Interesting Repetition With the Musical Canon by Pachelbel. . Since the 1980s, Pachelbel’s Canon has also been used frequently in weddings and funeral ceremonies throughout the western world. It uses a continually repeating bass line. Off season in Florida (that means summertime), I extend my services for weddings.
Repetition has different levels of sophistication. In this present day and age, words are frequently repeated over and over. The word choice word seems to be “baby”. Also, in today’s musical palette, four bars of music are often repeated over and over- like a chant. Simplistic chants are used in advertisements. They can hypnotize you into buying a product.
Pianist David Ohrenstein plays Pachelbel’s Canon. Now available to play for Sarasota weddings. For more …
Pachelbel’s Canon combines the techniques of canon and ground bass. Canon is a polyphonic device in which several voices play the same music, entering in sequence. In Pachelbel’s piece, there are three voices engaged in canon (see Example 1), but there is also a fourth voice, the basso continuo, which plays an independent part.
Example 1. The first 9 bars of the Canon in D. The violins play a three-voice canon over the ground bass to provide the harmonic structure. Colors highlight the individual canonic entries. The bass voice keeps repeating the same two-bar line throughout the piece. The common musical term for this is ostinato, or ground bass (see the example below).
Why is the Canon in “D” and the canon form so popular with weddings? The canon provided a grounded bass over which the music above changes and flows. A man and wife can change over the years. However, the sacredness of the wedding vows remain constant. They make the part of the grounded bass. The grounded by can be compared to the presence of the Divine. Now is that beautiful, or what? I play the Canon as part of my repertoire at the Crab and Fin Restaurant at St Armand’s Circle season outdoors on Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays. If it rains, no show! Check events on DSOworks.com for times.
George Friederic Handel Versus Sopranos. Handel was born in the same year as J.S. Bach. J.S. Bach avoided the operatic form. Handel did not. George Frideric (or Frederick) Handel (/ˈhændəl/;[a] born Georg Friedrich Händel,[b] German pronunciation: [ˈhɛndəl]; 23 February 1685 (O.S.) [(N.S.) 5 March] – 14 April 1759)[c] was a German, later British, baroque composer who spent the bulk of his career in London, becoming well known for his operas, oratorios, anthems, and organ concertos.
Maria Callas (one of the greatest sopranos ever) with her teacher Elvira de Hidalgo in 1954
Georege Friederic Handel had his first operatic job was in his home town of Halle. There he played in the second violin section at the opera house near the famed Goosemarket. At age 19 he tired of being in the second violin section. So, he switched from playing “second fiddle” to playing the “first” (and only) harpsichord. He decided to write opera during the run of the Cleopatra by Johann Matheson. Matheson wanted to play the last part, as usual, on the harpsichord by himself, The was supposed to be during the very last scene. One night young Handel and Matheson got into a brawl just before the last scene. Handel didn’t want to abandon the instrument. Their verbal and physical fight lasted a half-hour. Of course, the audience went wild over this major disagreement. After that experience, Handel decided to write his own operas. And, he did. He wrote some 46 in total.
My own favorite story about George Friederic Handel Versus Sopranos
Victor Borge has a number of soprano stories in My favorite Intermissions. A particular wild anecdote involves the Italian soprano, Francesca Cuzzoni. The George Friederic Handel opera she was to appear in was called Ottone. Unfortunately, Francesca became inflamed: She thought Ottone did not show off her singing abilities to their fullest. Consequently, she refused to do the big number unless Handel let her improvise extra high notes. How did it resolve? Georege Friederic Handel, in a burst of anger, hoisted her over a window ledge on the 2nd floor of the building. While dangling from the window, she decided Handel’s way wasn’t so bad after all. It’s regrettable that so much color is lost in music history classes at both high school and university levels. These stories are necessary to perpetuate the art. Great composers were also real human beings. I think it’s time for a revival of great classical writers and their works. Such stories can help. More blogs will be posted on this topic. Keep watching. Don’t be shy about sharing them with friends. Also, I David Ohrenstein and wife Sharon Lesley, have collaborated on an opera, Octavian and Cleopatra. Here is a small excerpt. Be the first in your locality to have our new opera. Contact us through our DSOworks@gmail.com
Cleopatra’s ladies in waiting give her a potion to calm her over the her grief of the suicide of her husband, Marc Anthony. In a drunken stupor, Cleopatra mistakes the Captain of the Roman guard for her former lover and husband. The ladies in waiting gladly let this happen, hoping that the captain would fall in love with Cleopatra, and help them them to escape from Egypt. (Cleopatra played by Sharon Lesley Ohrenstein, Baron Garriott playes Captain Derceteus at the Players Theatre production in Sarasota, Florida)
Description Tags: Strong Role for a Leading Man *Strong Role for a Leading Lady *Musical Drama *Minimal Sets and Costumes *Period Piece/Historical *Classic Broadway *Operetta/Operatic.
