Lecture magic in Circleville, Ohio

Lecture Magic for Me in Circleville Thanks to Rubinoff

Lecture Magic for Me in Circleville Thanks to Rubinoff and His Violin. Life can spin out of control. Sometimes this can be in  wonderful ways. Sometimes events can spin badly.  In Circleville it was very good. First, I will define key words in this blog. First word to define  is Circleville, Ohio. The featured picture was taken at the lectern in the auditorium at Circleville High School.  Date was June 2, 2018. A concert honoring Rubinoff and His Violin was about to take place.  I am standing at the podium for two reasons;

  1. To give a lecture. It covered high points of my 15 year association with Rubinoff and His Violin.
  2. I will be performing on the piano. My position will be to accompany violin maestro Steven Greenman. We were set to play several arrangements I made with Rubinoff.

Also included was a 28 piece high powered orchestra. Assembled for the performance were top instructors. They were  from leading musical programs at top universities around Ohio. This performance was the vision of the conductor, Joseph Rubin. He is also the curator of the Ted Lewis Museum in Circleville. Please keep checking my posts. Samples and segments from the concert will soon be available on youtube.

Image result for Pictures from the Ted Lewis Museum in Circleville, Ohio
With his trademark battered top hat and clarinet, Circleville’s own Ted Lewis drew standing room only houses. He sold millions of records He starred in every entertainment medium from Vaudeville to Television. His career spanned five decades.

Lecture Magic in Circleville, Ohio

So what’s magical about this concert? An element of the mystical is found in the very town of Circleville. The city’s name is derived from its original layout. It was created in 1810 within the 1,100 ft (340 m) diameter of a circle. Many future blogs will be appearing about this  1100 foot diameter. It will illustrate a connection to prehistoric cultures. The Hopewell tradition earthwork dates back to the early centuries of the Common Era.

Dave loved the American Indian tradition. I specify this in my lecture magic. He, like many Europeans, was enchanted by Indian ways and wisdom. The decor of both of his homes amply illustrate this great love. It is most fitting  that he will be honored at the Ted Lewis Museum. Ted was from Circleville. The Museum is actually almost directly across the street from his residence. I had a personalized museum  tour. Wow!

Image result for picture of the Ted Lewis Museum in Circleville
#1 spot in American to visit if you love music!

Here are some internal links.  They will  illustrate connections between Rubinoff and His Violin and myself. There are many more posts on DSOworks on this subject. Feel free to explore them. Dave became enormously wealthy playing the violin and conducting. This was throughout the Great Depression.  His annual income was as high as $500,000.00.

Rubinoff and His Violin Sort of Was My Grandfather – DSO Works

Will Rogers and Rubinoff and His Violin- My Story – DSO Works

Lots of exciting posts are in the making. The fun has just begun. Please feel free to share this.

Musical ornaments

Musical Ornaments – Those for and Those Against

Musical Ornaments  – Those For and Those Against. Everyone has opinions about the necessity of ornaments in music. I suppose the same could apply to the use of ornaments in fashion. At this point I venture a prediction: The use of set ornaments in music and in dress will return quite strongly. Richard Wagner commented on ornaments. He would tell musicians: “Pay attention to the small notes…The large ones will take care of themselves.”

Image result for Wikicmmopns a picture of Richard Wagner
Richard Wagner stressed the importance of grace notes and ornaments.

Nature of Musical Ornaments

Why, at one time, were ornaments belittled?  Some thought they were only needed because of  weaker harpsichord sounds. The modern piano, they thought, did not need reinforcement. Among those who held this opinion were Marmoutel, Le Couppey and Méreaux. Yet, both the voice and violin had rich ornamentation. They had the same volume in the past as they have today.

Image result for Wikicommons a picture of C.P.E. Bach
C.P.E. Bach seated at the keyboard.

C.P.E. Bach wrote a definitive manual playing keyboard instruments. While in Berlin, C.P.E. wrote, Versuch über die wahre Art das Clavier zu spielen (An Essay on the True Art of Playing Keyboard Instruments). “Both Haydn and Beethoven swore by it.”[9] By 1780, the book was in its third edition. It laid the foundation for the keyboard methods of Clementi and Cramer.[1]Bach presented his thoughts on the virtue of ornaments in his treatise. He believed that without ornamentation the best melody becomes empty and dull.

