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 to Suitbert 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 grateful to 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. And very 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. Many thanks to
Mike Feingold for supplying .pdfs and .jpg scans for many of
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 08/10/14.
|PART I - Claus Ogerman
& 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
Ogerman Published Sheet Music Covers--HERE
Claus Ogerman Sheet Music and Scores (Original & Printed Manuscripts)--HERE
Claus Ogerman Through the Years--HERE
| EDITORIALS - Why is Claus
so hard on himself?--HERE
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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