Minute Waltz Glimpse of Chopin’ Genius. When a genius creates, everything he or she does is great. Such is the piano music of Frederic Chopin. The Minute waltz has a touching story attached to it. It was inspired by a dog. The dog belonged to his muse and girlfriend, George Sand.
The “Minute Waltz” is the nickname for the Waltz in D flat major, Op. 64, No. 1 by Frederic Chopin. It was written in 1847. It is a piece of music for the piano. It is sometimes called “The Waltz of the Little Dog” (French: Valse du petit chien). This is because Chopin was watching a little dog chase its tail when he wrote it. The little dog was “Marquis”. He belonged to Chopin’s friend George Sand. Marquis had befriended Chopin. The composer mentioned Marquis in several of his letters. In one letter dated 25 November 1846, Chopin wrote: “Please thank Marquis for missing me and for sniffing at my door.”
The waltz was published by Breitkopf & Härtel. It was the first of three waltzes in a collection of waltzes called Trois Valses, Op. 64. The publisher gave the waltz its popular nickname “Minute”. The tempo marking is Molto vivace (English: Very fast, very lively), but Chopin did not intend the waltz to be played in one minute as some believe. A typical performance will last between one and a half to two and a half minutes.
The Complex Rhythms of the Minute Waltz Revealed
Just take a look at my 5 measure excerpt above for this:
The treble staff has the 2 beat motif of four eighth notes in measures 1 and 2. The motif is repeated many times during the waltz.
The scale that follows in has 8 eighth notes. They cover 4 beats.
Measures 4 and 5 have a dotted quarter note beginning each measure. The entails 1½ beats each.
Also in 4 and 5, following the dotted quarter are 3 eighth notes. Each 3 note phrase lasts for 1½ beats.
Finally, against all this melodic complexity, we find a steady 1-2-3 beat in the left hand. It takes the form of “Bass-chord-chord.”
So Where Can I Hear David (this blogger) Play Chopin’s Minute waltz?
I am still booked six days a week through April 14 at the Gasparilla Inn. It is on the Florida isle of Boca Grande. There I get my choice of 2 vintage steinway Grand pianos. I played in the “living room” from 6:20 to 7:00 pm. Then I go in the dining room and play from 7 – 9 pm. See you there.
Birthday of the Gasparilla Inn on the Isle of Boca Grande. What a way to usher in the New Year. Yes, I’ll be working. But for many reasons I couldn’t be happier. The Inn encourages co-operation and group spirit among the employees. Management is polite and diplomatic. The list goes on and on. Great dinners, great desserts…I also love the totally wonderful Steinway concert grand dated back to 1924. It is vintage. Even better: It has just been totally rebuilt by master piano technician, Larry Keckler. After installing the strings and hammers from direct from Steinway in Germany, he said : “This piano has the sweetest sound.” It does. Diners at the Gasparilla Inn love my selections in it.
Special Piano Treat for the Inn on its 100th Birthday
Many make it a point to stay at the Inn regularly. This is even more so on its 100th Birthday. The Gasparilla Guest Book in the past has included: Tom Edison, George H.W, Bush, Jimmy Buffet, Harvey Firestone, Harrison Ford, Henry Ford and Katharine Hepburn (see feature picture).
David is scheduled 6 nights weekly in season on this island resort. On a typical night you can hear music by Cole Porter, George Gershwin. You’ll authentic ragtime by Scott Joplin. The Inn was actually built at the height of the ragtime era. He also loves the great classics. His regular list this time of the year is a 30 minute rendition of principle dances from the Nutcracker Suite by Tchaikovsky. He plays Jupiter from the Planets by Gustav Holst. He loves to play the theme from the King’s Speech. It is the slow movement of Beethoven’s 7th Symphony. Excerpts from principle operas are often included. His favorite popular song to play is “Killing Me Softly.” The arrangement he plays by George Shearing is so beautiful that many diners have tears in their eyes.
Beautiful and elegant Gasparilla Inn where David plays nightly.
Other Scheduled Events
David is quite a composer. He and his wife, Sharon Lesley have co-written Golden Roads. It is named after the Golden Wegen initiative of Golda Meir in 1949. She wanted the roads in Israel to be beautiful. The show is premiering at the Sarasolo festival in Sarasota this January 28th at the Crocker Memorial church at 1 pm. Limited seating. Later in the season they will have a special appearance at at the Longboat Key Education Center on March 24, 2017. It is a one time special event:Centre Shops of Longboat KeyAddress: Centre Shops of Longboat Key, 5370 Gulf of Mexico Dr # 212, Longboat Key, FL 34228 Phone: (941) 383-8811. 11 :00 AM- 12:30 PM Members $18 Non-Members $23
Our best for the happiest New Year ever – David and Sharon.
