Special arranging was shunned by Beethoven

Special Arranging was Not Beethoven’s Cup of Tea!

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

What Exactly is Special Arranging?

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

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

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


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



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



De Mattia Trio rehearsing "Moonlight On the Lake"
De Mattia Trio rehearsing “Moonlight On the Lake”

Three of our original music pieces arranged for oboe, Horn in F and piano will be performed in the following concert.

The pieces are Moonlight on the Lake; Joining Hands For Life; and Iguana Farm (for Oboe and Piano)

De Mattia Family in Concert

Celebrating Fedora De Mattia’s 100th Birthday

Sunday, Sept. 20th at 3:00 PM

Lakewood Presbyterian Church
14502 Detroit Ave.
Lakewood, Ohio 44107 (Cleveland Area)

Edmond De Mattia, Oboe, Retired Principal oboist, US Navy Band Washington and founder and President of the American Concert Band Association (86 year old brother)
Alan De Mattia, French horn, member of the Cleveland Symphony (nephew)
Richard De Mattia, Piano, Organist, MENCA, Computer specialist, choir director (nephew)
Suellen De Mattia, Pianist, School Teacher, Flutist, (niece)

Fedora De Mattia is a well-known, repsected and beloved School Teacher, Pianist, sister and aunt.

Music on the Program for Oboe, French horn, Piano
By David and Sharon Ohrenstein

Public Invited.
Light refreshments

    THE DE MATTIA FAMILY TO SHOWCASE OUR MUSIC.  Here in Sarasota, on May 24, 2015,  Here, in Sarasota, Florida,  a financially successful fund raising concert was given for the Salvation Army.  The performers were the Windsong 5; a group consisting of Edmond De Mattia on oboe, David Lieberman on Clarinet, John Steinspring on bassoon, David on piano and soprano Sharon.  David and Sharon have created many arrangements for the group.  Ohrenstein learned the art of arranging from his years of work with maestro Rubinoff and His Violin (see video on website).   As part of their arranging, David and Sharon have also taken famous classical melodies and arranged them just for the group. One, which has been making the rounds in churches around the country, is Sing Unto God, which they also played at the Salvation Army concert- to be posted.  In Sing Unto God Sharon adapted the famous melody from the last movement of the 1st Symphony by Brahms, adding lyrics and a compelling middle section to his great theme. The symphony is famous but the story goes that after Beethoven wrote his 9th symphony, it was believed that no one could write a symphony that could match its awesome greatness.  With his 1st Symphony, it’s believed that Brahms did. But because of the reputation of Beethoven’s 9th,  even Brahms did not attempt a symphony until he was well seasoned into his forties.  David and Sharon feel so special and honored to work with such high caliber musicians as their friend and mentor, Ed De Mattia and company. They are looking forward to selections from their concert for the Salvation army on this website.