Caruso and McCormack – What Did they Think of each Other
On December 26, 1900, Enrico Caruso celebrated the Christmas season with his debut at La Scala by performing the part of Rodolfo in Giacomo Puccini’s La Bohème with Arturo Toscanini conducting. As his career advanced, he went on to please audiences in Monte Carlo, Warsaw, and Buenos Aires. He appeared before the Tsar and the Russian aristocracy at the Mariinsky Theater in Saint Petersburg as well as the Bolshoi Theater in Moscow. In 1910, a landmark event occurred when he performed live from the stage of the New York Metropolitan Opera House. He honored America with first public radio broadcast to be transmitted in the United States.
A source for this post is The Virtuosi by Harold C. Schonberg. He was the music critic for the New York Times. John McCormack achieved a good measure of fame as an opera singer. He never had the power of Caruso and never cared for such projection. McCormack chose to remain a lyric tenor all his life. His phrases seemed to go on without end. Violinist Jan Kubelik believed he was so great he must have had a Stradivarius in his throat. New York World published a letter of McCormack dated April 14, 1918. I quote below:
“A great many singers have an idea that the public wants bigness of voice. That is a mistaken notion…. The history of the world’s greatest singers brings not one supreme artist who is not essentially lyric. What the public enjoys most of all is the smooth, pure and beautiful tone in the singing voice.”
Caruso and McCormack – No Contest as/per Both Tenors
Here is the story that Schonberg relates about an accidental meeting between the two tenors: McCormack says to Caruso: “Well. Rico, how is the world’s greatest tenor today?” To which Caruso replied: “John, I didn’t know you have turned into a bass.”
Here is an internal link about what I have up to:
In one of the final years of his life, renowned violinist Dave Rubinoff plays the Stradivarius violin for an intimate concert at Scott’s Oquaga Lakehouse in 1984. He is accompanied by pianist, David Ohrenstein. Visit http://dsoworks.com/live-performances… for a behind-the-scenes view from David Ohrenstein of what it was like to work with Rubinoff and His Violin.
Delayed Performance Due to a Virus named corona. The virus has a solar allusion:
A corona (meaning “crown” in Latin derived from Ancient Greekκορώνη (korōnè, “garland, wreath”)) is an aura of plasma. Many stars share this concept surrounding our Sun. The Sun’s corona extends millions of miles into outer space. Solar eclipse, highlights it; but it is also observable with a coronagraph. Spectroscopy measurements indicate its strong ionization. Plasma temperature can be in excess of 1000000 kelvin, That makes it a lot hotter than the surface of the Sun.
Our Delayed Performance was about Cleopatra
Co-incidentally, Cleopatra wore a crown. This, as stated, is the Latin meaning of “corona”. She was the ruler of Egypt. Cleopatra in turn reforms Octavian who will wear the crown as the enlightened ruler of Rome. In his transformation, he becomes Augustus Caesar. Our opera is about their crucial historical meeting.
Cleopatra seems to have her own timing and her own way. As soon as it rescheduled, we will send out notifications. We are simply waiting for the corona fuss to clear up. Then we will reschedule her with a date and place. We already had a staged reading in New York late last August. Our poster, pictured above, relates to the Glenridge Performing Arts Center. Below is a fun internal link. It is about our opera:
A Theatrical Phoenix is Beginning to Fly- a Brief History. It took wing in New York as a staged reading. This was at the oldest summer vocal training camp in America: The Seagle Music Colony. Our singers had won auditions with the New York Metropolitan Opera. Other prominent opera companies were represented. Among the people who have tested their work at Seagle have been Stephen Schwartz and Pulitzer Prize winners. Patra is now scheduled in Sarasota.
We have been riding on a phoenix for this experience. Our opera, entitled Patra, has “Wings of Song”. This new opus emphasizes the importance of meaningful and healthy relationships between men and women. The show highlights rulers of two great empires, Rome and Egypt. For Egypt we have Cleopatra; for Rome, we have Octavian. He, through Patra’s influence, decides to become the future Augustus Caesar.
