Disappearing Mailboxes Out- Dates a Work of Art. Famed cartoonist, Harold Winer, created a number of illustrations for us. They were a thank you present. At one time he was associated with the Sarasota Music Archives. My wife Sharon, and myself, do musical charity work. The Sarasota Music Archives was one of the beneficiaries. It has one of the finest collections of sheet music in the country. As a thank you, Harold Winer gave us a number of art works. The Ohs is short for our last name, Ohrenstein.
Mail boxes have pretty much disappeared; yet, Sharon and I are still performing. We have started to write our own. I have always been a composer. Sharon writes the lyrics and book. Most recently, we wrote Golden Roads. It was the opening show for the Sarasolo festival. Carlo Thomas is our director. We thank him for his help. He guided our rehearsals. Also, he provided about 2 dozen artistically made posters. During the course of the presentation, Sharon co-ordinates the dialogue with the pictures. Our show sold out, SRO. On the positive side, the mail is still there. Only, it is called e-mail. Speaking of which, please feel free to share this e-mail with friends. Let’s have many new shows of all typesthat can offer us rides on Golden Roads.
Concertizing Duo Returns to the Concert Stage After Raising a Family. Husband-wife team David and Sharon Ohrenstein comprise the team. Sharon Ohrenstein’s musical aptitude includes:
Arranging for for multiple instruments. Most recently she arranged a new wind quintet. She has arranged for concert band and orchestra. Husband, David, composes the music. Enjoy their new patriotic march entitled Glory and Honor. Instrumental parts are available through DSOworks.com. Below, it is performed by the Sarasota Concert Band.
Concertizing Duo Returns With a New Musical Called Golden Roads
Our new one woman musical opened the Sarasolo festival. The musical is about the early life of Golda Meir. The story is about achieving your dream. This takes incredible sacrifice and hard work. However, once you’ve realized your dream,the even harder work just begins. Golden Roads is New York bound. We will shortly set up its dates at Scott’s Oquaga Lake House. Also, appointments have been set for a number summer musical camps in both New York and Pennsylvania. Other locations are considering the musical. The part of Golda is sung and acted by book writer-lyricist wife, Sharon. Composer,David, will play the piano. They hope to set the precedent for others. Our wonderful director is New York stage veteran and renowned international opera singer, Carlo Thomas. Thanks to him, our show now has exciting and relevant graphics and projections. It can be booked as a special event. Or, it can have a run at a theater. With our Finale music program, we can arrange for alto or soprano using any key. The music, however, is still challenging with a wide vocal range.
Another Concertizing Duo Returns That this Duo Got to Enjoy
I’m closing the blog with the following excerpt from Wikipedia. We had the pleasure of hearing Alan and Marilyn Bergman perform a concert of their own works of Michel Legrand the University of Miami. As a husband-wife team, they have definitely been inspiring to us. And yes, its possible to raise a family and have a career in the arts. The kids love it!
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.
In the featured picture we have L. to R. : Ann Rutherford, Red Skelton, and Diana Lewis in the film Whistling in Dixie (1942)
Here’s How Music Lightens in “Whistle While You Work”. The lyrics by Larry Morey say it all!
Just whistle while you work
And cheerfully together we can tidy up the place
So hum a merry tune
It won’t take long when there’s a song to help you set the pace
And as you sweep the room
Imagine that the broom is someone that you love
And soon you’ll find you’re dancing to the tune
(Spoken: Oh, no, no, no, no! Put them in the tub)
When hearts are high the time will fly so whistle while you work.
In the year 2017 I often ask, where did whistling go? It was commonplace in the 1950’s. After, it seemingly dropped off the face of the Earth. So many people are now facing difficult times. Expenses are exceeding income. We need relief. Melodic music and whistling can offer that. In the 1950’s whistling annoyed me. Now I am thrilled when I hear someone whistling. I am a pianist by trade. Saturday night I was playing at the Gasparilla Inn. My selection was the Sound of Music. I was playing the Lou Singer arrangement. Suddenly, one of the customers started whistling. I couldn’t have been happier. My attitude had dramatically changed. I doubled up on my musical expression. .
As a Composer, I Champion a Return to Melody and Whistling
The proof of the pudding is in the tasting. Sample my compositions at this special event:
Meir’s Golden Roads: A Special Engagement
March 24 @ 11:00 am – 12:30 pm
$18.00 – $23.00
Meir’s GOLDEN ROADS: A One Woman Musical About Golda Meir. This original musical was written by the performers: Sharon Lesley Ohrenstein, singer, actor, librettist; and David Ohrenstein, pianist- composer. From Golda’s dream to its realization, Sharon plays multiple characters. Zion, in Shakespeare’s style in an actual spirit He is not only an idea. See how Zion becomes her guide and true love.
