Keyboard consideration was quite flexible for J.S. Bach

Keyboard Consideration is Still Glossed Over Today

Keyboard Consideration is Still Glossed Over Today. For an explanation, let’s look back to the Baroque era. Its years were approximately 1600 – 1750. Very few composer/keyboardists  in the Baroque era were said to have mastered even two types of  keyboards!  Most often, if they  played the organ, they were deficient in the harpsichord. In reverse, if they could play the harpsichord, they were deficient in organ. This is the point of this blog: If two types of keyboards were confusing, even for geniuses; today we literally have hundreds of types. This of course takes into consideration the electronic wizardry which seems to multiply daily.

Wilhelm Friedemann Bach (22 November 1710 – 1 July 1784), the second child and eldest son of Johann Sebastian Bach and Maria Barbara Bach.  He was a German composer and performer. He possessed two mind sets for keyboard instruments: One for the organ. One for the harpsichord. Historian and contemporary of J.S. Bach, Johann Forkel, wrote: Their style (harpsichord and organ)  and manner of playing differ as much as their respective destinations. That which at the harpsichord produces excellent effect, does not express anything at the organ and vice versa.”

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Wilhelm Friedemann Bach was a master of both harpsichord and organ. He, and his father, were two  of the few.

Keyboard Consideration of Organ V. Harpsichord

Further on Forkel states  how he only knew of two musicians  equally adept at both: J.S. Bach and his eldest son, Wilhelm Friedmann Bach.  He states: “Both were elegant virtuosos at the harpsichord. Once seated at the organ, it is impossible to perceive the slightest trace of the the harpsichordist.” Forkel states the following of Wilhelm Friedmann Bach: “I had the pleasure of hearing Wilhelm Friedmann at the harpsichord. All was delicate, elegant and pleasing. When I heard him at the organ, I was truly seized with religious respect.  ”

Words of Keyboard Consideration from My Own Teacher- Mischa Kottler

Mischa studied in Paris and Vienna in the 1920’s. He worked with Alfred Cortôt in Paris and Emil von Sauer in Vienna. He told me right from the beginning, do not play the organ if you study piano. Seeing what Forkel just had to say about two different keyboard instruments, I think he was absolutely correct! Please share with friends that might be interested.

Tenth Year Entertaining on the Steinway at the Gasparilla Inn

I owe my longevity as a pianist to Mischa. This will be my 10th year at the Gasparilla Inn. Check the internal link above. December 20, 2018 @ 6:00 pm – April 20, 2019 @ 9:00 pm
Tenth Year Entertaining
Famed Gasparilla Inn in Boca Grande

Mischa Kottler plays Rachmaninoff, Prelude in g# minor – YouTube


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GHQ8mCk26Pg
Dec 28, 2013 – Uploaded by Joseph Beels

Mischa Kottler Plays Rachmaninoff’s Prelude in G# minor 

Here is an internal musical link:

Pianistic Robots are Created by Competitions

 

Rubinoff concert review

Rubinoff Concert Review of the 1930’s

Rubinoff Concert Review of the 1930’s. The short article below, at the Ted Lewis Museum,  offers some reasons why Rubinoff was so popular with the public. I do not have its exact date. It is from the Depression era of the 1930’s. First, he was primarily popular because he brought melodic and beautiful music to America when the country needed it the most. The public rewarded him. He made as much as $500,000.00 annually.  Joseph Rubin is the curator of the Ted Lewis Museum. I found this abbreviated article below on Joseph’s museum website.

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Dave was a matinee idol in the 1930’s.

What is the Ted Lewis Museum about? First, and most important me, Joseph brought me to Circleville for a Rubinoff commemoration concert this last June 2, 2018. It also was sponsored by the Ted Lewis Museum.  I got a chance to perform the works I arranged with Rubinoff live with concert violinist, Steven Greenman.

The museum is located in “the Capital of the World,” Circleville, Ohio. The Ted Lewis Museum attracts thousands of visitors of all ages.  They come from nearby and around the world.  Educational Outreach programs are offered free of charge to Pickaway County schools. These programs bring the history and music of Ted Lewis to life.  For schools and students, it featurs a 5-piece jazz band.  Scholarships are annually offered to graduating Pickaway County high school seniors planning to pursue a degree in Music or the Performing Arts.

With your support, the Museum will continue to offer free admission to all visitors and expose a new generation to the  timeless music of Ted Lewis and the greats of a by gone great American era.