“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. After a 20 year absence from the piano scene in Sarasota, David Ohrenstein returns. Over that time he has been a regular in the Catskill Mountains of New York and at the world famous Gasparilla Inn on the isle of Boca Grande. Now he entertains at the Crab and Fin Restaurant three days weekly: Monday evening from 6-10pm; Tuesday from 12:30 to 5 :30 p.m. Wednesday also from 12:30 to 5:30 PM. David has just completed his first three day week this May 31 . You can enjoy lunch, dinner or simply purchase a beverage and listen to his piano playing at this beautiful outdoor setting. Of course, fine dining is also indoors. To find out more about David and what he will play for you, open this video (copy and paste). https://www.facebook.com/dsoworks/videos/1460277433992954/ He’s certain you will find it fascinating: David plays the Fascination Waltz that he accompanied and arranged for a world renowned violinist. In the video David discusses David Rubinoff’s unique style. Rubinoff was the conductor and violin solist of the orchestra at the Paramount Theater in New York and of Paramount pictures in Hollywood. When he conducted the Chicago Philharmonic in 1937, he played for 225,000 people. In addition, they turned away 25,000 people at the door. Hope to see you on St Armands Circle in Sarasota, Fl – David. You are all welcome but please make reservations.
Downpours Inspire Creativity for Music and Poetry. Ah, Gardens in the Rain by Claude Debussy. How refreshing. Debussy was an impressionist. He featured French Folksongs in this magnificent opus. He was proud of his French heritage. Nowhere is this more apparent than in his Gardens in the Rain. It gives the impression of being in a country cottage during a rainfall. When I hear most pianists play it, I feel like it should be titled: Gardens in a Tornado. I have a saying that call on three “T’s” Tempo should be Tempered With Taste. This is especially true when playing the music of Debussy. I hope to post myself playing Gardens in the Rain soon. For now I’ll share another recording. Here is a regal medieval dance called the Sarabande by Debussy. It uses majestic triple meter. This means 3 beats to a measure. The order is strong, weak, weak over and over. However in the masterful hands of Debussy, two beats to a measure are often inferred. I hope you can hear my bringing out the groupings of twos and threes. In the hands of the French composer Claude Debussy, measure lines merely become a marker as time going by.
Downpours Inspire Creativity for Me in the Catskill Mountains of New York
Downpours often inspired me to write poetry in the Catskill Mountains. Rain in the mountains is especially fascinating. While the entire youtube video below is about 12 minutes. After 6:24 seconds my poem, Like a Mountain Be appears. It celebrates the featured topic: Downpours Inspire Creativity.
Sample David, reciting his poetry, on the front page thumbnail of DSOworks.com. Click on picture trail to purchase the book on the site.
Finally my contribution to the “Downpour” repetorie: El Nino in Sarasota features a continuous rainfall with the perpetual motion Spanish rhythms on the piano. This work was written while watching an all day downpour. Very few have the technique required to play the double stops. Click on “El Nino” below.
Wind Song Players in Concert under Maestro Edmond Demattia. Ed is the founder and conductor of a new musical group. They are called the Wind Song Players. The trio consists of:
Ed Demattia on the oboe.
David Ohrenstein on the piano.
Sharon Ohrenstein, vocals.
They are offering a free concert. It is on April 23, Sunday at 3:oo pm. Location is the Fountains of Hope. It is at 1560 Jesus Way in Sarasota, Florida. This is behind the Church of Hope in a new facility. The concert is free. All are welcome. Call 941-316-6487 for more information.
So, firstly, who is Ed Demattia? A Founder and President of the National Concert Band Association.
The idea for a “national concert band” began in 1973 with discussions among retired and former members of the four major military service bands in the Washington, DC area. The organization’s two main purposes were to provide a way for area military musicians to continue to play after retirement, and to preserve the concert band tradition of music in the United States, so prominent in the first half of the twentieth century.It was during conductor DeMattia’s tenure the Band participated in making the epic series of historic recordings of “The Heritage of the March,” produced by Robert Hoe of Poughkeepsie, NY.
The first conductor chosen was Edmund DeMattia, formerly principal oboist with the United States Navy Band. He was one of the founding members of the American Concert Band Association (ACB) and the National Concert Band became a member of this professional organization.
