Cancerian Music is inspired by the Moon.

Cancerian Music is Timely for this Zodiac Month of the Year

Cancerian Music is Timely for this Zodiac Month of the Year. We have entered the zodiac month of Cancer.  Its sign is- (♋️). Cancer is the fourth astrological sign in the Zodiac.Dates are between approximately June 21 and July 23.[2]

This excerpt is from my upcoming book: Music Under the Zodiac. I am keeping the core of the book secretive.  That part covers a novel approach to musical therapy. But, there are still many great tidbits I am able to share. First, the arch example of musical therapy is from the Bible. It states:  Whenever the spirit from God came on Saul, David would take up his lyre and play. The evil spirit would leave Saul. This is from I Samuel 16:23. 

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The most famous case of musical therapy was the soothing of King Saul by David.

So, What is Cancerian Music all About?

A ruling “planet” imbues a person with certain personality traits. The zodiac sign of Cancer is ruled by the Moon. You might say, songs about the Moon partake of the sign of Cancer. This brings a most interesting factual story. Gabriel Fauré wrote the 1st and original Claire de Lune (Moonlight). Most have no knowledge of this. It is hauntingly beautiful.  Another fact that most do not know: Debussy’s Claire de Lune was originally called “Sentimental Promenade.” It was part of a dance suite called the Suite Bergamasque. Moonlight in no way implies dancing. A promenade is more in keeping with dancing. However, his editor insisted that Debussy change the music’s title. Debussy resisted. When he gave in, he discovered the editor was right! Sales skyrocketed. Now the question becomes: Is Claire de Lune really lunar music? Was it inspired by the Moon? Perhaps Debussy was walking in the Moonlight with someone he loved. That could have created his original title. Then, it still would be about Moonlight. Enjoy my own rendition of Debussy’s masterpiece.

Clair de Lune – Suite Bergamasque by Claude Debussy – YouTube

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1XKLxWnRtBA
Feb 2, 2016 – Uploaded by Lesley & Ohrenstein

Concert Pianist David Ohrenstein plays Clair de Lune – Suite Bergamasque by Claude Debussy. Filmed at …

A Date With Debussy – DSO Works

What was in the music of King David? – DSO Works

Gabriel Fauré and his misunderstood Pavane

Fauré in 1887

The Pavane in F-sharp minor, Op. 50, is a pavane by the French composer Gabriel Fauré written in 1887. It was originally a piano piece, but was known. at one time in Fauré’s version, as a version for orchestra, optional chorus and dancers.

THE GRAND SCOPE OF THE PAVANE

Gabriel Fauré and his misunderstood Pavane. The pavane, as a musical form, has taken a bad rap in recent times. As an opus, the pavane has acquired an overly sad, even funeral-like character. However, the impressionistic composers often  looked to the 16th and 17th century for inspiration. The pavane was a slow and dignified court dance from Spain. It possibly comes from the Spanish word, “pavo”, which means “peacock”. Certainly, from the given description, the dancers strut around like peacocks. In the 1500’s the dance used bowing, curtsying and walking. Musically it is  a slow and expressive section of the dance suite.

HOW THE SCOPE OF THE PAVANE GREW, AND I I HOPE TO PLAY A CONCERT OF FRENCH PIANO MUSIC

Before writing this blog, I thought that the Pavane was a commemorative musical work for someone who is deceased. Perhaps my erroneous conception came from the title of Maurice Ravel’s work Pavane for a Dead Princess. The pavane itself has nothing to do with funerals. Ravel simply chose this dignified dance form and mood to express his sentiment. Another misconception I had was that it was originally written as an orchestral work. However, in 1887 Fauré  played it as a piano work and it was only orchestrated later. Furthermore, I assumed it should be played slowly. When the great conductor, Sir Adrian Boult heard  Fauré play it, he remarked that it went no slower than quater note =100. Soon after its world premier by  Fauré, his patroness comtesse Greffulhe, financed the work to add  an orchestra, dancers and a chorus. She even provided a venue with  choreographic space  at one of her garden parties. Stravinsky’s choreographer, Diahilev, loved the Pavane by Fauré it so much that he made it a standard part of the Ballet Russes repetoire after he introduced it to the company in 1917. I ordered his music from Paris in the original piano score version. I hope to play it myself at an all French piano concert- time and place to be announced. I will also include piano works by Ravel and Debussy. I will preview a number of selections starting Dec 18th at the Gasparilla Inn in Boca grande, Fl where I will be playing on the Steinway vintage pianos 6 nights a weekly (see events on this website).