Musical Undercurrents Are About to Surface. The following sequence attaches itself to musical styles:
A style begins with the 1st generation.
The 2nd generation literally buries the style of the 1st. It has a new concept for music.
The 3rd generation of style buries the 2nd. It then resurrects the ideas from the 1st.
Here’s how it has worked in our western music history. Let’s begin with the Baroque Era:
J.S, Bach culminated the Baroque Era of counterpoint. It transitioned to a simpler style around 1750.
The Rococo era and early classical were the next musical trends. They used a melody and accompaniment approach. Simplicity was preferred.
The Romantic Era came with Beethoven’s middle and later works. This was after 1800. Bach, counterpoint and complexity came back into vogue.
Baroque Musical Undercurrents Resurfaced Romantic Era
In music, the BACH motif is the motif, a succession of notes important or characteristic to a piece, B flat, A, C, B natural. In German musical nomenclature, in which the note B natural is written as H and the B flat as B, it forms Johann Sebastian Bach‘s family name. One of the most frequently occurring examples of a musical cryptogram, the motif has been used by countless composers, especially after the Bach Revival in the first half of the 19th century.
How Do the Musical Undercurrents Apply to Today?
Either rap, puck and rock and roll have have been in the forefront of popular music from Elvis in the 50’s to the present time. This is about 65 years. It has outlasted the earlier Rococo and early classical styles of European western music. Inevitably, music with strong melody, like in the 1930’s, will resurface as a main thrust. Rhythm, of course, always must be there, regardless of style. Our new musical, Golden Roads, is avant guard in this respect. Yes, it also has the element of counterpoint. I say, welcome to another return of the Romantic Era.
Musical Composition Fills a Life Span of Over 55 years for David Ohrenstein. For David, musical composition is a natural activity. He composes while awake. He dreams of music while he sleeps. Often he arises at 3 or 4 AM to jot down the theme given in a dream. If he doesn’t write it down, the theme haunts him until he does. What is the source of these melodies? Who knows? Melody has mostly been replaced by dominant rhythm for 50 or 60 years. In the past, melody and rhythm fought for dominance. Their cycles have lasted 10 years. In recent history we have been in a long rhythm period. Rock and Roll and Rap music are largely based on rhythm. Rock and roll (often written as rock & roll or rock ‘n’ roll) is a genre of popular music that originated and evolved in the United States during the late 1940s and early 1950s, from African-American musical styles such as gospel, jazz, boogie woogie, and rhythm and blues, with country. While elements of rock and roll can be heard in blues records from the 1920s and in country records of the 1930s, the genre did not acquire its name until the 1950s.
Musical Composition Has Been Dominated by Rock and Roll
Elvis postage stamps are released by the U.S. Postal Service, 1992.
Elvis popularized Rock and Roll in the 1950’s. Music with dominant rhythm reflects good times. It has been in the forefront for half a century. This has greatly exceeded the 10 year cycle. For example:
In the 1920’s music with strong rhythm was dominant.
After Oct of 1929 (great depression) melody came back. Hoagy Carmichael’s Stardust led the way in the 1930’s.
The point being: Dominant melody is long overdue for re-emergence.
Enter the Musical Composition for the Musical Golden Roads
Golden Roads is a musical about the life of Golda Meir. Sharon Ohrenstein wrote the book and lyrics. I wrote the music in melodic fashion. For the performance Sharon played multiple roles. I played the piano. The results was overwhelmingly positive. It had its world premier at the Saraolo Festival in Sarasota on Saturday January 28. It sold out twice over! On every level it was successful. This in no small part is due to our New York director, Carlo Thomas. Enjoy the youtube excerpt. Book our Golden Roads. Go ahead, feel good about life. Follow the Golden Roads of the staff of beautiful music once more.
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.
HADASSAH WILL ENJOY DAVID AND SHARON IN THEIR NEW ONE WOMAN MUSICAL
Golden Roads is a musical. The book and lyrics were written by Sharon Ohrenstein and music composed by David Ohrenstein. The date is set for SaBra Hadassah Membership Luncheon Nov 17th. The performance will take place at approximately 12:45 PM. The luncheon is for members only. Goals of Hadassah are financial, educational, and medical. For more information about joining, call the number listed below.