The concert will be both enjoyable and popular. Selections will include a medley of classic melodies from Lerner and Lowe musicals. With David and Ed, Sharon will premier a new psalm that she arranged just for the group. It is called Sing Unto God. The main theme uses the haunting Brahms melody from the 1st movement of his 1st symphony. She will also sing Memory from the Andrew Lloyd Weber musical, Cats. David will play a solo waltz by Chopin. Ed will play oboe featuring the melodic To a Wild Rose by Edward MacDowell. His classical selections will include a Concerto by Corelli arranged for Oboe and Piano. I call oboe Ed, The Master. There is no musical limit to what can can learn from this wonderful man. Yes, the best things in life are free. Call today for a reservation.
Requiem for Rock and Roll with the Passing of Chuck Berry. Charles Edward Anderson “Chuck” Berry (October 18, 1926 – March 18, 2017) was an American guitarist, singer and songwriter and one of the pioneers of rock and roll music. With songs such as “Maybellene” (1955), “Roll Over Beethoven” (1956), “Rock and Roll Music” (1957) and “Johnny B. Goode” (1958), Berry refined and developed rhythm and blues into the major elements that made rock and roll distinctive. The quote below is from NYT dated March 18, 2017:
Berry in 1957
Requiem for Rock and Roll
The following is an excerpt from the New Yorks Times. This quote below is from NYT dated March 18, 2017. Jon Pareles, a music critic for The New York Times, reflects on the pioneering music and attitude of the rock legend Chuck Berry. ” While Elvis Presley was rock’s first pop star and teenage heartthrob, Mr. Berry was its master theorist and conceptual genius, the songwriter who understood what the kids wanted before they knew themselves.”
As a teenager, I, David, was ousted from Rock and Roll central. I had an interview at Motown with Marvin Gaye. At the time I was giving Motown’s attorney’s children piano lessons. My compositions have always been melodic to the “nth” degree. Rhythm was in. Melody was okay, but quite secondary. Bottom line: Times are now difficult. The public needs beautiful once more. Kind of like the early 1930’s. Think of “Stardust.” It was the leader song that gave the 20’s rhythm songs their requiem. Here’s what most people do not realize: Rock and roll has outlasted the entire era of classical music. The heyday of classical style was 1750 to 1800. That is 50 years. This included Mozart, Haydn and early Beethoven. Above is a picture of Chuck Berry. It is dated 1957. That is 60 years ago. The only thing for sure is change. I unhumbly state: “Watch for my music. I intend to be at the forefront of the new style with new and beautiful music. This is not only as a piano player, but as a composer”. My wife, Sharon Lesley Ohrenstein is the book writer and lyricist. Shortly, our new musical “Golden Roads” will be making an appearance. In this free youtube presentation Sharon is singing and being interviewed. I am at the piano. In the meanwhile you can hear me play on vintage Steinways at the Gasparilla Inn on the exotic isle of Boca Grande. This is my 8th season. I’m under contract until April 16. Watch this short interview and excerpt from Golden Roads. Enjoy the new sound we are presenting and get on the bandwagon. There’s room for everybody.
Mischa Kottler Student Endures on the piano. My father had a sense about me. We grew up in Detroit. I immediately took to the piano and composing. At age 12 I wrote a piano concerto. I had only been playing the piano for 3 months. I also played the complete Beethoven Moonlight Sonata from memory.This was at my first year piano recital. We soon arranged for auditions with the best Detroit instructors. Julius Chajes was the director of music at the Detroit Jewish Community Center. Chajes suggested to go to Mischa Kottler since he was quite busy. Chajes also mentioned Karl Haas. Haas was the creator and host of the nationally syndicated program, Adventures in Good Music. Haas also suggested that I audition for Mischa. Finally, I went to Mischa Kottler. He is a brief description of him in Keyboard Magazine by one of his students student.
Another notable Mischa Kottler student – Greg Philliganes
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.
From Greg Philliganes’ interview in Keyboard Magazine
“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.
What kinds of things were you studying with him?
I was studying technique and classical repertoire. He taught me a certain way of playing that I still use to this day: a sense of evenness where your wrists aren’t loose or moving up and down. It’s a totally linear way of playing, where there’s even movement in both hands so your wrists stay perfectly still. Misha would take two fingers and weigh them down on my wrists to keep them from moving. He instilled a sense of dexterity and definition in my playing. If I’m known for my speed and precision, it’s probably due to Mischa more than anything else.
As a Mischa Kottler student
So, how did Mischa impact my career. I am playing my 8th season at the Gasparilla Inn on the exotic isle of Boca Grande. Management thinks of me as part of their corporation. It’s amazing how well you a liked when you are good for business and morale. Management just reconditioned a vintage 1924 Steinway grand. What a difference it makes! “Beautiful, lovely, most enjoyable” …are a few of the positive adjectives. Very few people walk by the piano without patting me on the back. They invariably say, “Good job.” I play 6 nights weekly. This is through April 16. Earlier I had been playing for some 15 years in the Catskill Mountains of New York. This was at Scott’s Oquaga Lake House. Another demanding job: Seven nights a week! Through the training of Mischa Kottler and the generousity and backing of my father, I’ve been enjoying a remarkable long career. I offer piano lessons in Sarasota. Below is a picture of the Gasparilla Inn.