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A Date With Debussy: As I Record His Music at Glenridge Performing Arts Center

 

 

A Date With Debussy: As I Record His  Music at Glenridge Performing Arts Center- My family put together an incredible birthday present for me. Abe, my oldest son, wanted me to play and record one hour of the piano music of Claude Debussy. That got the ball rolling. I immediately agreed. Preview YouTube video Ohrenstein plays Debussy Arabesque No. 2

SAMPLE THE VIDEO MADE AT THE GLENRDIGE PERFORMING ARTS CENTER ON YOUTUBE

Debussy: Arabesque #2 . One hour of his piano music played by me will be available shortly, as a product. My wonderful daughter and son-in law bought the session. I currently play italmost daily.  This is at at the Gasparilla Inn in Boca Grande(see events) on DSOWorks.com

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MY DEBUSSY PARIS MUSIC CONNECTION

My own piano instructor, Mischa Kottler, asked me when he was 94 years of age to give a concert of French music.  That I should show people how I play. Kottler studied on the 1920’s with Alfred Cortot. In turn, Cortot was a contemporary of Debussy.  He personally knew him in Paris. Debussy was born August 22, 1862. Cortot, September 26, 1877. I  learned  Debussy’s craft from Mischa. It uses included the plethora of two note phrases. Also Debussy developed a hidden notation to specify which notes he wanted to emphasize.

PARTICULARS OF THE RECORDING

That got me started on a 4 hour/day regimen of practice. On my birthday, October 24, my daughter Kathryn and her wonderful husband, Jonathan, bought me the session. It was videoed  by Mark Palmer.

Mark Palmer recorded the day with three cameras!
Mark Palmer recorded the day with three cameras!

 AT THE GLENRIDGE PERFORMING ARTS CENTER

My wife, Sharon-Lesley coached me on some tricky rhythms. She the agreed to be the page turner.IMG_0783

My youngest son had a day off. He was the  lighting technician and stage assistant. That was after a 4 minute tutorial.

My oldest son, Abe, was the first to insist on one hour of Debussy. He is a marvelous computer technician.

Melissa and Ben from the Glenridge graciously helped out and taught Daniel the ropes.
Melissa and Ben from the Glenridge graciously helped out and taught Daniel the ropes.
Daniel in the lighting booth
Daniel in the lighting booth

Conclusion: As proud as I am of A Date With Debussy-, I am even prouder of my family coming together to give me the best birthday present of my life. Date of release to be announced. And yes, I am working on piano music for an all French concert. It will  include works  Ravel and  Faure.

Debussy’s Clairvoyant Claire de Lune

Debussy’s clairvoyant Claire de Lune is a profound mystery for me. Its music is elegant, graceful and lyrical but yet it found its way into Claude Debussy’s Suite Bergamasque. So what’s so unusual about that? A suite is usually a collection of dances, sometimes with a prelude The Suite Bergamasque has four numbers: (1) the Prelude (2) Menuet (3) Claire de Lune (4) Passepied. Three of the four numbers belong in a dance suite: the prelude, menuet and passpied. Claire de Lune is program or descriptive music about the Moon: no dancing. So why is it there? One answer is that  both the words bergamask and moonlight are found in the poem, Clare de Lune by Paul Verlaine, given below:

Claire de Lune, poem by Paul Verlaine

Your soul is a chosen landscape
Where charming masqueraders and bergamaskers go
Playing the lute and dancing and almost
Sad beneath their fanciful disguises.

All sing in a minor key
Of victorious love and the opportune life,
They do not seem to believe in their happiness
And their song mingles with the moonlight,

With the still moonlight, sad and beautiful,
That sets the birds dreaming in the trees

And the fountains sobbing in ecstasy,
The tall slender fountains among marble statues.

I have chosen a second answer. I believe that either Debussy or his editor knew, either by intuition or clairvoyance, that Claire de Lune would be a great and lasting classical hit. They placed it in the suite as a third number. The parallel position in today’s Broadway musical show would be called the 11 o’clock number. The hit ballad is saved for this place. Claire de Lune shines like moonlight on the other three numbers and elevates the level entire suite in the same manner that a hit ballad elevates a musical. I do not wish to negate the value of the other three numbers. A hit number can carry a show, suite, symphony or make anything into a success.

Clair de lune”, (“Moonlight”) Op. 46 No 2, is a song by Gabriel Fauré, composed in 1887 to words by Paul Verlaine. What most people do not know is that  Gabriel Fauré, wrote his Claire de Lune three years before Debussy began his, which is in his Suite Bergamasque. What most also do not know is that Faure taught Debussy composition. Also Debussy wrote his Claire de Lune in five flats just like Faure’s. Faure’s is in Bb minor while Debussy’s is in the major mode.  Did Debussy choose to follow the path of his instructor and perhaps even try to out do him? Please listen to both Clair de Lunes. See if you agree with me that the poem is much closer to Gabriel Faure’s musical sentiment than it is to Debussy’s. I feel that Debussy’s is positively romantic while Faure’s  fits the line: Sad beneath their fanciful disguises. Feel free to email the site with your answer as to who you prefer.

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