Operatic Broadway

Operatic Broadway – Blurring the Lines Has Precedent

Operatic Broadway – Blurring the Lines Has Precedent.  A number of modern musicals cross over into operatic territory. Opera is an art form in which singers and musicians perform a dramatic work. It  combines text (libretto) and musical score.  Opera usiually has usually in a theatrical setting.[1] Singers do two types of singing: recitative, a speech-inflected style[2] . The second are arias, a more melodic style. Opera incorporates many of the elements of spoken theatre, such as actingscenery, and costumes and sometimes includes dance. Traditionally, it is sung all the way through. Musical theater, on the other hand has featured songs. However, most of its book is spoken. Recently there has been more and more cross over between opera and musical theater. They include Rent, Les Mis and The Phantom of the Opera. 

The Atlanta Opera Lucia di Lammermoor finale

Blurring Musical Vocal Boundaries Has a Romantic Precedent

The oratorio dates back to the 1500’s. It reached a climax under hand of Handel. The Romantic movement of the 19th century revived his ideals. Like Handel, with the Romantic composers, half were written in a Biblical or religious vein. The other half was secular or historical. There was only one difference: Handle’s historical oratorios were limited to either classical Greek or ancient. Handel examples include Hercules, Semele, “Alexander’s Feast”, or Alceste. Romantic oratorios had a broader scope. Instrumental works took on more significance. Here are a couple of examples:

  • Berlioz’s Romeo and Juliet is somewhere between a symphony and a cantata.
  •   The Damnation of FaustOp. 24 is a work for four solo voices, full seven-part chorus, large children’s chorus and orchestra[1] by the French composer Hector Berlioz. He called it a “légende dramatique” (dramatic legend). It was first performed at the Opéra-Comique in Paris on 6 December 1846. It has been seen as a symphony, oratorio or opera.

Operatic Broadway is Simply Following in this Precedent of Mixed Tradition

Octavian and Cleopatra: a 2 Act Opera in English – DSO Works

I, blogger David, have been the composer of three such works, My book-writer lyricist has been my wife Sharon Lesley Ohrenstein.  Check out the internal link above for some quite exciting live examples. Sharon plays Cleopatra.  Contact us on DSOworks@gmail.com if you are interested in our up and coming works. We need a new sound for the new times we are entering. This translates into meaningful income.

Lesley and Ohrenstein’s “Octavian & Cleopatra” – YouTube

The youtube example below sets up our Operatic Broadway show.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bhGHHXuBr8Q
Dec 12, 2007 – Uploaded by Rudder3218

“Octavian & Cleopatra” Imagine an operatic work that pours out incredible melodies, mesmerizes …

Schubert Contrasts Beethoven

Schubert Contrasts Beethoven as Freedom v. Structure

Schubert Contrasts Beethoven as Freedom v. Structure. Most agree that Beethoven was the link between the Romantic and the Classical periods of music. Schubert’s life overlaps Beethoven’s. Schubert life was much shorter. January 1797 – 19 November 1828), He was an Austrian composer. Schubert died at age 31. But he was extremely prolific during his lifetime. His output consists of:

Ludwig von Beethoven  was baptized 17 December 1770[1] – 26 March 1827. He outlived Schubert by some 26 years. Schubert was born when Beethoven was 27 years of age. However Franz Schubert picked up the Romantic ball of composition and pushed it further. Classical music most often had significant development sections in a sonata, or symphony.  Here the parts or pieces of a theme were developed to show off the composer’s ingenuity. Schubert’s themes resist “development. Most are complete in themselves. Alfred Einstein discusses also this topic in his Music in the Romantic Era.  To quote him about Schubert: ” His themes have felicity in themselves. They resist dissection: development.”

Schubert Contrasts Beethoven
Beethoven lit the torch of Romanticism. Schubert ran with it.

Beethoven Archives – DSO Works

To read more about my thoughts on Beethoven, click on this internal link above.

How Schubert Contrasts Beethoven with the “Development” of his Themes

With Beethoven, any “side-stepping” keeps the theme in mind. His “digressions” are parallel paths to the theme. Schubert, in contrast,  becomes involved in the mist of a beautiful melodic journey. Development is often not called for. To him it seems too intellectual.