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.
Golden Roads, our one-woman musical about Golda Meir, premieres in less than 10 days at the SaraSolo Festival! Get a sneak preview and find out just how young David was when he started composing these melodies. Why is this production so special?
It is our 4th major rewrite of a show whose time is now. Its history goes back to 1990 at the then Jewish Community Center in Sarasota. Then it had a full cast of 25. Afterwards, it was included in the abbreviated version of three of our musicals, called Three Queens: They were (1) Elizabeth of Russia (2) Octavian and Cleopatra (3) Our Golda.
We placed the Golda musical on the back burner for 10 years because of the then touring “Golda’s Balcony.” Now after the recent election we brought it out again. Here is a musical about a woman who did rule her country. This was in spite of her having cancer at the time. She had to lead the country during a vicious attack on Israel. This was on the holiest of Jewish holidays- Yom Kippur.
Above, composer/pianist David Ohrenstein seated at the piano.
Sneak Preview: Our Wonderful Director is New York Broadway and Metropolitan Opera Veteren, Carlo Thomas
The following about Carlo Thomas is an excerpt from Lynn Bernfield’s radio show. “He went on to a career which included Opera (City Opera, Canadian Opera, Berlin Opera, The Spoleto Music Festival, where he was directed by Gian Carlo Menotti), Broadway (1776, Phantom of the Opera), Concert (soloist at Radio City Music Hall), Recording with the Fred Waring band – and anything that required music. With his life partner Timothy Gray (who with Hugh Martin wrote the score for the musical High Spirits – based on the Noel Coward play Blithe Spirit, and many more), Carlo was enmeshed in the theater scene. Listen to this extraordinary man tell the charming, funny and sometimes outrageous stories of a life and career dedicated to the making of beautiful music. 11-24-14 Audio Interview.”
Kind, wonderful and generous Carlo has been coming to our Sarasota home twice weekly. He introduced us to concepts that are now currently used in Broadway musicals: These are the use of musical motifs throughout the score. The motifs uniquely make the piano an active actor in the show. Now Golda and the piano have an active dialog. One example: When Golda goes to the kibbutz, the piano’s motif is “Old MacDonald had a Farm”. Everyone has enjoyed the piano’s part. The piano cleverly comments on almost everything. I could go on and on. But I won’t. Just come and see the grand premier. Seating is limited. The show is selling quite well.
Ragtime Era Lives on the Isle of Boca Grande. David Ohrenstein is engaged as the pianist for his 8th year at the historic Gasparilla Inn. He is currently playing there 6 nights weekly. That will be until April 13. The Inn was built in 1911. That’s when ragtime was in full swing. What three words best describe ragtime? In David’s opinion, “happy, happy, happy.” It seems like the 1st world war put an end to the ragtime era. Ragtime – also spelled rag-time or rag time – is a musical genre that enjoyed its peak popularity between 1895 and 1918. Its cardinal trait is its syncopated, or “ragged”, rhythm.[
David senses that even the walls of the Inn welcome ragtime. Scott Joplin studied piano and composition with a German professor. He structured his ragtime pieces like the marches of John Phillip Sousa or the Waltzes of Johann Strauss Jr. They consist of individual sections. Many are in varying key signatures. Most start in flat keys. Then they add more flats in successive sections. For example,
The Maple Leaf Rag sets the tone. It starts in four flats. Another section reaches five flats. It ends in four flats.
The Gladiolus Rag starts in four flats. The last two sections are in five flats.
The Pineapple Rag starts in two flats. The last two sections are in three flats.
Easy Winners (from the movie, The Sting) starts in four flats. The last two sections are in five flats.
For the revival of ragtime in the late 20th century, we have Marvin Frederick Hamlisch (June 2, 1944 – August 6, 2012) to thank. He was an American composer and conductor. Hamlisch was one of only twelve people to win Emmy, Grammy, Oscar and Tony awards. This collection of all four is referred to as an “EGOT”. He is one of only two people (along with Richard Rodgers) to have won those four prizes and a Pulitzer Prize.
I personally call flat keys the “social keys.” They blend people together without bumps. Flats have curved and smooth endings. Sharps are pointed. Flats make for wonderful romantic music. Flat keys are perfect for social dancing. They even unify soldiers in their quest. Check out our front page on DSOworks. All kinds of wonderful projects are in the works.