Theatrical Phoenix is Scheduled for Sarasota
Sarasota is famous for opera. A marquee, only, from the Sarasota Opera House is pictured below and to the right. . Our new opera, however, will be presented in concert version at The Glenridge Performing Arts center. Immediately above/right is a photo of the setting . We will even have a professional “snake” dance. Our dancer also portrays the Egyptian goddess, Aset.
Our first staged concert was at the Westcoast Black Theater in Sarasota
The story of Octavian and Cleopatra has its own thrust. It is an engaging opera comique. Sharon, as the librettist, not only offers a cornucopia of hope in this lifetime; but also gives ancient instructions on how to be reborn to a high position. Make your reservations at The Glenridge Performing Arts Center today. Contact info is on featured picture.
Musical Duration Dots Abound in Chopin Prelude #3. What do dots do to the duration of notes? In Western musical notation, a dotted note is a note with a small dot written after it. In modern practice, the first dot increases the duration of the basic note by half (the original note with an extra beam) of its original value. This means that a dotted note is equivalent to writing the basic note tied to a note of half the value. For instance, a dotted half note is equivalent to a half note tied to a quarter note. Subsequent dots add progressively halved value.Chopin uses this quite effectively in his Prelude #3. I call his use by the name of pyramided dots.That is because you can make the numbers 1,2, and 3 into a pyramid. See the illustrations below:
On the top treble clef, three dots are used twice:
The 1st beat of measure one.
Also, the first beat of measure three.
One the second treble/bass staff, two dots are then used twice:
On the third beat of the treble.
Single dots are used by Chopin in the 5th and 6th measures.
A triple-dotted note is a note with three dots written after it; its duration is 17⁄8 times its basic note value. Use of a triple-dotted note value is not common in the Baroque and Classical periods. It is quite common in the music of Richard Wagner and Anton Bruckner, especially in their brass parts.
What Effect do the Musical Duration Dots have on Chopin’s Prelude?
I feel Chopin’s compositions for the piano are highly innovative. My own teacher was Mischa Kottler. He studied with Alfred Cortôt. This was in the 1920’s. In turn Cortôt studied with a pupil of Chopin. I was taught to play a dotted note on the piano with more tone. Then certainly a double dot should be played with more tone. A triple dotted note should then have tone to the max. Tone, when played on the piano, should always sound pleasing. Ask me for a live demonstration of this Chopin Prelude on the newly refurbished 1924 Steinway Concert Grand at the Gasparilla Inn. I play for there for dining 6 nights weekly. See internal link:
Unthoughtful Editing of Music Seems to be Everywhere. I attended an accelerated high school- Cass Technical High in Detroit. They had some 32 curriculums you could major in. They even kept an airplane in a large room on the 1st floor for an aeronautics technology program. For me, there were two musical courses to choose from: Vocational and Advocational. This remarkable high school was “college prep”. In retrospect, I think many colleges could have been “prep” for Cass Tech High. But alas, things change. Ruins of the high school are pictured below.
Unthoughful Editing of Music- One Typical Example
We had a esprit de corps among the students that was second to none. we discussed countless and varied topics. Nothing was ever off the table for discussion so to say. Music editing was a hot subject. My fellow students, the class of 1969, had a running joke about musical editors. We all concurred on a musical frustration cycle. It went as follows
First you work at becoming a pianist/composer. When that doesn’t quite pan out-
Second you try working at becoming a conductor.
Finally, when the above two fail, you become an editor.
The point is the editor is out for revenge. He thinks: “If can’t make it as a composer, performer or as a conductor, I’ll be sure that no one else can”. This thought may be either conscious or unconscious but the effect is the same either way. If you follow the editors instructions, your efforts will most likely fall in line with his expectations of failure. Many teachers insist on their students following the editor’s marking.That’s a minor to major tragedy!
Unthoughtful Editing: My teacher studied with Emil von Sauer in Vienna in the 1920’s
Emil von Sauer was personally taught by Franz Liszt. Liszt accepted several students at the end of his life. Sauer was one of them. He, in turn, edited all the piano works of Johannes Brahms. However, I believe that even Liszt kept fingering secrets from his select piano students. Sauer in turn taught my teacher, Mischa Kottler. Samples of Mischa’s playing anywhere are extremely rare. Below is one that will show you what good fingering can do. Here’s to reviving another lost art!