Career – Circumstances that Bolstered Beethoven’s. Here is a brief summary of his accomplishments from Wikipedia: Ludwig van Beethoven (baptized 17 December 1770 in Bonn – 26 March 1827 in Vienna) was a Germancomposer. He wrote classical music for the piano, orchestras and different groups of instruments. His best-known works are his third (“Eroica”), fifth, sixth (“Pastorale”) and ninth (“Choral”) symphonies, the eighth (“Pathetique”) and fourteenth (“Moonlight”) piano sonatas, two of his later piano concertos, his opera “Fidelio”, and also the piano piece Für Elise. When he was a young man, he was a talented pianist. Beethoven was popular with the rich and important people in Vienna, Austria, where he lived.
So, What Bolstered His Career?
Obviously, he played for rich and important people. But, he also held his music in the highest of esteem. Higher than even the royalty, At the time he lived in Vienna. It was the day of the amateur pianist. Aristocrats played the piano. They had a conception of how difficult mastery was. Prince Ferdinand Josel Lobkowitz was one of three that guarenteed him a life long income as long as he stayed in Vienna. This Prince had his own quartet. He played music all day long. Archduke Rudolph was a pianist who took lessons with Beethoven himself. He contributed to his income. The 3rd was Prince Ferdinand Kinsky. He loved vocal music. The times, Beethoven’s location and his incomparable genius launched his carrer. You could say, the right person at the right time. If the times are not quite right for you, be patient. Times also change in cycles. We are over due for lots of wonderful new happenings in the arts.
I have a special connection to Beethoven. It is being 5 generations removed by teaching lineage. Beethoven taught Carl Czerny. Czerny taught Franz Liszt. Liszt taught Emil von Sauer. Sauer taught my piano teacher, Mischa Kottler. I studied with Kottler for some 15 years. One of Beethoven’s inventions, I was told, was the prepared thumb. Also, the 2 note phrase was used to “divide and conquer” many difficulties. Enjoy my youtube presentation called the Paris Piano connection. You can hear me play 6 nights weekly at the Boca Grande Gasparilla Inn. I have a just newly reconditioned 1924 Steinway concert grand. This will be my 8th year of 6 nights weekly from Dec. 20 – April 14, 2017. I also have a couple of openings for piano lessons in Sarasota. The Beethoven tradition of my lineage of teachers must be kept alive!
Happiest Unplanned Moment of My Life and Mischa Kottler. For some 17 years I studied piano with a great master, Mischa Kottler. He prepared me, as a pianist, to play for heads of state from around the world as well as Presidents of the United States. Among his students were counted; Ruth Loredo, Cynthia Raim and Seymour Lipkin. One of his students was Greg Phillinganes. From work with Stevie Wonder while still in his teens, to tours and recordings with Quincy Jones, Michael Jackson, Eric Clapton, and Toto; Phillinganes’ massive discography reads like a “Who’s Who” of pop music, encompassing four decades. Mischa defied time. At age 93 he paid us a surprise visit in Sarasota home. There he played Chopin’s Minute Waltz. So what, you ask? He played it with double notes in the right hand. Instead of single notes he played 3rds, 4th, and 5th in with one hand. The tempo of its fast pace was never lost. Fortunately, this feat can be witnessed on youtube. Single notes at that speed a difficult enough, Alfred Cortot, his teacher also plays it but with single notes. Many students feel the compulsion to outdo their teachers. Mischa did.
From Greg Philliganes’ interview in Keyboard Magazine and his Quote of Mischa Kottler
“Sensing that I needed discipline more than anything else, my Mom managed to hook me up with a wonderful teacher named Mischa Kottler. He was a no-nonsense Russian Jewish guy who could crack a pane of glass with one finger. He was a complete badass, and he cooled my attitude out immediately. I studied with him well into my teens.
Happiest Moment Comes With an Unplanned Visit by Mischa
In 1993 I get a phone call. In context, I had no contact with Mischa for some 16 years. I thought he was no longer with us. The voice on the phone said: “David, this is your piano teacher, Mischa Kottler.” I was sure it was a joke. The heavy Russian accent went on to say: “I hear you have more children than I know piano concertos.” At that moment I nearly collasped. It was him. I recognized his dry humor. Guess what? He visited our home and gave me piano lessons “in exchange” for hospitality. Naturally, he would have been most welcome even without the piano lessons.