The Ted Lewis Museum, Inc. is a 501(c)(3) tax exempt organization.  All donations are tax-deductible to the extent allowed by law.  All donors will be listed in the Ted Lewis Museum event programs. They will also receive the Ted Lewis Museum Newsletter in the mail and VIP seating at events.

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For the record, John Philip Sousa set Rubinoff on the school concert road. The article mentions Dave was a protege of the late Victor Herbert. – I, Dave Ohrenstein, worked for 15 years with Rubinoff. He employed me as both an arranger and a piano accompanist. Dave had a genius for publicity stunts and gags. In the featured picture Jimmy Durante playing Dave’s violin. Dave Rubinoff, as part of the gag, is at the piano.

 Rubinoff concert review.

Rubinoff concert review from the 1930's
Rubinoff concert review explains how he brought joy to so many.
Image result for picture on DSOworks of John :Philip Sousa and Rubinoff
I worked for 15 years with Rubinoff. Here he is pictured with Sousa. Sousa encouraged and helped Rubinoff to give of his violin playing talent to the American public schools.

Below is a link to my own website. Check it out. Musical events are upcoming. Many posts are about Rubinoff. Click on all posts.

Rubinoff and His Violin Sort of Was My Grandfather

 

Zodiac Dance is a fun 45 minutes of entertainment.

Zodiac Dance Demonstrates Extremes from Ballet to Modern

Zodiac Dance Demonstrates Extremes from Ballet to Modern. I thought it would be fun to write and premier a ballet on the zodiac. What a project!  First of all, for a number years I accompanied classes at the Florida Ballet Arts School in Sarasota.  Lynn Winslow, the artistic director, was quite kind to me.  My rhythm, back then, used to be sometimes, in places, not quite spot on. She would tell her dancers: “This happens in the real world. You sometimes have to make adjustments for the accompaniment in an actual performance.  This can be true of any live music.”. Thank goodness, my  rhythm, like fine wine, has improved with age.

I always wrote music. Actually, before I was an accomplished pianist, I composed difficult works. But what was it that got me interested in the zodiac? Like many before me, I worked out a connection between music, the planets and the zodiac signs. The connection was thought of some years previous to my ballet involvement.   The result was the World Premiere of the Dance of the Zodiac. In addition to an introduction and finale, it has 12 vignettes. One features each zodiac sign.

Zodiac dance is ready to make the rounds again.
The introduction was less structured. It was like the creation right after the big bang. Structure and keys came with the zodiac signs.

The Dance of the Zodiac had a full 45 minute presentation by the Florida Ballet Arts Ensemble under the choreography and direction of Lynn Winslow and S, Fairwhether. See newspaper article.

 

Sharing happiness

Sharing Happiness at a Big Band Music Museum

Sharing Happiness at a Big Band Music Museum. How do you get a good handle on life? Answer:  Ask a key question. What should that question be? Simple stated. “Is everybody happy?” This question is even better than meditation. Actually, it is the banner on a big band museum in Circleville, Ohio. Meditate on this question. It will focus your thoughts on a highly noble cause. Now for another big surprise: This pronouncement is also the title of a film. It stars Ted Lewis.

Is Everybody Happy? (1929) is an American Pre-Code musical film.  It stars Ted LewisAlice DayLawrence GrantAnn Pennington, and Julia Swayne Gordon.  Direction is by Archie Mayo, and released by Warner Bros. Most of the music was written by Harry Akst and Grant Clarke.   The “St. Louis Blues” was written by by W. C. Handy and “Tiger Rag“. The film’s title comes from Ted Lewis’s catchphrase “Is everybody happy?”

Is Everybody Happy?:Ted Lewis 1929

Sharing Happiness in Circleville, Ohio

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Curator of the Ted Lewis Museum, Joseph Rubin, shares happiness with all!

So why am I blogging about this? I got to share in this happiness. There was at a special concert on June 2, 2018 in Circleville, Ohio. I had worked with a famous conductor-violinist. My job was as his arranger and accompanist. His stage name, Rubinoff and His Violin. Joseph Rubin, the curator,  is also a phenomenal conductor. The maestro had read some of my Rubinoff blogs online. He gathered an élite orchestra for a Rubinoff dedication. I was invited to play a Rubinoff memorial concert. What an experience! Below are a couple of youtube links. Please take the time to listen to this unforgettable music, unforgettably arranged. The 1st is a link to excerpts from the concert. The 2nd demonstrates the mastery of Rubinoff in his younger years.

