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.
Poetry signals Change is in the Air. Said another way: When there is no poetry of quality then musical quality takes a nose dive. This is not only my own observation. As my resource I quote Music by Frederic V. Grunfeld. The book I read it in is published by Newsweek Books out of New York. Place and year- Mondadaori, Verona, Italy, 1974.
Poetry (founded as Poetry: A Magazine of Verse) has been published in Chicago since 1912. It is one of the leading monthly poetry journals in the English. Poetry is founded by Harriet Monroe and now published by the Poetry Foundation. It is currently edited by Don Share
Those who decry the primitivism of today’s music along with its limited scope, need to look for another Heinrich Heine type figure. Indeed, so many “songs” use about three or four repeated notes or thrive on platitudes and vulgarity. I have already mentioned him on DSOworks in the internal link below. The problem is where is our Henrich Heine for this present day and age?
As a writer of poetry, I am inspired by the same place at which the Marvelous Mrs. Maisel was filmed for this coming season: Scott’s Oquaga Lake House on Oquaga Lake. The beauty and enchantment of the lake knows no limits.
Here is an excerpt from my poem called “Fun.” It describes this setting in some detail.
The diving platform is located
End the end of the extended dock.
Canoes and kayaks are nearby
The woods where the birds do flock.
The swimming area is marked
By yellow balls on rope
Fastened to a rubber raft
Beyond which the lake has slope.
A second dock is to the left
With a speedboat at its end.
On its left we find a showboat
Built just for voices to blend.
A playhouse is to the rear
Grand piano is set on stage
Near bowling ping-pong and pool
Games all quite the rage!
Do yourself a favor and make a pilgrimage to Oquaga Lake and visit Scott’s Hotel. A number of doctors from India did just that! All this beauty and memorabilia can be yours to enjoy. Revive that ancient poetic feeling so many once had. And please share this post!
Piano Competitions Have Judges on Edge. My source is an excellent book on piano playing. David Dubal wrote it: “Reflections from the Keyboard”. He interviews numerous keyboard artists about their trials and tribulations. Being a judge at competitions is also certainly trying. Why? I felt that pianist Jorge Bolet was particularly relevant in this regard.
Bolet emphasizes how perfection is expected with piano playing. This is primarily due to the recording industry. He believes this has destroyed a great deal of “music making.” That is because recordings are of such mechanical perfection that any imperfection in actual performance is severely frowned upon. The other source of homogeneous playing is competitions.
Bolet on Piano Competitions
This piano legend actually states “Competitions have done more harm to piano playing than anything else.” In many competitions there are some 15 judge. Those he enter have to try to get all the votes. To do this they must not antagonize any of the judges in any way. Nothing must be different or worse yet, controversial. Any personal idea is shunned and looked down upon. Bolet states that as a result whether you listen to 10, 20 or 30 pianists, they all play alike. That affects the status of piano playing in general. No one becomes outstanding.
My Own Piano Instructor- Mischa Kottler
My own teacher was Mischa Kottler. He was the official pianist with the Detroit Symphony Orchestra. Mischa also directed the music at WJR in Detroit. His waiting list for students was incredibly long. Once you got to start, he often went with the Symphony on tour. I grew up in Detroit. Listen to him playing Chopin’s Minute Waltz. He actually plays the difficult passages with double notes in the right hand. The main help I credit with is avoiding hand injuries at the piano. He taught: (1) Hand positions, (2) The proper way to scales and arpeggios. (3) Showed me the regimen that I still practice daily. (4) How to play with a singing tone. (5) How to: “Present the melody on a silver platter.” (6) Above all else: He was a fanatic about proper fingering. Mischa never seemed satisfied with editors. He learned his art and fingering from Alfred Cortot and Emil von Sauer in Paris in Vienna in the 1920’s. Would he have lost at a piano competition for his originality? Perhaps?
So What Am I doing Now?
I’ve never been so busy. I’ve just return from New York where my wife and I workshopped our original opera, Patra. All our singers had won auditions with the NY Met Opera. Check out our Patra website, Patraopera.com. Professionally I play 52 weeks a year. I’m scheduled to play my 11th winter season in Boca Grande at the Gasparilla Inn. The owners have just reconditioned their Steinway Grand from 1924. You be the judge: Are piano competitions necessary? Perhaps.
Ten Minute Musical Bliss of Rubinoff and His Violin https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QUz-LOrzTQU. Like fine wine, musicians and artists improve with age. Dave Rubinoff is much too ignored today. That is due to the jealousy of the 100% pure classical musicians. Indeed, I even wonder how many pure symphonic musicians are left to be found today. It seems like so many are crossing the lines into the popular field.