  1. He comments on how most composers use them profusely.
  2. On how they can connect notes.
  3. Ornaments can enliven music.
  4. They attach particular stress and importance to the notes they adorn.
  5. They make musical meaning clear: They can emphasize either sad or happy qualities.
  6. Ornaments can actually improve a mediocre composition.

 Musical Ornaments of J.S. Bach Kept Intact with my Own Arrangement of

The Boogie Man of the Opera

Ted Lewis Musical Museum

Musical Museum Sponsors Memorable Concert

Musical Museum Sponsors Memorable Concert under the Baton of Maestro Joseph Rubin. Oh my gosh. I now have a tiny place in the Ted Lewis Big Band Museum.  In the featured picture, I am in the lower right corner standing with Rubinoff. What is the basis for this claim to fame? I worked with David Rubinoff and His Violin for some 15 years. My capacity was as his arranger and accompanist. Maestro Rubin read one of my Rubinoff posts. They are on DSOworks.com. He contacted me to be a part of a Rubinoff commemoration concert. The concert was June 2, 2018. Steven Greenman was the distinguished violin soloist.

The photo below of Rubinoff and myself was taken in concert in 1984. Dave was 86 years of age. Our entire concert is below the picture on youtube. Just click on it. In his heyday, Dave was a national phenomenon. This was to the tune of as much as $500,000.00 annually in the 1930’s. Serious musicians (those who only played classical) were envious. However, the point is, whatever Dave touched was superbly played. Many examples of him are now posted on youtube. Many of these show him playing at his peak. Also below is an internal link with a “Rubinoff” story.

commemorative concert to be given in Circleville, Ohio
Dave Rubinoff and myself after a concert at Scott’s Oquaga Lake House in the Catskills in 1984. The youtube of the concert is below.

 44:13
 Lost Concert “Rubinoff and His Violin” on Oquaga Lake, 1984
Lesley & Ohrenstein
1.2K view

Violin Cases Create a Sensation for Rubinoff – DSO Works–  Here is an internal link with a typical Rubinoff Story

Musical Museum is a Must to Visit

Image result for picture of the Ted Lewis Museum in Circleville

Ted Lewis’ band was second only to the Paul Whiteman band in popularity during the 1920s.   Paul Whiteman led a usually large ensemble and explored many styles of music.  He blended symphonic music and jazz.  An example was his debut of Rhapsody in Blue by George Gershwin.[3] Many say Ted Lewis played more real jazz than Whiteman. This is especially true with Ted’s recordings of the late 1920’s. American history at the musical museum is quite rich. Much is in the works on DSOworks.com. Keep watching.

Rubinoff experience wonderful and a bit wild

Rubinoff Experience is Wonderful and a Bit Wild

Rubinoff Experience is Wonderful and a Bit Wild. I ‘m getting ready to board the airplane for my Rubinoff lecture and concert in Circleville Ohio.  Maestro Steven Grassman will perform on the violin. A 28 piece orchestra will be featured under the baton of Joseph Rubin. See my internal  links immediately below. The first gives the particulars about the concert. Nothing is as wonderful for me as a Rubinoff experience revived.

Image result for pictures of violinist David Rubinoff
Thanks to John Philip Sousa, Rubinoff got a grant to educate and inspire school children

Rubinoff and His Violin Concert – June 2, 2018 – YouTube

Live Performances Archives – DSO Works

Rubinoff Experience to be had in Circleville, Ohio on June 2, 2018

I thought I would share a part of my lecture on this post. Please try to be there for an unforgettable American experience. Dave was all about how wonderful America is.  He also loved and gave  recognition to the American Indians.  His guiding light was his best friend, Will Rogers. Will identified with his Cherokee background.  Please try to be there for a most wonderful experience.  If you cannot make the concert;  the lecture and concert will eventually be posted on youtube. Here’s an excerpt from my lecture:

 In June of 1970 I set up an audition with Rubinoff. He was residing in a posh penthouse at the Leland House in downtown Detroit. Even before I rang his door bell, I knew I was about to meet a master of show business. While many are only concerned with 1st impressions, Rubinoff made a powerful 1st pre-impression. He had a hand carved wooden door with a violin surrounded by musical notes on staffs and flowers. When you rang his doorbell, it played the musical theme song from his hit 1930’s musical radio show. During that time he became an American icon. Typically, after Sunday church services, Americans went straight home. Their objective was to listen to Rubinoff and His Violin on the Eddie Cantor show, Dave conducted and played with the full NBC orchestra. His theme song, “Give Me a Moment Please”, was chimed by his doorbell.