For those of you who missed our Rubinoff and His Violin Concert in June of 2018, here’s a montage of some of the highlights! When was the last time you heard music of this calibur?  

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

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Rubinoff and myself, blogger David Ohrenstein, are in the lower right program corner.The picture shows us  ready for a special concert at the Governor’s Club in Tallahassee, Fl. This program is posted at what I would call the “Ted Lewis Museum” ….. of sharing happiness!
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Playing the arrangements I made with Rubinoff, this time with with Maestro Steven Greenman, in Circleville, Ohio some 50 years later.
Full musical lifetime

Full Musical Lifetime is a Blessing and a Half

Full Musical Lifetime is a Blessing and a Half. Imagine:

  1.  Being discovered as a violin student at the Warsaw Conservatory under the direction of Paderewski.
  2. The famed conductor/composer of operettas who discovers you is Victor Herbert. At the time of discovery, Herbert, on a Sabbatical, was the conductor of the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra.   He was a German-raised American composercellist and conductor.. He is best known for composing many successful operettas that premiered on Broadway from the 1890s to World War I. He was also prominent among the tin pan alley composers.  Later  he was a  founder of the American Society of Composers, Authors, and Publishers (ASCAP).
  3. Image being able to apprentice your craft with under the guidance of this great man.
  4. Every Sunday night Rubinoff was able to meet the most prominent singers and musicians in America.  Victor Herbert had weekly musical soirées at his home. There, Rubinoff got to meet the likes of  the great tenor -Caruso, Mme. Schumann Heink, and John Philip Sousa.
  5.  John Philip Sousa secured a grant from the US State Department so Rubinoff could take his music to the public schools.
Full musical lifetime
45 minute live concert on youtube given in the Catskills by Rubinoff and Ohrenstein, Link is below.

David Rubinoff (left) with me, pianist David Ohrenstein

Full Musical Lifetime Included Me for some 15 years

Now by a great happenstance, one of our concerts was recently found. My daughter posted it on youtube. Dave Rubinoff was eighty-six years of age at the time.  His Stradivarius violin is set with the official crest of the Russia Empire in solid gold set with diamonds and rubies. Riches followed this man for his great contributions to America. Some years, in the 1930’s, he grossed as much as $500,000.00. Rubinoff truly is a rags to riches story.  As you will hear, even in his older years, his playing was remarkable. Now you see why I titled this post: Full Musical Lifetime is a Blessing and a Half. Please feel free to share this miracle with friends.

For those of you who missed our recent Rubinoff and His Violin Concert in June of 2018, here’s a montage of some of the highlights! When was the last time you heard music of this calibur?  

 

 

 

 

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Ernestine Schumann-Heink (Libeň, 15 June 1861 – Hollywood , November 17, 1936) was an alto of opera , known for her control, tone, beauty and the wide range of its edge. She was a star on Herbert’s guest list.

 

Sampling Forgotten Music of Rubinoff

Sampling Forgotten Music of Rubinoff is now possible. How do you revive any quality music? First, you must sample what the quality music was. Thanks to the tireless efforts of musical conductor Joseph Rubin, this is now possible. The Maestro’s  concert has an incredibly fine youtube link below.  Conductor Rubin’s orchestra consisted of quite a number of the finest musical professors from top universities around Ohio. Maestro Rubin is also the curator of the Ted Lewis Museum in Circleville, Ohio. He actually opened the museum across the street from where Ted Lewis lived. Joseph is a testimonial to how one man with vision, and hard work, can make wonderful dreams come true. Joseph contacted me to be an important part of this unforgettable concert. I had already posted a number of blogs about “Ruby”. He saw them.

sampling forgotten music at the Ted Lewis Museum
I, blogger David Ohrenstein, actually have a tiny picture and mention in this incredible museum. That is from the program of the June 2 2018 concert.