Romanticism’s span was approximately from 1800 – 1850.   It elevated folk art and ancient custom to something noble. Spontaneity became a desirable characteristic (as in the musical impromptu). Some of Schubert’s great creativity is to be found in with his Impromptus.  In contrast to the Rationalism and Classicism of the Enlightenment, Romanticism revived medievalism[7] . Elements of art and narrative perceived as authentically medieval. This was an attempt to escape population growth, early urban sprawl, and industrialism.

Image result for Pictures of paintings from the Romantic era
A romantic painting of someone cutting loose.

We Need a Return to Romanticism

We need the return of beautiful song once more. “Composing” today is created by formula. Many songs of today use only three harmonies. The three harmonies always appear in the same order. Their melody is about as limited as their harmony to three tones.  Here is the point: When you feel constricted by difficult times, you need to “cut loose.” Singing or performing constricted music can make you feel even more hemmed-in. Our current composers need the style of the “beautiful melodic journey” of Schubert.

 

 

 

Ideal Cities and town squares are part of this wonderful book.

Ideal Cities Quoting Dimensions by Author Jan Gehl

Ideal Cities as per author Jan Gehl. The recorded concept of ideal cities goes back to Plato. The “ideal” nature of such a city may encompass the moralspiritual and juridical qualities of citizenship. Ways in which these are realized can include urban structures including buildings, street layout, etc. Ground plans of ideal cities are often based on grids.

The Ideal City by Fra Carnevale, c. between 1480-1484.

An ideal city is the concept of a plan for a city that has been conceived in accordance with the dictates of some “rational” or “moral” objective.

This blog takes this concept even further. It adds the dimension of ideal measures of key city spaces. Author Jan Gehl is referenced.  I, in turn, reference the 3 x 3 number square in this quest. Key measurements are found in feet of three foot yards on this number square. The 12 inch foot is basic.  It is of extreme antiquity. The Reverend John Michell specifies examples at the British Museum. They take the form of the cubic inch of gold. It was the standard unit of weight in Egypt, Greece and Babylon. Of course, a cube has 12 edges. Thus, 12 x 1″ = 12 inches or 1 foot. My own blogs are an attempt to bring back the ancient harmonious world order of a forgotten Golden Age. First, here is the star player in this quest. Please read my blogs about this number square. They are easy and free to access.

The ancient, traditional arrangement of the 3 x 3 number square.

Universal Egyptian Remen is Found Throughout the Cosmos

Riches from rags from playing the violin.

Riches Come from “Dance of the Russian Peasant”

Riches Come  from “Dance of the Russian Peasant”. Rags to riches refers to any situation in which a person rises from poverty to wealth.  In some cases from absolute obscurity to heights of fame. With this blog both wealth and fame happen. This is a common archetype in literature and popular culture. Examples are in the writings of Horatio Alger, Jr.

Rags to Riches is Exemplified by a Violinist!

The featured picture places the meaning of the title on a silver platter. The story you are about to read is touching. Anyone struggling, poor or victimized by discrimination can identify with it.

Riches came to Rubinoff and His Violin, They were partners.
Rubinoff’s posh Suite at the Leland House. We worked together on musical arrangements for years.

The Rags to Riches Story

A violinist reached an income level of  $500,000/year in the 1930’s. That was during the heighth of the Great Depression. His name was David Rubinoff. Dave’s childhood was dramatically poor. It was recorded by his wife, Dame Darlene Rubinoff. Her book is called, The Dance of the Russian Peasant. I, David Ohrenstein, was his arranger and accompanist for over 15 years. Currently guests hear my piano playing 6 nights weekly. This is on the isle of Boca Grande, Fl. It is on a newly rebuilt Steinway. Location is at the world renowned Gasparilla Inn. Dave Rubinoff dictated his entire book to wife, Dame Darlene. Since he spoke broken English, at best, she edited his words.

Image result for pictures of Rubinoff on DSOworks.com
A poor Russian as a youth, little David acquired riches and fame through his violin.

“Paderewski was Headmaster of the Warsaw conservatory. He later became premier of Poland. Professor Leopold Auer was headmaster of the violin department. He taught such greats as Heifetz and Zimbalist.