His apartment suite was breathtaking. Dave paid homage to America with his décor. He was born in the Ukraine in 1897. What did the average Ukrainian think of American at that time? The Wild West personified America. Yes, cowboys and Indians. David was particularly taken with the Indians. He loved everything about them. In his suite were countless Indian artifacts and paintings. Many were just given to him by Frank Phillips of Phillips Petroleum. His #1 prized possession was a portrait of himself painted as an Indian chief- feathers and all.

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 Please share with friends.  It offers what Scott Joplin called “Solace.”
First impressions are the longest lasting.

First Impressions are Long Lasting. Here’s Why

First Impressions are Long Lasting Here’s Why. Over some 15 years I toured with Rubinoff and His Violin. I served his pianist and arranger. Two questions beg to be answered. What was His Violin? What is an arranger? His violin was the Romanoff Stradivarius.  A Stradivarius violin could be worth hundreds of thousands to several million U.S. dollars .[8] The 1697 “Molitor[9]  was once rumored to have belonged to Napoleon. It sold  in 2010 at Tarisio Auctions for $3,600,000. It was, at the time, a world record.[10][11]

Next, what is a musical arranger? It is best described by means of a story. A man walks by a pet shop. It was Summer. The doors were open. He hears this unbelievably beautiful singing coming from a canary inside the shop. He asks the pet ship owner: How much is that songbird? I think I would like to buy her. The owner replies, “She’s five dollars.” The man exclaims, “Wow.  Only five dollars. I think I’ll buy her”. The pet ship owner answers: “Not so fast. Do you see that ugly, scraggly, looking bird over there?” The man replies, “Yes.”The owner replies: “When you buy her you have to buy him. And… he’s $100.00.”  The man is shocked: “Why would I want him for $100.00 when I can just have her for $5.00? The pet store owner replies: “He’s the arranger.”

Even a canary in a cage needs a good arranger!
An good arranger can be paid more than a prima donna.

An arranger sets the musical context for a melody. It can be compared to the background around a subject of a painting. With the canary story, first impressions were wrong. In the joke (based on truth) she needed the arranger to showcase her voice.

First Impressions Can be Lasting Impressions for Children

This internal link immediately below has Rubinoff and I playing in New York in the Catskills at Scott’s Oquaga Lake House. He was 86 years of age at the time. Its link is connected to connected to Youtube.  It is called, Lost Concert  Found.

Music Transforms Especially in Difficult Times – DSO Works

Rubinoff and I played a number of school functions. One was for the chamber orchestra at a middle school in Venice, Florida. I must say they couldn’t  have cared less for his Stradivarius violin. That was because he carried the violin in a genuine alligator skin violin case. It was made in Germany. It had all of the original fins. Of course, that would impress any child! Please share with friends. My upcoming concert commemorating Rubinoff will be in Circleville, Ohio on this June 2nd. Click on all events for details.  Hope to see you there. And yes, I have one or two openings for piano students in Sarasota.

« All Events

First impressions are lasting impressions
Rubinoff played for children of all ages thanks to John Phillip Sousa and the United States State Department.
World Fair stimulated Claude Debussy to find his niche as a composer

World Fair Shaped the then Seven-year-old Claude Debussy

World Fair Shaped the then Seven-year-old Claude Debussy. Debussy was born on 22 August 1862 in Saint-Germain-en-LayeSeine-et-Oise, on the north-west fringes of Paris.[4 

In 1889 Paris celebrated the centennial of the French Revolution. They held a “universal exhibition” at the center of Paris. The Eiffel Tower was built for that purpose. The exhibition allowed those who came to sample cultures from Africa and the Far East. They included a Moroccan bazaar, a Chinese pavilion, a Buddhist temple, and even a Senegalese village. A street from Cairo was duplicated. Included was a Congolese settlement of ivory carvers. A Vietnamese theatrical troupe performed.  A Tonkinese village featured silk weavers. The 1889 World fair was the gateway to sounds that many composers had never heard before. Rimsky-Korsakov came from Russia. He was also totally taken by these new sounds.