Million thanks

Million Thanks to the American Public

Million Thanks from the American Public. Americans needed good  music more than ever to heal from the effects of the Great Depression. I actually worked the man who provided this relief: Rubinoff and His Violin.  It was not until the Wall Street Crash in October 1929 that the effects of a declining economy were felt. A major worldwide economic downturn ensued. The stock market crash marked the beginning of a decade of:

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  1. High unemployment.
  2. Poverty.
  3. Low profits.
  4. Deflation.
  5. Plunging farm incomes.
  6. Lost opportunities for economic growth. Lack of opportunities for personal advancement.
  7. Altogether, there was a general loss of confidence in the economic future.[1]

David Rubinoff and His Violin provided the relief that good music had to offer. This was on Broadway and in Hollywood. Thanks a Million is one of the movies he appeared in. Usually he was behind the scenes conducting the orchestra. Literally, Dave made millions of dollars during the Great Depression. Here is the theme of the movie, Thanks a Million. 

A show troupe is engaged by Judge Culliman, who is running for Governor. Its purpose was to enhance his political campaign. When the inebriated Judge has to be replaced in doing his campaign speech by the troupe crooner, Eric Land. Then  his political backers decide that they want him to run for Governor in the Judge’s place. Romance, music, political corruption and the election results follow.

Recently I gave a concert in Colombus, Ohio (Circleville area). I played with violinist Steven Greenman. Joseph Rubin conducted an elite orchestra. It included top professors of music from the finest Ohio universities.
Million thanks for all the joy brought by Rubinoff to children and those suffering because of the Great Depression

Million Thanks from the American Public

I worked with this giant of music for some 15 years. Thanks to the miracles of mass media and youtube, you can now witness this concert. In addition to a lecture, I played an arrangement I made with the Great Rubinoff:  Youtube selections are  from the Fiddler on the Roof. Enjoy!

Preview YouTube video Rubinoff’s Fiddler on the Roof – Violin and Piano

 

 

 

rebuilt Steinway at the Gasparilla Inn

Rebuilt Steinway at the Gasparilla Inn

Rebuilt Steinway at the Gasparilla Inn. Wow! I just played a wedding dinner reception last October 6, 2018. Master technician Larry Keckler recently reconditioned and rebuilt  the vintage Steinway grande. He ordered the finest parts from Germany for this exciting project The Steinway dates back to 1924.  It takes a number of tunings for the piano to hit its stride. The total time elapsed since his initial work has been about a year and a half. My gosh, now the piano is simply incredible!

super Steinway Grand at the Gasparilla Inn
Gasparilla Inn on the isle of Boca Grande is the jewel of the South.

I recently played for a wedding dinner reception. Now the piano has both a golden and velvety touch for the pianist and sound for the diners. The Inn offers a royal taste of the old South. I’m particularly inspired to play the ragtime music of Scott Joplin. His music is dated to the same era. Everything is happy!

Scott Joplin Archives – DSO Works

 

Rebuilt Steinway to Host My Piano Music

 

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Greats of the past and present have graced the halls of the Gasparilla Inn. On December 20th I will begin my 10th year as the dining room pianist.  This will be 6 nights weekly.  The newly rebuilt Steinway has been magnificently reconditioned. It dates back to 1925. The Inn dates back to 1911.

David believes music, should be all about beauty, enjoyment and relaxation.  Thus he plays the music of  Cole Porter, George Gershwin, Rodgers and Hart, Rodgers and Hammerstein, Michel Legrand, Billy Joel, Barry Manilow, Elton John, the Beatles, Scott  and any composer(s) who write(s) memorable melodies.   He even plays piano transcriptions from the King’s Speech (Beethoven’s 7th Symphony), Gustav Holst’s Jupiter, from the Planets. Also on the agenda is music by Chopin, Rachmaninoff,  Beethoven, Debussy, Ravel and J.S. Bach.

Kids are happy to hear his selections from the movies such asStar Wars, Batman, Harry Potter, Home Alone, Close Encounters of a Third Kind, and Jurassic Park. Henry Mancini’s Pink Panther and the Baby Elephant Walk are as popular as fireworks on the 4th of July. They are loved by children and adults. See you there. My dates are Dec 20 through Easter. I play 6 nights weekly. Oh yes, I have room for one or two piano students in Sarasota.

countless opportunities in entertainement

Countless Opportunities Appeared in Difficult Times

Countless Opportunities Appeared in Difficult Times. I’m referring to the Great Depression era: The early 1930’s. Conductor, violinist, composer David Rubinoff took it to the limit. Let’s begin with the The Chase and Sanborn Hour.  It was a radio show umbrella title for a series.  It included US comedy and variety radio shows.  The half-hour to one hour show was sponsored by Standard Brands‘ Chase and Sanborn Coffee.  It usually aired Sundays on NBC from 8 pm to 9 pm during the years 1929 to 1948. Violinist David Rubinoff (September 13, 1897 – October 6, 1986) became a regular in January 1931. He was introduced as “Rubinoff and His Violin.”