My advise to children. Learn to play the piano. It will allow you to someday talk about the happiest moments of your life. We are about to enter an era where beautiful is once more in vogue. Beautiful piano playing will lead the way. I still have a couple openings for piano lessons in Sarasota. Also, I am about to begin my 8th year playing a wonderfully reconditioned Steinway Concert Grand at the famed Gasparilla Inn on the isle of Boca Grande. It probably has the sweetest sound of any piano anywhere. See you there December 20th-April 14. I play 6 nights a week. And yes, Mischa stays with me, in my heart.
Chopinesque Includes a Love of J.S. Bach. My piano instructor was Mischa Kottler. In the 1920’s Kottler went to Europe. He had a recommendation from Sergei Rachmaninoff to study with Alfred Cortot. From Cortot, Kottler learned about the influences on Chopin’s compositional style. These influences included Polish folk music, the classical tradition of J. S. Bach, Mozart and Schubert. Mischa also emphasized how crucial study of J.S. Bach was for playing Chopin properly. So how this affect my musical education?
My Chopinesque Education at Wayne State University
I received both Bachelor of Music and Master of Music degrees from Wayne State University. While at Cass Tech High School, I began my studies with Mischa Kottler. Before I even graduated high school, Mischa was appointed head of the piano department at the university. They gave him a studio right next door to the head of the Liberal Arts Music Department’s office. In this manner those applying could hear the most wonderful music issuing forth next door. You could always tell when the student was playing and when Mischa was playing. Mischa used a phrase for good piano instruction. He called it: “going through the mill.” The “mill” included a continual stream of J.S. Bach. As soon as you completed one book of Bach’s works, he took you to the next level. These volumes included:
Works for keyboard (BWV 772–994)
Inventions and Sinfonias
Four Duets from Clavier-Übung III
Partitas for keyboard (published as Clavier-Übung I)
French Overture, from Clavier-Übung II
Properly playing baroque counterpoint was key to effective Chopin. Cortot felt this was mainly to be acquired by playing Bach. When Kottler gave his lessons excercises came first, They would include finrst finger independence exercises, then Czerny, Cramer etc. Then came Bach. Afterwards came classical sonatas, romantic works and something 20th century-ish. Chopin was Mischa’s favorie composer. Below is a sample of him playing the minute waltz by Chopin. As you listen to the work, his virtuoso counterpoint is simply incredible. Who today could play it like Mischa? In the meanwhile, I am available for piano lessons in Sarasota until the season in “kicks in.” A vintage Steinway grand from 1924 was just rebuilt by management for my 8th year at the Gasparilla Inn on the isle of Boca Grande. See you there starting Dec. 20 Through April 14. I play six nights weekly.
Fifths of Tones Sets the Future and was the Neolithic Standard. Why the featured picture? The answers are all on the piano keyboard. Piano playing develops a talent for working with numbers. The solfeggio of the fifth set the way for the building of Neolithic temples. In Close Encounters of the Third Kind, the tones Do and So are the 5th. Do to So are a prototype for all fifths. The ancient temples used specific diatonic tones. The fifth relationship (3 to 2 ratio) was there. The only difference was the set specific tones. They were the fifth of A to E in Neolithic times; not the C to G as pictured on this staff.
Ancient diatonic tones had a primary fifth. The lower was set at A-440 vibrations per second. The higher was E-660 vibrations per second. Various historical cultures set the numbers of these tones into their own units of measure. Instruments dating back to the Sumerian times have been found. We know of their vibrations per second.
Neolithic cultures thrived on number squares. That’s what I have blogging about on DSOworks. Please read them all. This is lost knowledge that I have found. They also had knowledge of the hidden number codes on the 3 x 3 number square.
Consider the 3 x 3 number square by double numbers: First we view horizontally: (49 + 35 + 81 + 94 + 53 + 18) + (92 + 57 + 16 + 61 + 75 + 29) = 660. Now view vertically: (43 + 95 + 27 + 34 + 59 + 72) + (83 + 15 + 67 + 38 + 51 + 76) = 660. That numbers our diatonic “E”.