 

World Fair in Paris in 1889 influenced Debussy as a composer.
Claude Debussy in 1908. He was 46 years of age.

The genius of Claude Debussy is vast and with many … – DSO Works

My own recording of Pagodas by Debussy is on the YouTube presentation immediately below.

Video for YouTube David Ohrenstein playing Pagodas by Debussy▶ 5:44

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vZuPRPRJbgo
Feb 2, 2016 – Uploaded by Lesley & Ohrenstein

Concert Pianist David Ohrenstein plays Pagodas from Estampes by ClaudeDebussy. Filmed at the Glenridge …

 World Fair in Paris was a factor in Debussy’s later composition called Pagodas

 Little Debussy most likely decided then to one day include these sounds in his own compositions. Also, the Oriental music was not written down. It was played on the spot. He wanted his own music to sound spontaneous in a similar fashion- even if wrote it down.  Imitating the novel  sound of the gamelan, he later would compose his piano piece, Pagodas. He loved how the music did away with the melodic and  rhythmic clichés of Romanticism.  I would be happy to play some of Debussy’s exotic music  for you at the Crab and Fin Restaurant on St Armand’s Circle in Sarasota. The link below gives the specifics. Yes, I am available for piano lessons in Sarasota.
Enjoy David now playing at the Crab and Fin Restaurant

Enjoy David Ohrenstein Playing Piano

April 9 @ 12:00 am – December 18 @ 5:30 pm

Enjoy David playing the piano at the Crab and Fin Restaurant. Claire de Lune by Claude Debussy is still a favorite piano classic. So is Scott Joplin’s The Entertainer. David plays outdoors (weather permitting) on an authentic Yamaha console piano.  Have lunch, dinner, or simply a beverage.  “I’d say that overall, it’s a great place to have lunch or dinner if your around Saint Armands or Lido Beach.” in 35 reviews.  David is returning to the Crab and…

Find out more

Violin cases created a sensation

Violin Cases Create a Sensation for Rubinoff

Violin cases created a sensation for Rubinoff. I (blogger David) will be giving a lecture and concert about a composer/conductor/violinist and Hollywood Movie star I worked with. The date is June 2, 2018. It will be at the High School in Circleville ,Ohio. His stage name was Rubinoff and His Violin. He had a talent for being sensational. Even with violin cases.  He made a fortune conducting and playing violin: As much as $500,000.00 annually. Wealth came to him at the peak of the Great Depression. So what made him rich? Two internal links are below will explain his rise to fame. The 1st is about the upcoming Circleville, Ohio festivities that will honor him.  Click on the 2nd for a youtube sample of Rubinoff of how Rubinoff dazzled Hollywood.  His violin wizardry speaks for itself.

Image result for pictures of Rubinoff on DSOworks.comA poor Russian as a youth, he acquired riches and fame through mastery of the  violin.

Commemoration Concert for Rubinoff and His Violin – DSO Works

Rubinoff and His Violin Concert – June 2, 2018 – YouTube

(also click on Rubinoff and His Violin youtube, The Music Shop. You will see the official seal of the Russian empire in diamonds and rubies on the crest of the violin. Dave plays “Flight of the Bumblebee.”)

 violin cases can also hide things other than violins.
A street gang thought Rubinoff’s  older violin case was hiding a machine gun- not a Stradivarius! They carefully avoided us.

Story I –  How Violin Cases Saves Us From Harm

We’d go to a deli for lunch. It was a blustery wintry day. Dave was wearing a godfather coat and hat. He was so preoccupied humming a tune, he didn’t even bother buttoning the coat. This particular violin case was in sad shape. Yet, it held a 2 million dollar Stradivarius. I saw a gang of about 12 young men walking toward us. At that time they were about 1½ blocks away. As soon as they noticed the violin case, the entire gang jay walked across the street to avoid us. Most likely, they thought Rubinoff looked like an old hit man that never got hit.