Changing Standards in Musical Performance are Upon Us: Fast, crass, loud and vulgar interpretations of music are fleeing and soon to be gone. Mars and Venus have been used for social comparison. I refer to the book Men Are from Mars, Women Are from Venus (1992). The author is John Gray He had earned degrees in meditation and taken a correspondence course in psychology.
So what are some of the changes we can expect in the musical field?
Large concert hall and amphitheater concerts will greatly diminish. Smaller, more intimate settings for music will gain the upper hand. This is very much akin to the chamber music recitals that used to grace the wealthy during the classical era. Often wealthy patrons would employ their own orchestras. Conductor-composer. Joseph Haydn, working for the Austrian Esterhazy family was an archetype example:
Repeating a a three or four note phrase dozens of times during a song will find its place in private practice rooms only.
Changing Standards on Multiple Repetition of Notes
This is based on a true story. I worked with Rubinoff and His Violin. He would stand in front of a TV set, watching television, and practice the opening four notes of any given song maybe one to two hundred times. This was to get precision to to max on the motif he was working on. But this was for practice only! He would never think of making his practice session into a hit song! Today we mostly listen to musical practice sessions with expensive costumes and backgrounds. I ask my reader, how long will that last?
Beauty is the ascription of a property or characteristic to an animal, idea, object, person or place that provides a perceptual experience of pleasure or satisfaction. Classical Greek offers a more inclusive definition. The word is κάλλος, kallos. As an adjective it was καλός, kalos. However, kalos may and is also translated as ″good″ or ″of fine quality. It had a broader meaning than mere physical or material beauty. Similarly, kallos was used differently from the English word beauty in that it first and foremost applied to humans. As such, it came with an erotic connotation.
From 6 – 7 pm on the “living room Steinway.” I frequently feature ragtime piano. It was composed by writers as Scott Joplin, Tom Turpin and Lucketh Roberts. As the inn was being built, the music of these wonderful American composers gave birth to the American style of music. The music fits the living room’s elaborate and beautiful decor. Then I go into the elaborate, spacious dining room. A 1925 newly rebuilt Steinway concert grand is to be found there. My hours there are from 7 – 9:30 pm six days weekly from Christmas to Easter. It is best to call for reservations.
Hello Boca Grande for my piano employment the 11th straight Year. Click on the Boca Grande nowhere but here box below to see many incredibly beautiful and exotic pictures of the island. There my piano playing services will be in full swing. Daughter Kathryn Parks worked on this post for Michael Saunders. She works on promotion for this real estate company in Florida and does a beautiful job at that.
Untouched by time, Boca Grande is a classic Florida getaway where pristine beaches, sunny days, and small-town charms create a blissful atmosphere.
Hello Boca Grande
It’s impossible not to have fabulous stories when you work at such a place. One of favorites is the evening that two distinguished ladies from London sat and enjoyed their dinner while dining on the table right beside the piano. Fortunately, my piano touch is such that people can enjoy their dinner and still converse while listening to beautiful melodies. My incredible instructor Mischa Kottler, studied in Europe in Paris under Alfred Cortôt in the 1920’s. Cortôt traced his lineage to Frederic Chopin. Then Mischa Kottler went to Vienna and apprenticed under Emil von Sauer. Sauer studied under Franz Liszt and Johannes Brahms. Mischa was always emphatic when he would say: ” “Present the melody on a silver platter.” In so doing you can eliminate all the ponderous accompaniment that so many often vulgarly place into their piano playing.
But on with the story: When I got up for a small respite, I walked past the ladies. One said to me, “We enjoyed your playing, especially your Andrew Lloyd Webber selections.” I replied.”Oh, thank you.” Then the other lady proudly said: “Yes,our assigned seats are in the British House of Lords right next to him!”
Why is this Lineage Important?
