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.
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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

 

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.

 

Poetic import on Oquaga Lake

Poetic Import in Signaling Historic Changes

Poetic Import in Signaling and paving the way for Historic Changes is well documented.  Poetry spans thousands of years; even back to  prehistoric times:

poetic import in antiquity
The Akkadian Deluge tablet written as poetry.

The Deluge tablet is a poetic example carved in stone.  The topic is the Gilgamesh epic in written in Akkadian, circa 2nd millennium BC.

Poetry as an art form predates written text.[1] The earliest poetry is believed to have been recited or sung.  It was used as a way of remembering oral historygenealogy, and law. Poetry is often closely related to musical traditions.[2]  The earliest poetry exists in the form of hymns (such as the work of Sumerian priestess Enheduanna).

Poetic Import for a New Direction

Our subject today:  So many styles and mannerisms currently floating. What direction will the arts take?  Times and tendencies are cyclic. I believe we are heading for a more gentile, kinder and well-mannered age. Poetry can again lead the way. Consider the poetry of Heinrich Heine: Christian Johann Heinrich Heine (German: [ˈhaɪnʁɪç ˈhaɪnə]; 13 December 1797 – 17 February 1856). He was a German poetjournalistessayist, and literary critic. I found some comments on Heine in “Music” by Frederic V. Grunfield. It is part of the World of Culture Series.Publisher is Newsweek Books. Grunfield  asserts that Heine is “the quintessential product of German musical romanticism.”

Robert Schumann explained how Heine’s poems inspired a whole new genre of music. “Thus arose a more artistic and profound style of song. Earlier composers could  know nothing of this.  It created a spirit in music that became the new Romantic era music.” Schumann wrote of musical currents in his magazine: Die Neue Zeitschrift für Musik.  Robert Schumann  co-founded it with his teacher and future father-in law Friedrich Wieck, and his close friend Ludwig Schuncke. The first issue appeared on 3 April 1834.

Die Neue Zeitschrift für Musik  -a sample of the title page of Schumann’s periodical.
poetic import of Heinrich Heine
A painting of Heine by Moritz Daniel Oppenheim

Poetry Foreshadows Romanticism in a Major Way

Perhaps my own books of poetic import, with those many upcoming poets, can  lead us to a new Romantic Movement? Here is a short excerpt from my The Oquaga Spirit Speaks. It is entitled: Maple Tree Seeds:

Helicopter blade seeds
Spinning as they drop,
Blowing in the wind,
Care not where they’ll stop.

These maple navigators.
Sugar, silver and red,
Hope for only one thing;
And that’s that they’ll be bred.

The entire book is available as a product on DSOworks.com.

 

 

Measurement message

Measurement Message from Altamira 11,000 B.C.

Measurement Message from Altamira 11,000 B.C.- Under the name Cave of Altamira 18 caves are grouped together northern Spain. They represent the apogee of Upper Paleolithic cave art in Europe. This was between 35,000 and 11,000 years ago (AurignacianGravettianSolutreanMagdalenianAzilian). Collectively, the caves were designated as a World Heritage Site by the UNESCO in 2008.

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Measurement message of the primary cave of Altamira in its overall rectangular outline.

The Painted Hall of the Altamira Cave houses houses a prehistoric gallery. It was discovered in 1868. Since then, the floor has been lowered. This was to study the painted animals on the low ceiling at the time of the discovery. The floor measures 60 feet in length to 30 feet in width. My source for the dimensions is The Atlas of Legendary Places by James Harpur and Jennifer Westwood.  The  12″ foot  is the intended unit of measure. In fact, this now called “English” foot dates back to an indeterminable distant past. At the British Museum you can find several examples of a cubic inch of gold. It was the standard of weight ancient Greece, Babylon, and Egypt. Here’s how a segmented foot appears on the cube:

  • A cube has 12 edges.
  • Twelve edges of one inch per side =  12″= 1 foot.

 Measurement Message from the 60 x 30 foot foundation of the Painted Hall

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Great hall of polychromes of Altamira, published by M. Sanz de Sautuola in 1880.
  • Musicians will most likely notice the 2 to 1 ratio of the floor’s proportions. These same proportions  were recommended by Pythagoras. 10.500 years later this Greek philosopher stated the same ratio, after the unison, was most harmonious : The perfect interval of not the same tone (unison) and 1st overtone is the octave. It vibrates in a 2:1 ratio. The designers of the cave exhibition most likely knew this.

1:1 (unison),

2:1 (octave),

3:2 (perfect fifth),

4:3 (perfect fourth),

5:4 (major third),

6:5 (minor third).

 

  • Its measure is the product of basic consecutive numbers.  5 x 6 = 30 (the width in feet). 3 x 4 x 5 = 60 (the length in feet). Very important: The formula for the megalithic yard uses all fives and sixes: (5 x 6)  ÷ ( 5 + 6) = 2.727272… One megalithic yard is 2.72 feet.  The builders of the Great Hall of Altamira knew this.
  • 2nd factor uses 3,4,5 as 3 x 4 x 5 = 60. Numbers 3, 4 and 5 are the basis of the Pythagorean Theorem: 3² x 4² = 5². Also, look at the musical intervals above. These 3,4, and 5 factors figure into these basic harmonious intervals: 4:3 = perfect fourth. 5:4 = the major third.