Story II- The 2nd of the Violin Cases Was an Alligator Skin

Until his last year Dave and I played school assemblies for children in the public schools. One was a performance for a chamber orchestra in the Venice, Fl Public Schools. When we made our entrance, everyone was taken by the alligator violin case. Some children could have cared less about the priceless violin. For them, the case said it all. To relive those days in Circleville is priceless. Buy your tickets now!

Writing operas has hassles

Writing Operas- Hassles Even for Mozart

Writing Operas- Hassles Even for Mozart. Writing an opera is difficult. Writing an outstanding opera is more difficult. Finding a good composer/ librettist combination is rare. Raising funds for the work is  is extremely difficult. Procuring a venue  for a production of a new opera is a a huge task. That is why perpetual old opera war horses will continue to be the mainstay of traditional, established opera houses. Aspiring composers of opera face at least one to all of these hurdles. That certainly was true for Mozart. Mozart had the contacts. He had the admiration of wealthy royalty. His problem, at least at first, was finding a good librettist with which he could collaborate.

Writing operas has hassles even for Mozart

I’m lucky enough. to own the book pictured on the right. It is autographed by Victor Borge. The inspiration for this blog came from his book. Royalty in Europe fostered opera. Mozart was quite a charmer in this regard.  As a young boy, he was fussed over by every emperor he met and kissed by their empress wives. He even proposed to Marie Antoinette. This was after she straightened him out from a skid on the palace floor.

So how does a child charm, royalty? Mozart used the technique of novelty. He would play the pianoforte using one finger on each hand. He would cover the piano keyboard with a napkin and perform. He would ask his royal backers to hum a tune. They he make an entire sonata on the “hum”. He would freely improvise variations on a theme. Yet even with the royal support of limitless funding, there were problems. You still needed a good libretto.

Here is an example of Mozart’s libretto problems: He wrote an opera for La Finta Semplice. It’s about a Hungarian captain whose sister makes love to his girlfriend’s brother. As a result, the girlfriend’s maid can marry the captain’s valet. This needs to happen without the captain’s girlfriend’s other brother finding out. As crazy as this is, it still made it to the stage. Today, I think that a rich person can buy their way to a full production. But, odds of overall success are even more remote.

Writing Operas – Mozart – the “Graveyard Key” in his Opera Don Giovanni – DSO Works

The feature picture of the ghosts of Caesar and Anthony in the above internal link is from our new opera. It is now called, Patra. It was called Octavian and Cleopatra. Another name it went by was The Cup of Cleopatra. Now, the opera is  undergoing a major rewrite. This is no small task.  However, I do have one great advantage: Everyday I have breakfast with my librettist. She is my wife, Sharon.  Everything is coming together for a workshop in upstate New York 2019. We are looking for backers.  Click on the picture below to sample some of the earlier productions. They might pique you interest.  Contact shlesley@aol.com if you are interested in assisting.

Writing operas, My wife, Sharon Lesley, plays Cleopatra. Robbie May plays Octavian. Photo taken in the  Sarasota Player’s Theater presentation.
writing operas
This book is entertaining and informative.
First impressions are the longest lasting.

Best Musical Event this Summer, 2018

Best Musical Event for the Summer of 2018 is just around the corner. Tickets are now available. Click on link given below.

Image result for Rubinoff posts on DSOworks.com
This painting, done for David Rubinoff, is entitled “Professional Jealousy”

Why Rubinoff And His Violin “Pops” Concert will be the best musical event

“Rubinoff and his Violin” a name that brings back fond memories for anyone who remembers the golden age of radio. Before Andre Rieu, violinist and conductor David Rubinoff captured the hearts of millions on the air and record crowds of 225,000 at live concerts.