We had no time for play. Everything was work, study, practice, and practice some more. Professor Dressnor was working with me. He hit my fingers with his bow.”Wrong, wrong!” he said, loudly. I started to play the passage again and he hit my fingers.  “But I did not play it yet”, I said dejectedly.

“Never mind. It would have been wrong anyway!”, he said loudly. I vowed that for my graduation I would play something so difficult, that no one could play it but me. I filled it with difficult passages my professor would not be able to play.” As a result, Dave Rubinoff wrote “Dance of the Russian Peasant.” This personal fire stayed with Rubinoff throughout his life.

Best news of all. I will be honoring my mentor, Dave Rubinoff 30 some years after his passing away. This will be on June 2, 2018 at the new Ted Lewis Museum. It is in Circleville, Ohio. Included will be our arrangements. I will play them with famed violinist, Steven Greenman. The orchestral conductor will be maestro Joseph Rubin. Afterwards I will lecture about our association. To find the particulars, visit the Ted Lewis Museum on line. Do not miss this inspiring all-American event.

Rubinoff and his Violin – Dance of the Russian Peasant – YouTube

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h_wn9SfNdp4

 

Mar 28, 2008 – Uploaded by Rudder3218

Rubinoff in concert at the White House. This Violin solo by Rubinoff – Dance of the Russian Peasant is a …

 

 

 

 

 

Cycles Part Two and Lunar Phases

Cycles Part Two and How They Affect People

Cycles Part Two on How They Affect People. Since at least Neolithic times, builders of civilizations sought to counter the harmful effect cycles can have as they hit their peak. Basically they used a process that I call “transfer.” They transferred the effects of cyclic activity to a distinct physical plane. Often this took the form of a circle divided into four parts. There are many examples of how the Neolithic culture applied their knowledge of cycles. In this regard they were far more advanced than we are today in the 21st century. Here are a few classifications that pertain to business in the 21st century.

cycle time (plural cycle times)

  1. (operations) The total elapsed time to complete an operation or set of operations.
    Order cycle time can now be minutes from when the customer starts entering an order to when it is visible to the warehouse.
    Production cycle time is not as important as the time spent in transit.
    Design cycle time for an all-new state-of-the-art compressor is still years from go-ahead to readiness for manufacture.

    Cycles Part Two and Quadrpartite Division

Cycles Part Two
Neolithic Cultures Saw a Cyclic Fourfold Division of Time. They sought to control its effects through fourfold landscape work.

Also found in: ThesaurusMedicalLegalEncyclopedia.

quad·ri·par·tite (kwŏd′rə-pär′tīt′) adj.

File:Sun cross dotted.png
Quadripartite division of a circle was common in antiquity

Quadripartite Division of Time as an Ancient Tool

  1. The cycle is low. The spiral is unwound. Everything is relaxed.
  2. The cycle winds up. Things begin to tighten
  3. The cyclic peak is reached. That equates with maximum trouble and chaos.
  4. The cycle unwinds. Things go back to being relaxed.

Cycles part two continued: Newton was quite familiar with ancient Egyptian writings. His friend, editor and publisher, Edmond Halley, who, in his 1705 Synopsis of the Astronomy of Comets, used Newton’s new laws to calculate the gravitational effects of Jupiter and Saturn on cometary orbits.[22] This calculation enabled him to determine that the orbital elements of a second comet that had appeared in 1682. They were nearly the same as those of two comets that had appeared in 1531 (observed by Petrus Apianus) and 1607 (observed by Johannes Kepler).[22] Halley thus concluded that all three comets were the same object returning about every 76 years. The period actually varies between 74–79 years. 

Cycles are found from the vast dimensions of the Universe to the microscopic world of the atom. Of course they are also attached to the life processes on Earth. Here are some examples:

  • Galaxies rotate around their centers. The Milky Way takes 200 million years to complete a rotation.
  • The Sun rotates around its axis every 25 Earth days.
  • Comets have a regular elliptical orbit.
  • Meteor showers take place regularly on certain days of the year.
  • The Moon varies in an illumination cycle every 27 days.
  • The Moon produces high tide cycles every 12½ hours.

I will continue to blog on such topics until we can all initiate a new era of peace and plenty. I believe that is in the making. It is called: A Golden Age.