Consider the perimeter of 3 x 3 number square by overlapping double numbers as: 49 + 92 + 27 + 76 + 61 + 18 + 83 + 34 = 440. Reverse the numbers and get the same total. That numbers our diatonic “A”.
We have just found the following: (1) The lower diatonic “A” 440 of the fifth. (2) The higher interval of the fifth. That is, E- 660. Many readers are experiencing this information for first time. Please recognize that Neolithic, priestly ancestors knew this over 6,000 years ago. How did I come by this knowledge? On Oquaga Lake an Indian Spirit from the Lennie Lenape tribe was anxious to share her wisdom with me. Below is a free sampling of her poetry. Enjoy!
Audition on the piano youtube. Enjoy six typical selections for free. Time for all 6 is 13.48 minutes. Most important factor: The two-note phrase. For auditions the proof of the pudding is in the tasting. What does tasting pudding have to do with piano playing? A well played two note phrase is the highest piano art. More on this in a moment. Piano makes dining more pleasurable. This only holds if the piano is played with a beautiful touch.
AUDITION – MASTERING THE TWO NOTE PHRASE KEEPS YOU IN THE RUNNING
Be it Bach, Beethoven or Brahms- the two note phrase is key. In this regard the size or quantity of what you know, speed and power mean little. This phrase is the smallest increment of piano playing. My own teacher was Mischa Kottler. He was a stickler about this tool. It took me a year and a half to master it. That was only under his constant supervision. Mischa studied in Paris and Vienna in the 1920’s. His teachers were direct descendants of Liszt and Chopin. They were Emil von Sauer and Alfred Cortot.
Many, if not all compositions, are only played properly with a plethora of such phrases. This is especially true on the piano. My own youtube sample is below. I do my best to demonstrate its effectiveness. Keys to long term employment as a pianist include beautiful tone production and such phrases. Unfortunately, too many students have turned piano playing into an athletic event. As Mischa would say about such crudely undetailed pianists. “They play like pigs.” This, of course, was in his fiery Russian accent.
For bookings I go through Jay Goodley Associates Inc. in Sarasota, Fl. (941 480-9600). They are wonderful to work with both as an employee and for you as an employer. Also, I am available for piano lessons in Sarasota- especially off season.
Keys to the Great Pyramid are on the Piano. Black and white keys form an interesting pattern. Within the scope of an octave are 5 black keys and 8 whites. Let’s use the pattern of one “C” to the next. Look at the featured picture. “C’s” are immediately to the left of the 2 black ones. Count the white keys from one “C” to the next. There are eight. Now count the first black set. We see one pattern of two. The next pattern with the octave has three. Thus, 2 + 3 = 5. The basic ratio of white to black within the octave is 5 to 8. That describes the ratio of the base to the height of the Great Pyramid. Also, white key “A” vibrates 440 times per second. Count the white tones from the “C” under the “M” on the name, Yamaha. “A” is the 6th one from middle “C”. In doing this, count the middle “C” as the first note. 440 is an essential Great Pyramid number. Keep reading.
KEYS ON THE PIANO DUPLICATE THE ESSENTIAL FEATURES OF THE GREAT PYRAMID OF EGYPT
Now, what are the ways in which this magnificent structure duplicates the standard piano keyboard?
A Great Cubit is 55 smaller cubits of 1.71818…feet. The Great Pyramid has a height of the Great Pyramid is 5 Great Cubits. That numbers the octave’s black keys.
The length of a side of the base is 8 Great cubits. Its 8 to 5 ratio becomes apparent. The piano has 8 white keys for every five black within the octave.
The height of the Great Pyramid is 275 shorter cubits of 1.71818..feet. The lowest note on the piano, an “A”, vibrates 27.5 times per second.
The standard piano keyboard has 88 keys. 1st of all, Thoth, the Egyptian god associated with Mercury, is connected with number 88. This is thru what was called gematria. This is the ancient equation of numbers and letters. They shared the same symbols.
Second, Mercury completes an orbit around the Sun in 88 earth days. Play every black and white key on the piano. One note = one day of Mercury’s orbit.
Finally, “A” is tuned to 440 vibrations per second. This is especially true of older cultures. They used the diatonic scale. Each side of the Great Pyramid measures 440 cubits of 1.71818…feet.
Conclusion: Playing the piano should give you the same essential qualities and feelings as the Great Pyramid. In addition, playing music on the piano can take you to to distant times, lands and places. So, enjoy life. Take the time to play music!