Megalithic Measure Survives in Unexpected Ways

Marduk and His Temple are a Billboard for Measure

 

  • The diagonal of the 30 x 60 rectangle would be 67 feet. The perimeter around this  first  half triangle is :30 + 60 + 67 = 157 feet. This figure (157) is one half of the pi figure of 314 made by the triangles made from a diagonal in a rectangle.

Conclusion: The wisdom of a lost civilization is preserved in measure at the Cave of Altamira. Perhaps the builders and artists were the survivors of Atlantis?  Measurement message and music message are there. Of course, that the advanced artwork is there is a given!

 

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:

Image result for photographs from the great depression

  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

 

 

 

poetry foreshadows Romanticism

Poetry Foreshadows Romanticism in a Major Way

Poetry Foreshadows Romanticism in a Major Way. By encouraging poetic expression, you enable Romanticism.  What qualities are then enhanced with Romanticism?:

  • Love.
  • Chivalry.
  • Courtesy.

Romanticism in the fine arts is feeling oriented: That is, feelings on a grand scale.   German painter and author  Caspar David Friedrich   expresses it this way: The artist’s feeling is his law”.[10]  Our featured picture was painted by the same  C.P. Friedrich.

Related image
“Thomas Moran – Fingal’s Cave, Island Of Staffa, Scotland 1884. Sea landscape. Fingel’s Cave inspired Romantic composers. F. Mendelsshon wrote  an overture.

Poetry Foreshadows Romanticism for Me

The featured painting parallels an inspiration I was given about fog. A spirit on Oquaga Lake dictated her poetry to me. I was the piano player for many years at Scott’s Oquaga Lake House. This employment covered some 15 summer seasons. The poetry  book is called The Oquaga Spirit Speaks. I have memorized every poem. At sometime in the future, I will do recitations. The Catskills Mountains in New York have inspired many writers. Among them we find Washington Irving. Below is an internal link.

Oquaga Lake was once inhabited by American Indians. The tribe was the Lennie Lenape. Women ran the tribe. I believe the spirit of the lake is an American Indian female. Fingers of Fog a sample of the poetry she related to me.

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An area famous for fog inspired Felix Mendelssohn

 

   Washington Irving Archives – DSO Works


dsoworks.com/tag/washington-irving/

 

Washington Irving was among them. He wrote The Legend of Sleepy Hollow. Washington Irving (April 3, 1783 – November 28, 1859) was an American short …

 

 

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Poetry Foreshadows Romanticism. On Oquaga Lake a spirit loves poetry!

Fingers of Fog

Fingers of fog moving quickly
Gliding across the lake.
Almost at jogging speed
Leaving no apparent wake.

Why are they scampering about
At this early morning time?
Thousand of fingers in motions
Moving gracefully with rhyme.

Perhaps each one is a spirit
Released from the depths of the spring:
Enjoying an hour of freedom
Almost ready to take wing.

This spring fed lake is enchanted,
As such water bodies are.
I actually saw its essence-
While viewing the Morning Star.

 

 

 

musical ornamentation

Musical Ornamentation was Once Quite Extensive

Musical Ornamentation was Once Quite Extensive. I refer to the baroque era.  It also was quite a complex art.  As you read, keep in mind music is always a litmus test for what is happening with  civilization.  Below is a portrait of Louis XIV. He was called the Sun King.  His court at Versailles signaled the beginnings of the Classical Baroque era in art. Included in these arts were architecture, music, and fashion. Also, we have a diagram of an excerpt from Chopin’s Nocturne Op. 27 #2 across from Louis XIV. Chopin’s music fraught with exquisite details: Just like the Sun King’s dress. Chopin, having a French father, strongly identified with French culture. He lived for a while in Paris:

Frédéric Chopin was of both French and Polish background.  He grew up in Warsaw. After the 1830 November Uprising in Poland, Chopin settled in Paris.  At age 21, he took up his residence in Paris. He would live in nine other places there until his untimely death at age 39. Even if you do not play piano, look at the musical illustration. It simply looks quite frilly. A few notes could replace the incredible ornamentation use by Chopin. The music in sound parallels the dress of the King.

Chopin – Nocturne Op. 27 No. 2 (Rubinstein) – YouTube

Musical ornamentation by Chopin
Musical ornamentation of the Baroque era was amply revived for the piano by Chopin in the Romantic, about 75 years later.
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Ornamentation is music is seen in ornamentation in dress. Dress of Louis XIV.

But wait. As if that wasn’t complex enough!

Two Schools of Musical Ornamentation

In addition to the French there was the Italian. The French school demanded being precise. This included with all the ports de voix, cadences, mordents, trills…

In contrast the Italian school permitted arbitrary ornaments. Schooling was combined with personal imagination. This included a number of different ways chords could be rolled.

The great musical bastion of the baroque era was J.S. Bach. He was quite familiar with French ornaments. It is known that he copied the ornaments of Dieupart. However, at times he used those of the Italian school. Like all great composers, his interests were not limited.

Final point: Beautiful melody, as Chopin and other Romantic writers once wrote, is returning. The American melody parallel is the Big Band music of the 1930’s.  An education in ornamentation is part of the total package. Many more blogs will be upcoming on this subject. Keep checking DSOworks.com. Exciting musical events are in the making!