Rubinoff was discovered by Victor Herbert at the Warsaw’s Royal Conservatory in 1911, who brought the prodigy to the US. In 1931 Rubinoff was signed by NBC to join Eddie Cantor on the Chase and Sanborn radio program, where his orchestra included Benny GoodmanTommy Dorsey and Glenn Miller. Inspired by his friend John Philip Sousa, Rubinoff dedicated his life to promoting a love for music in young people, performing at thousands of schools including two concerts in Circleville in 1959 and 1980. A Columbus resident for 15 years, Rubinoff was guest of honor at the Ted Lewis Museum’s opening in 1977.

Now you can experience Rubinoff’s musical memories live for the first time in 80 years, featuring violin virtuoso Steven Greenman and a 28-piece orchestra conducted by Joseph Rubin. Circleville’s own Sarah Julien will be soprano soloist. I, blogger David Ohrenstein, will accompany Steven Greenman.  Students are admitted for free. Yes, beautiful music coming back.

Hear your favorite songs of the 1930s: Smoke Gets In Your EyesCheek To CheekDancing in the DarkSt. Louis Blues and much more, all in Rubinoff’s original arrangements saved from destruction by “The Ambassador of the American Songbook,” Michael Feinstein.

PRE-SHOW LECTURE AT 6:15 PM

David Ohrenstein, Rubinoff’s accompanist for 15 years, will share Rubinoff’s fascinating history. He learned first hand of his friendships such musical icons as Victor Herbert, John Philip Sousa, Irving Berlin and Enrico Caruso.

SATURDAY, JUNE 2, 2018
AT 7 PM

CIRCLEVILLE HIGH SCHOOL AUDITORIUM
3810 CLARK DRIVE
CIRCLEVILLE, OH 43113

TICKETS $15 ADULTS
FREE STUDENTS & CHILDREN

best musical event
Changing Musical Focus inspired by Jeorge Bolet

Changing Musical Focus is About What’s Coming

Changing Musical Focus is About What’s Coming. Musical styles have come in set periods of time. For success, go with the flow. Why? In the sage words of Henry David Thoreau:

” I have yet to hear the first syllable of valuable or even earnest advice from my seniors. They have told me nothing, and probably cannot tell me anything to the purpose.”  Or as he also states in Walden, “Old deeds for old people, and new deeds for new.”

Carve your own path. This is what pianist Jeorge Bolet did. Jorge Bolet (November 15, 1914 – October 16, 1990) was a Cuban-born American virtuoso pianist and teacher. Among his teachers were Leopold Godowsky, and Moriz Rosenthal.  Roenthal was a pupil of Franz Liszt.[1]Bolet was born in Havana.   He studied at the Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia.

Consider this reference found in David Dubal’s book. It is entitled Reflections from the Keyboard.  In Bolet’s words: “Today’s audiences go to the concert hall, to hear Beethoven, Schubert and Brahms…” Then Bolet goes on to state that  the last generation “went to hear what the pianist had to say about the composer.” Thus, we not only idolized the composer, we did the same for the pianist.

I was fortunate that my own piano teacher, Mischa Kottler belonged to the same vintage.  He studied with Alfred Cortot and Emil von Sauer. The old school of pianists were not only musicians. They were also magicians. They would take you on a  “magic carpet ride” with their piano playing.

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Myself, blogger David, in concert in New York with Rubinoff and His Violin

 

Changing Musical Focus and Back to the Old School

Mischa Kottler- A Visit By the Legendary Piano Instructor – DSO Works

To see what the old school was all about, click on this internal link. Mischa plays Chopin’s Minute Waltz in doubled notes. Everywhere, audiences went wild at this feat. The link also documents and describes his visit at age 92 to our family. Thanks to Mischa. and other great men I worked with, including Rubinoff and His Violin,  my own career as pianist/composer only now starting to reach a pinnacle. Check on events on DSOworks.com.

Minute Waltz (Mischa Kottler Version) – YouTube

Video for mISCHA kOTTLER PLAYS cHOPINS MINUTE WALTZ

In conclusion. Jeorge Bolet comments how today many are not interested in the musician. He states that he had often gone to all Beethoven concerts. Many pianists had been quite dull. Yet the audience applauded wildly. He states:  “In a sense, the audience is applauding for itself being there.” I believe that those days are about to go, bye-bye.