever wanted to know about my favourite composer/arranger in one place: a veritable goldmine, and I've not been through it all yet!
This is a brief post, because I've got a lot of questions RE: Claus that could take ages for me to type out.
[. . .]
Hope you are well, and maybe we can converse some more later: thanks for a brilliant website.
Subject: Your Wonderful Claus Ogerman Site
Received: 2/13/04 7:09 PM
Found your site by pure accident and thought I had died and gone to Claus heaven! After yourself, I HAVE to be one of the biggest boosters of his music. Simply put, his soundscapes give me "eargasms", if there is such a word. I first became aware of him like you with ACJ's "Wave", a timeless classic. Then during the golden CTI years, he blew me away with his lush arrangements. Many did not like the added strings on many of those recordings, but I felt it added a ton of 'class' to the finely mixed recordings at the time. Then, I went after Claus' recordings like gangbusters, and when George Benson's "Breezin'" came out in '76, I must've yapped about the strings to all who would listen. Then, the creme of the creme, "Gate Of Dreams", which was truly the perfect synthesis of Jazz and Classical with a twist of Pop. I still wear that one out to this day. In recent years, I have dug up on the Internet many ECM and Classical recordings of Claus--all of which are spellbinding.
[. . .] My family started the first West Coast LA-based 'Quiet Storm/Smooth Jazz' station here in 1969 (KJLH 102.3 FM) and Claus got PLENTY of airplay back then. I have bookmarked your site and just about cried when I saw it! Thank you so very much for creating such a beautiful tribute to a stellar artist who richly deserves far wider recognition.
Barrington S. Tate (BT)
Contemporary Media Introspectives
Date: August 6, 2005 10:40:41 PM EDT
I just have to tell you what a stunning website you put together.
Mr. Ogerman is without question the most influential arranger of the last 50 years when it comes to strings. Imitated but never, ever, equaled.
His contributions are enormous and have never been brought to light and given the long overdue recognition they truly deserve.
He kicked the edge out of the craft and the art form.
A few firsts the Mr. Ogerman brought to the craft and game of arranging.
1) First ever, recording of jazz trio with orchestra, the album with Bill Evans, of course.
2) First person to enlarge the lower string section in a recording studio scenario, to give the section more warmth and and weight.
3) Opened up harmonic concepts previously not applied in commercial recordings.
4) Use of alto and bass flutes in a commercial setting, etc, etc.
I have never met Mr. Ogerman but have been very aware of him for 30 years. A friend of mine played for him on an album he arranged, and somehow I managed to get a copy of the score to Symbiosis. Until I tripped on your website, I did not think that other people outside certain circles, even knew of him. His works should be mandatory part of the curriculum of music schools.
I was present when they premiered Symphonic Dances in Los Angeles. Something I will never forget, and since for a time I worked for the director of the orchestra that premiered the work, I also got a copy of the recording. Gate of Dreams was recorded twice. The Warner Bros. version produced by Mr. LiPuma and the Bayside version recorded in New York.
This music is now very hard to find, unfortunately, and you have to dig very hard to find it.
I loved the photos you assembled and whatever Diana Krall did to get Mr. Ogerman out retirement, she deserves a medal.
In the record making process the arranger passes by like a ghost, as far as the general public is concerned, but without him, the record would never fly. The public thinks of the artist, then the producer, but to people who get it, Mr. Ogerman is truly an icon.
I had fun visiting your website.
(Name withheld by request)
Received on 8/12/05:
I came across your site, which even on the first glance appreared to me as the true labor of love, just by chance. A friend gave me a CD named "Soul Cargo Vol. 8" on the BAR label from Belgium (BAR 152), issued in 1997, which contains "Cuchy Frito Man" by Claus Ogerman among 25 tracks by other artists. I was looking to find out where this track originated from (RCA LP 3813 I learned) and thus found your site. As the man was active in so many scenes I wasn't half aware of the enormous body of his work, especially not of the music he made in Germany (shame on me). This part evoked some memories of my youth. Artists like Caterina Valente and Gerhard Wendland were on the air constantly in the fifties. As I collect more American music than German, I saw his name on records by the likes of Lesley Gore, Solomon Burke, The Drifters, Tony Middleton and Barry Darvell.
I have noticed you went to extreme care to get all the information contained on the site detailed and 100% accurate, especially to spell all these German words correctly, and you even took the trouble to put all those two dots on the ä, ö and ü whereever they belong. [...]
I hope I don't sound pigeon-holed by responding to such a site, which exudes an enormous love for the artist and and also a striking knowledge [...]
Before sending off this mail, I had to look around for the e-mail address. By doing so I became aware of all the other discographies you are responsible for - awesome !
Greetings from Berlin, Germany
Received on 10/19/05:
You know, I looked through the rest of your discographies and realized they were far more extensive than I thought. To say I am in awe of your musical knowledge would be an understatement. You have done an amazing job.
I had no idea you were so knowledgeable about Claus!! Furthermore, I had no idea you knew so much about him!! Why, I have admired and been in awe of his work for literally decades!! I spent the better part of this afternoon just reading your pages and marveling at the amount of knowledge and stats that you have managed to document concerning his career. He really is at home whether it be rock, pop, classical or bossa nova -- the man is a Jack of all musical trades.
My parents, who have always enjoyed fine music, actually turned me on to Claus at an early age. A great deal of my love for all things Sergio Mendes related goes back to childhood, when I remember sitting on my Father's lap at a Brasil '66 concert. I was blessed with parents who believed that my sister and I should be exposed to all artistic and musical forms from birth. I've seen some of the greats perform over the years, something for which I am eternally grateful. So you see, your discographies are far from lost on me...I read them with fascination!!
All the best regards,
Regarding Claus Ogerman, his publishing companies
and The Brill Building in New York -