 

Countless Opportunities Included Concerts and Mass Media

Joseph Rubin, curator of the Ted Lewis Big Band Museum, contacted me for a lecture. This was last June 2, 2018 at the Circleville High School.  He had read on our website, DSOworks.com, I worked with Rubinoff for 15 some years. I had been blogging about my professional association with this master conductor/violinist/ composer. Below are a couple of internal links. He graciously asked me to give a lecture about our association. Joseph also arranged for me to perform some of my arrangements with Rubinoff with violin maestro Steven Greenman.

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Experience the 1930’s as never before at the Ted Lewis Big Band Museum. Rubinoff and even myself are commemorated at this museum.

Forgiving Audience for Rubinoff and His Violin – DSO Works

David Rubinoff and His Violin Archives – DSO Works

Dave Rubinoff’s success didn’t stop with the Chase and Sandborn Hour. He was also the orchestral conductor of the Paramount Theater in New York. He conducted for Parmount Pictures in Hollywood. He gave spectacular concerts. These included one for 225,000 people at Grant Park in Chicago. What made Rubinoff rich? Times were difficult. How could one acquire wealth? The public needed the comfort that beautiful, quality music offered. He took advantage of the countless opportunities the times presented in this regard.  This is good news for serious musicians.  We need comforting and beautiful music once more. Please keep checking this website. Big events are in the making. `

Countless opportunities that graced Rubinoff
Rubinoff and His Violin was the subject of my lecture at  Circleville High School in Ohio.

 

Music confers royalty as in Duke Ellington

Music Confers Royalty in the United States

Music Confers Royalty in the United States. What is the usual definition of royalty? Here is Wikipedia’s take:

  • Kingship
  • Royal family, the immediate family of a king or queen regnant, and sometimes his or her extended family
  • Royalty payment for use of software, such as music, or natural resources. Thus, even payment for musical composition confers royalty.

In the US one can acquire royalty. This is particularly true through music. Many, with royal additions to their names, have had humble beginnings. The list includes our featured Duke Ellington. We also find Count Basie, Nat King Cole, Manhattan Rhythm Kings, Elvis, Michael Jackson, Prince and Queen Latifa. Most of these “royal” musicians had humble beginnings.

Music confers royalty in the US
Both monetarily and by recognition, music confers royalty.

Music Confers Royalty in the United States

Dave made as much as $500,00.00 annually during the 1930’s playing his violin and conducting the orchestra for Paramount Theater in New York and Paramount Pictures in Hollywood.

Being a musician in the US can generate immense wealth. Royalty is then acquired by money. Those who have read some of my posts know I worked with Rubinoff and His Violin. I recently gave a concert in Circleville Ohio. It was sponsored by Maestro Joseph Rubin. He is also the curator of the Ted Lewis Big Band Museum. Rubinoff passed away in 1986. However, his legend is alive. Violinist Steven Greenman and I played the Fiddler on the Roof violin/piano arrangement I had made with Rubinoff.  This was over 30 years earlier.  Dave Rubinoff grew up in total poverty in the Ukraine.

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Dave’s wealth generated through music was legendary. Many were jealous.

Then, along came John Philip Sousa. He heard him play his graduation concert at the Warsaw Conservatory. As a result, Sousa brought Rubinoff with his entire family to America in 1911. The violin became the royal part of Dave Rubinoff’s title in 1929: “Rubinoff and His Violin”. It belonged to Czar Nicholas II of Russia. The violin was handed down through the royal Russian line to this last of  the czars. David purchased it at the Wurlitzer auction in New York. This was just before the Great Depression.  Then literally, with his royal violin, Rubinoff acquired the wealth of a king.  The violin had the official crest of the Russian Empire. It was set with diamonds and rubies. At the concert I  gave a half hour lecture on our association. Check the internal link below.

Preview YouTube video Rubinoff’s Fiddler on the Roof – Violin and Piano

Commemoration Concert for Rubinoff and His Violin – DSO Works

Conclusion: Parents: Give your children the benefit of a musical education. Benefits are countless. To this end I offer piano lessons in Sarasota.