Lspn comet halley.jpg
Halley’s Comet on 8 March 1986
Baby song lyrics.

Baby Song Lyrics are Literally Everywhere

Baby Song Lyrics are Literally Everywhere. I am writing this blog to

  1. Describe how this word is now an anachronism. It is outdated.
  2. Show how this word has prevailed in popular culture.
  3. Show that this catch all word  should be replaced a more appropriate word.
  4. List a number of songs that communicate the frequent use of this overworked and tired word.
  5. Place a little humor into a blog.
Baby songs lyrics? Well, we have the music by Mancini
Henry Mancini wrote the Music to the Baby Elephant Walk  for the movie, Hatari. It actually does not have lyrics, just music.

First, We Turn to The Producers to Look at Baby Song Lyrics

Following the flop of theatre musical Funny Boy (based on William Shakespeare‘s Hamlet) (“Opening Night”), the show’s washed-up producer, Max Bialystock, hires the neurotic Leo Bloom as his accountant. While studying Max’s books, Leo notes that a flop is expected to lose money.   The IRS won’t investigate the finances of failed productions. Leo jests by selling an excess of shares and embezzling the funds, a flop could generate up to $2 million. Max asks for Leo’s help with the scheme.  Searching for the worst play written, the duo finds Springtime for Hitler, a musical written by an ex-Nazi named Franz Liebkind. Max and Leo acquire Franz’s rights to the musical, They adapt it to their own vision of the play. They do their best to make it a flop. They  use the worst lyrics. The show is in bad taste. Then they hire what could be considered a joke of a singer-actor for the lead. He constantly says or sings the word, “baby”. This word is obviously not in keeping with the playwright’s intentions.  Its use upsets Franz Liebkind to no end. He angrily states:

The Producers (2005).jpg

Franz Liebkind: Der Führer does not say, “Achtung, baby.”

Franz Liebkind: Baby! Baby!… Why does he say this “baby”? The Führer has never said “baby”. I did not write, “baby”. What is it with this, “baby”?

A Short Sample List of Baby Song Lyrics and Titles

  • (You’re So Square) Baby I Don’t Care – Elvis Presley.
  • (You’re) Having My Baby – Paul Anka.
  • …Baby One More Time – Britney Spears.
  • Always Be My Baby – Mariah Carey.
  • American Baby – Dave Matthews Band.
  • Angel Baby – Rosie & the Originals.
  • Angie Baby – Helen Reddy.
  • Anybody Seen My Baby? –

Please check on line and be amazed. Click in The Best Songs with Baby in the Title.

Finally, why do I think that Baby Song Lyrics are inappropriate for today? A baby is totally dependent.  Babies need love, attention and oversight. We live in a day and age where both women and men want to be respected and independent. A new woman’s movement is afoot. In this context, calling anyone, man or woman baby is at best, belittling. What are your thoughts on baby song lyrics?

 

Dance will return to three four time signature

Three Four Time Signature is Called for by the Oquaga Spirit

Three Four Time Signature Called for by the Oquaga Spirit. There is a hidden place where life is still beautiful. Water is crystal clear. It is drinkable with minimal filtration. A spirit hovers on the lake and surrounding area. I was most fortunate. The spirit took a liking to me. It accompanied me on walks through the woods and over the mountains. As I say in one of my poems, called The Oquaga Spirit: “So much she needed an ear, she ignored my tranquility.”  Who is this spirit? I sensed it was a female from the Lennie Lenape American Indians. At one time their domain was also around the lake. Women ruled the roost. What characterized this spirit?

The Oquaga Spirit even spoke of triple meters.
My wife and myself lived for many summer seasons on Oquaga lake. This cottage is called the “Birches”. We enjoyed the lake view while dining on the back porch.

 

Dancing Near You

Home / Albums / Dancing Near You

Triple Meters and Dance
My ballroom dancing CD is available on DSOworks.com

 

 

 

  • First and foremost: It loves music. At 4:30 P.M. a showboat went around the lake. The guests sang with gusto as it circled its perimeters.
  • The spirit loves ballroom dancing. As a matter of fact, it inspired our ballroom dancing CD, Dancing Near You. We had ballroom dance instructors from all over the country offering their thoughts. I wrote down the music. My wife Sharon was the arranger.
  • It loves wisdom and knowledge. Many of the blogs on DSOworks.com were communicated to me by this Indian spirit.
  • The Indian spirit was a great advocate the Golden Rule: “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.” It did not like contrary people.