Even as of recently, Dave Rubinoff refuses to give up the ghost. This is true even some 35 years after he passed away. Maestro, conductor, and curator Joseph Rubin (not related to Rubinoff except in spirit) gave a concert commemorating this great artist last summer. I was called to appear with violinist extraordinaire, Steven Greenman. It was held at the Circleville High School near Colombus, Ohio. Maestro Greenman had just returned from a tour of Poland. Among other places, he played the most haunting melodies in the synagogue in Cracow. Below was the itinerary Maestro Rubin sent me for the Circleville. Ohio concert.
Witness Another Ten Minute Musical Bliss with Steven Greenman and I playing the Rubinoff’s Fiddler
Friday, June 1 (2017)
Around 3 PM – Rehearse Fiddler Medley with Steven Greenman, location TBA
7-9:30 PM – Orchestra Rehearsal at Circleville High School
Saturday, June 2
11 am – Rehearse Fiddler Medley with Steven Greenman
2-4:30 pm- Orchestra Rehearsal at Circleville High School
6:30 PM – Pre-show lecture at High School
7-9 PM Concert at High School
9-10:30 PM Post show VIP reception at High School
Copy and paste the youtube link above to see what success is obtainable by playing incredibly well what the general public enjoys. I was thrilled to work so many years with this man.
Resort number 1 seems to be my 2nd Home. My 1st home graces in sunny Sarasota.My profession as a pianist takes me to Boca Grande. There, I play at the Gaparilla Inn. The Inn captures the charm of a bygone era of Florida hospitality. It again claims its throne this year as resort #1. The Inn’s style is stately and grand. It offers glamour that recalls the heyday of mid-century Floridian beach resorts. A slower pace of life is offered. “It’s Old Florida at its best with modern updates.” Activities abound at the resort. Sport offerings include golf, tennis, croquet, boating, and other misc. water sports . You’ll want to have in your list of memories its Beach Club views of the Gulf of Mexico. More information: the-gasparilla-inn.com
Resort number 1 has Interesting Guests
David is scheduled 6 nights weekly in season on this island resort. On a typical night you can hear music by Cole Porter, George Gershwin. You’ll authentic ragtime by Scott Joplin. The Inn was actually built at the height of the ragtime era. He also loves the great classics. His regular list this time of the year is a 30 minute rendition of principle dances from the Nutcracker Suite by Tchaikovsky. He plays Jupiter from the Planets by Gustav Holst. He loves to play the theme from the King’s Speech. It is the slow movement of Beethoven’s 7th Symphony. Excerpts from principle operas are often included. His favorite popular song to play is “Killing Me Softly.” The arrangement he has by George Shearing is so beautiful that many diners have to wipe tears from their eyes.
Be sure to also catch David and his wife, Sharon, as they workshop their new opera comique, Patra September 1 -7 on Schroon Lake in New York.
PATRA – Opera Comique by Sharon and David Ohrenstein. Join the Fun!
Counterpoint focuses on melodic interaction—only secondarily on the harmonies produced by that interaction. John Rahn contrasts melody with counterpoint quite adeptly. He states:
It is hard to write a beautiful song. It is harder to write several individually beautiful songs that, when sung together, sound more beautiful as a polyphonic whole. The internal structures that create each must contribute to the the polyphony. Vice versa, the combination in turn must comment on the the individual voices. In this way the contrapuntal universe combines the singular with the plural. The way that is accomplished in detail is … ‘counterpoint’.
Our New Opera, Patra, Skillfully Uses Melody with the Contrapuntal Universe
Patra Workshop to debut in New York. Patra is the shorter name for Cleopatra. Queen of Egypt, she was one of the most famous women in history. Her full name was Cleopatra VII Thea Philopator (69 BC – 12 August 30 BC). She was the last of the Pharaohs set up in Egypt by Alexander the Great. By descent, she was a Macedonian Princess. It will appear off book in the workshop. Our singers will literally be top notch. My wife, Sharon is the librettist and a co-composer of Patra. I, husband David, am also a composer. Before going to NY, it will have a staged concert presentation. This will be in Sarasota Fl at the newly built Sarasota West Coast Black Theater. Our casts in both NY and Fla are busy rehearsing. Here’s the gist:
Cleopatra had stopped the onslaught of two invading Roman generals through love. She thus neutralized the worst effects of their invasions by marrying the generals. Patra had children with each. The generals were, first, Julius Caesar; and then, Marc Antony. Was there any possibility of love with the 3rd invading general, Octavian? That is the subject of our new opera comique.
`How does this tie together melody and counterpoint? By the beautiful vocal lines. Also, the piano provides additional counterpoint. Don’t miss our New York workshop on September 7, 2019. See our website, Patraopera.com. for details.