Eightball: Understanding the Significance of #8 This topic, by necessity, will requite many blogs. In the game of pool sinking the 8 ball in a pocket, can make you win or loose the game. Being a composer/pianist, I will mainly cover the use of #8 in music with my first blog. The first fundamental overtone of music is the octave. This tone sounds at the same time as the octave “overtone” of its lower note. Although it’s softer, it still can be heard. The ratio of the speed of its vibration of the higher to the lower is 2 to 1. Count the white keys under the outstreched hand in the picture below. There are eight white keys.
Go to piano.
Depress the higher “C” with your thumb(as in the picture) without making a sound.
Keep it down.
Then depress and play the lower “C”. It is being played by the “pinky.”The two notes are pictured above
You will then hear the formerly quiet higher “C” resonate quite strongly and clearly.
The white keys, from the fifth finger to the thumb, define the “C” major scale. Major and minor scales are defined by eight tones. So are the more ancient chruch modes. These include the dorian, phrygian, lydian, aoelian…Scales are at the basis of playing any instrument. I offer piano lessons in Sarasota. Now, back to number 8.
A complete musical thought or phrase has 8 bars of music. That gives it stablity. Think of the nursery rhyme “Mary Had a Little Lamb”: “Mary had a little lamb, little lamb, little lamb. Mary had a little lamb. Its fleece was white as snow.” These words cover eight bars of music. This is an example of musical sentence.
In the realm of chemistry eight also has special properties. Eight electrons in an atoms or shared by compounds in the outer shell does the following:
It stablizies any compound.
It defines a “period” on the periodic chart. Or, it makes for totally stable or inert element. Similarly, a period stablizes or completes a sentence.
Eightball and its Mystique of “8” are also in the World’s Religions
Buddha taught of the eightfold noble path. It led to enligtenment. In Islam a fascinating parallel exits between music and heaven. This is in the belief that there are 7 hells and 8 heavens. The title Hasht bihisht ( 8 paradises) is used several times in Persian literature. This I found in the book, The Mystery of Numbers by Annemarie Schimmel. I worked with maestro Rubinoff and His Violin as his arranger. Any musical idea that only had 7 bars sounded “wrong.” Eight bars sounded correct. That always turned out to be the case. Rubinoff was extremely successful as an arranger and violinist. While at Wayne State University, I was a music major. I also was Rubinoff’s accompanist and arranger. Conclusion: Get on the “eightball”. Learn to enjoy life, and feel fulfilled. Most important: partake of music- David.
Nocturnes by Chopin are still Highly Cutting Edge in Novelty . This is true even by today’s standards. One of the nocturnes written by Chopin will serve for today’s blog: It is Opus 37, No. 2. Chopin goes from one key signature to the next, quickly. Like a great painter,constantly changing he colors. Yet the entire work holds together beautifully. This opus is like a musical kaleidoscope of harmonies. They shift continually. Chopin was highly experimental. No matter what key this nocturne goes into, he changes the sharps and flats- not the key signature. Throughout the entire score, you see the “F#”, which here denotes the key of G major. In most music, same key signature with continual modulations by “accidentals” rarely happens. As I fascinatingly practice this work, the continual “F#” really stands out against, say, six flats. Yet, the work hangs together for an unforgettable aesthetic experience.
All About Nocturnes
Generally they have a calm feeling. Surprisingly, an Irishman, John Field (1792-1837), is said to have originated the form. Today the Nocturne’s lingering melodies are almost totally abandoned in favor of music that has short rhythmic outbursts. A fairly recent exception is the Harlem Nocturne. The Duke can thank the Irish fellow and Polish fellow for the form title. They have long melodic lines with ornaments. Often they are played with rhythmic freedom. The nocturne was even favored a century early by composers. It was called the notturno. It spelled out nighttime entertainment. The pieces were generally light, short, and meant to be played outdoors. The Moon, of course, was the featured background. Even Haydn wrote a set of notturnos for the king of Naples in 1790.
My Prediction for Nocturnes
Long melodic lines have been on the “outs” for decades. Everything is cyclic. They will return sooner rather than later as an art form. Beautiful is coming back. Take heart. The cycle of beautiful is only about 50 years overdue. Right now I am offering piano lessons in Sarasota. Here is an update: Beginning Dec 20th 2017 I will play 6 days weekly on their new reburbished 1924 Steinway Grand. It has the sweetest sound of any piano on Earth! Thank you master technician Larry Keckler for rebuilidng the piano!