What the Oquaga Spirit Said About Three Four Time Signature

The spirit dictated my poetry book, The Oquaga Spirit Speaks, in triple time signature. The poem I quote is Nature Loves to Waltz. Its concluding quatrain is:

Man likes duple meters
His triple meters wane.
Return ye to the waltzes of Vienna
And the vibrant boleros of Spain.

So what is my poetic plan? Simply, to tour the world reciting the wisdom of the Oquaga Spirit. Also, I have a few openings for piano lessons in Sarasota. Here is a free poetry sample on youtube. May the spirit be with you!

The Oquaga Spirit Speaks – YouTube

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UM2hUWYPDgo
Mar 28, 2016 – Uploaded by Dso Works

David Ohrenstein reads excerpts from the book “The Oquaga Spirit Speaks,” the voice of nature and the …

 

 

 

 

 

Dance will return to three four time signature

Triple Meter Has All But Disappeared

Triple Meter Has All But Disappeared. I refer to music beats per measure. Waltzes are in triple meter. You count 1-2-3 over and over. They are scarce. They are also memorable. For example we have Piano Man and You Light Up My Life.  Two more are Take it to the Limit  and Morning Has Broken.  I would venture to conservatively guess that perhaps 1 in 5,000 popular selections that get air time today are  written in triple meter. According to Wikipedia, it  is a musical meter characterized by a primary division of 3 beats to the bar, usually indicated by 3 (simple) or 9 (compound) in the upper figure of the time signature.

Compound triple drum pattern: divides each of three beats into three About this sound Play 

Simple triple metre beat on rock drum kit[1] About this sound play 

Triple meter is much less common in traditions such as rock & roll and jazz. The most common time in rock, blues, country, funk, and pop is duple and quadruple.[1]

Duple and quadruple meter are sharp and angular. A conductor uses angular strokes of his baton in 2/4 and 4/4. For example, 2/4 is conducted with an angular up and down motion for one and two. Triple meter, on the other had can be conducted with circles or curves.  A circle is completed with each set of 1-2-3 beats.  Let’s apply meter to yang and yin. Duple and quadruple meters are yang. Triple meters are yin. What does this mean for society? Yang is male. With 4/4 or 2/4 meter, the male mostly dominates. While in 3/4 the yin or female becomes more dominant. We are about to see a massive return dominant 3/4 meter. It will be the age of the glorification for the ladies.

Our Drinking Song From the Princess and the Peasant Uses Triple Meter with a Quadruple Meter  Introduction

As men and women come together to waltz, yin and yang become balanced. In so many dances, since the Strauss father and son composers, contact is scarce. However, trends are cyclic. The waltz will return in a big way. I am currently playing piano at the Crab and Fin in Sarasota. Deliberately, I pump a lot of 3/4 time out of the piano. Then, from Christmas to Easter I will be at the Gasparilla Inn in Boca Grande, Fl. Of course, I plan to play 3/4 time. This includes many Strauss waltzes. Watch for more posts of my original music in 3/4 time on youtube. The Princess and the Peasant is about to make a big splash. Also, off- season, I offer piano lessons in Sarasota.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ymHT-2qiPEc
Dec 17, 2007 – Uploaded by Rudder3218

Lesley and Ohrenstein’s Elizabeth of Russia follows in the tradition of the great Broadway hits South Pacific …

Music prolongs life and enjoyment

Music Prolongs Life of Rubinoff and His Violin

Music Prolongs Life of Rubinoff and His Violin. I used the featured picture of the Gypsy Kings because they convey the joyfulness of older musicians in general. With music, all enjoy perpetual youth.  My featured older musician is David Rubinoff.  Dave Rubinoff (September 3, 1897, GrodnoRussian Empire, now Belarus – October 6, 1986),[1] was a popular concert  violinist who was also known for his  Stradivarius violin. He purchased it in 1929 for $100,000. Now it is priceless.