Today so much piano playing is electronic. Often accompaniments are provided by the touch of a button. The old school of knowledge is then lost. Happily, at the fabulous Inn the old school is still in full swing. I will be there nightly from Dec 20 until Easter. Please say hello. P.S. if you decide to buy a home there, ask my daughter, Kathryn. I am also a composer. My wife, Sharon, is my lyricist and librettist. Sharon, and I just work shopped our new opera Patra in New York. Click on the link for more info. Finally, please share this post with friends! Thank you.
PATRA – An Opera Comique performed in two acts, sung in English, written by Sharon and David Ohrenstein about Cleopatra’s final days as ruler of Egypt.
Musical Leo Centers Around the Key of F major-D minor. Here are some typical issues that music written in the key of one flat can help cure. This is because Leo rules over the core of the body.
Do you feel that you are too timid or shy? Or, is your subdued personality preventing you from a promotion on your job?
On the physical side: Do you have poor posture or pains in your back or spine? Are you fearful of possible heart problems?
Here’s the good news: What if you could alleviate any of these problems by relaxing in an arm chair (like Henry VIII below) and just listening to music. Better yet, do all this free of charge!
MUSICAL LEO AS THERAPY
The zodiac has been called the wheel of life and circle of little animals. The English word zodiac derives from zōdiacus. It is Latinized form of the Ancient Greekzōidiakòs kýklos (ζῳδιακόςκύκλος). This word “cycle or circle of little animals”. Zōidion (ζῴδιον) is the diminutive of zōion (ζῷον, “animal”). The name reflects the prominence of animals (and mythological hybrids) among the twelve signs.The key of Leo has one flat. You can see this on the diagram of the Circle of Fifths. One flat is connected to F major and D minor.
So What Can Music in the Key of Musical Leo do for You?
Mental Health– It develops self assurance. You can become the life of any party and gives you the aura of a great entertainer. Music in this key encourages generosity and a kind, open heart. Its sound allows you to be able to take action whenever needed.
Physical Health- Leo rules the back, spine and heart. They are at the body’s core. Anyone with back pain, posture issues or heart problems would do well to listen to the vibes of music in the key of Leo. To get more background on this issue check out the internal link below. Classical music is best because it is often identified by key signature. Look on youtube for free examples: Symphony in F or D minor, quartet, sonata, trio etc. Even if you feel no benefit from this advice, at least you will have listened to some great music!
Panacea is Found in Our Civilization’s Music. Originally I posted this on our other website: Reviving Antiquity@aol.com, however, I feel it is common to both of these sites. Certainly, in the past many composers of music borrowed from themselves. For example, in music, the BACH motif is a motif. Its notes are a succession of notes important or characteristic to a piece. These notes are B flat, A, C, B natural. In German musical nomenclature the note B natural is named H and the B flat named B. It forms Johann Sebastian Bach‘s family name.
So, Here is My Panacea Quote from Reviving Antiquity
Panacea – what is its meaning? In Greek mythology, she(Greek Πανάκεια, Panakeia) was a goddess of universal remedy. This remarkable entity was the daughter of Asclepius and Epione. With her sisters each performed a facet of Apollo‘s art:
Panacea (the goddess of universal health).
Hygieia (“Hygiene”, the goddess/personification of health, cleanliness, and sanitation).
Aglæa/Ægle (the goddess of beauty, splendor, glory, magnificence, and adornment).
It’s time to cure the ills of mankind. Music, when properly applied, can do just that. Best of all, it’s free. Also the knowledge I write about has the capacity improve the interpretation of music by a searching musician. That analysis is for the future. First notice there are 12 basic key signatures. The bottom three are called “enharmonic.”
C# major is merely another letter name for Db major.
F# major is another name for Gb major
Cb is another name for B major.
This means there are basically 12 key signatures. I have my reasons for aligning the 12 key signatures with the 12 zodiac signs. Many have done this before me, but I feel my way is most correct. My reasons will be explained over time.
Let’s discuss heart problems. To cure these problems listen to classical music in the key of one flat. That, as you can see from the diagram, is F major and its relative minor of D. Why classical? Quite often, classical music is defined by its key signature. i.e. : Symphony in F major, Quartet in D minor, Trio in D minor, etc. The minor key alleviates the sordid condition. The major maintains good health in the area needed. More will be forthcoming. Keep checking.