Music Prolongs Life of those who engage in the art.
Dave Rubinoff, myself, and “The Clock of Life.”

I worked with Dave over a 15 year period. This was in the capacity of arranging and piano accompanying. This blog story has an air of mysticism. It doesn’t seem possible. It raises a question: Can music bring someone back from the edge of death’s door? First, I must explain the pocket watch Dave Rubinoff is holding in the above picture. I am standing next to him. Will Rogers and he were best of friends. Will gave him the pocket watch. Will had a poetry excerpt by Robert H. Smith engraved on back. It is called The Clock of Life. Dave read the poem at every concert to an appreciative audience.

The Clock of Life is wound but once
And no man has the power
To tell just when the hands will stop
At late or early hour.
The present only is our own,
So live, love, toil with a will,
Place no faith in “Tomorrow,”
For the Clock may then be still.”

Music Prolongs Life of Rubinoff for our Pittsburgh Concert

Darlene Rubinoff, documented her husbands life in the book, Dance of the Russian Peasant. He dictated the book in general to her. She gave it the finishing touches. I now quote: “I was 88 years old. Don Baretti book me on a concert. It was sponsored by the Pittsburgh Plate Glass Company. I had just been released from the hospital after suffering from pneumonia.”  Darlene told me (David Ohrenstein) “I’m afraid you’ll have to do this concert by yourself.”

Music prolongs life at our Pittsburgh Concert
Out concert in Pittsburgh was a proud moment for me.

The rest of the story goes: I had flown in to Columbus, Ohio so we could practice the concert. Rubinoff stated: “”I summoned all my strength, got out of bed, dressed and was standing, violin in hand when Dave and Darlene arrived from the airport.” Here’s he’s enthusiasm: He said to me- We”ll start with Fiddler on the Roof not waiting for him (me) to remove his jacket. He smiled shook my hand, and we began to practice.”

” Darlene made me sit down for the rest of our practice. I was just out of the hospital three days, suffering from pneumonia. I was still spitting blood.”

How did  the concert at Pittsburgh Wintergarden Plaza end? Literally, the audience went wild with applause. Rubinoff lived. We gave many more concerts together. Yes, music prolongs life!  Learn to play. By the way,  I have room for 1 or 2 piano students in Sarasota.

 

 

Special arranging was shunned by Beethoven

Special Arranging was Not Beethoven’s Cup of Tea!

Special Arranging was Not Beethoven’s Cup of Tea!  Beethoven loved receiving inspiration.  He would stroll in the woods for this purpose.  He also created his music of grand sentiment. For example:  Symphony No.5 deals with the struggle and the joy of victory.  “The Pastoral symphony” represents the expression of the love he held for  for nature.  However, he refused to make special arrangements for specific instruments once the work was composed. Of course, his editors took up the slack. His publishers hired arrangers through their own publishing houses. The end result was Beethoven sold more copies and made more money. This happens when you increase your potential buyers.

What Exactly is Special Arranging?

I will define arranging by a joke. It circulated in the entertainer’s old haven- the Catskill Mountains. Below is a picture of Oquaga Lake, It is perched high in the Catskills.  I was the house pianist at Scott’s Oquaga Lake House for some 17 years. As such, I accompanied many Catskill comedians and professionals.  Harry Carlyle often told this story:

Image result for picture of a canary in a cage
This lucky song bird has an arranger!

“A man walks by a pet shop in the summer. Its windows are open. He hears a canary singing. The man walks in and says to the pet shop owner: “I love the song of this canary. How much does she cost?” The pet shop owner says, “”five dollars”. “That’s all, the man answers, I’ll take her!”. The pet shop owner says,”Wait a minute.” Do you see that ugly, scraggly, looking bird over there? The man answers, “yes”. “The owner says, “When you buy her, you have to buy him. And, he’s $100.00 dollars”. The man looks up in a state of puzzlement: “Why should I buy that ugly, scraggly bird over there for $100.00 when I can have this beautiful songbird for $5.00?” The pet shop own answers: “He’s the arranger!.”

 

Scott's Oquaga Lake House where I heard this special arranging joke.
Scott’s Oquaga Lake House where I also made many arrangements for comedians, singers, etc.

 

 

Incidentally, in between jobs I offer piano lessons in Sarasota.