The musical presents highlights from the early life of Golda Meir. The show has already been presented in other manners. For example, below is a scene is from an earlier production for 3 people. The venue was the Players Theater of Sarasota. For the Players, we had a small orchestra:
The Building of “Golden Roads” in Israel was an idea that came to fruition under the leadership of Golda. She was against pavement marking the landscape. Instead, she insisted that roads should be beautiful. Trees, flowers- all were to be used for this purpose. The choice of this new title for the work replaces previously previous titles of “Our Golda” and “My Golda”. The version we are doing for Hadassah has shapes the script into a one woman show. It was first presented as such for the Jewish Genealogical Society of Southwest Florida on Sunday, May 15 2016 at he Kobernick House.
Esterhazys Via Joseph Haydn (1732-1809) formed a more Modern Orchestra. Haydn is known for creating the more full and modern orchestra. The Esterhazys, as patrons, also deserve the credit. Haydn is often referred to as the father of the symphony orchestra. This was only possible because of a family of Austrian patrons, the Esterhazys. Haydn enjoyed a long, fulfilling and and lavish life as a result. Without his patrons, I think he would have died totally unknown. Indeed, the Esterhazys must be considered as co-founders of the classical symphony orchestra.
Nikolaus I, Prince Esterházy (Hungarian: Esterházy I. Miklós, German: Nikolaus I. Joseph Fürst Esterhazy; 18 December 1714 – 28 September 1790) was a Hungarian prince, a member of the famous Esterházy family. Nikolaus did not hire Haydn, but rather “inherited” him from his brother, who had hired him as Vice Kapellmeister in 1761. He was responsible for the promotion of Haydn to full Kapellmeister on the death of the old Kapellmeister, Gregor Werner, in 1766.
Haydn’s wealthy patrons fulfilled his wish to greatly enlarge his group of musicians. Their kindness also attracted the finest virtuoso players of the day. Haydn was overjoyed to write some 80 of his symphonies under the Esterhazy umbrella.
So Why Am I Blogging About the Esterhazys?
Creators of Great Music and Art need patrons. By backing fine artists, patrons will gain greater rememberance than if their names were merely placed on buildings. Names on buildings are often changed with new generations of donors. Patrons of individual artists insure for themselves a well thought of place for perpetuity. The Esterhazys are a case in point. Their kindness lasts and lasts! My wife, Sharon, and I, created 3 full length musicals over 35 years of marriage. Our newest musical, Golden Roads, is about the early life of Golda Meir. Golda was a fabulously great role model for all women. She actually became the prime minister of Israel. This was inspite of tremendous road blocks by many who belittled the role of women in government. With Golden Roads we are finally getting bookings. See Feature Events on DSOworkscom. Our melodies are beautiful. The story of Golda is beautiful. We need help to make this more than a pared down one woman show with piano accompaniment. We feel we have the tools and talent. Now we need the resources. Contact us for an audition or presentation. Hopefully, your kindness will be rewarded by helping us to stage this memorable theater piece. Patrons, we love you. We should all experience the joys that were felt by Golda.
Shimon Peres and Golda Meir walked a similar path. Announcing our one woman musical: Golden Roads – about Golda Meir. Check our website DSOworks.com under the heading of events. Engagements, including a just booked performance at the 2017 Sarasolo Festival and other dates soon to be posted.
What brought these two influential figures together?
Once upon a time, Israel was a dream in the minds of determined settlers of a barren territory. They wanted a safe haven where they could practice their Jewish faith free from persecution. These families wanted nothing more than to feel safe in their own homes. This dream was known as Zionism.
The common path of Meir and Peres
An eight year old Golda Meir and her family left Czarist Russia in 1905 and came to the United States. But Golda wanted more. She wanted a homeland. So in 1921, Golda and her husband Morris immigrated to Mandate Palestine. A nine year old Shimon Peres and his family left Poland in 1934 to start a new life in Mandate Palestine. Both Meir and Peres lived on a Kibbutz, both were involved in the politics during their twenties, and both took on dangerous tasks as Mandate Palestine moved towards becoming established as Israel.
Kibbutznikiyot (female Kibbutz members), training at Mishmar HaEmek during the 1948 Palestine war
Women on the Kibbutz were as fierce fighters as the men.
Both helped to build their country.
Peres helped found the Kibbutz Alumot. In 1949, Golda’s “golden roads” public works initiative helped to develop the infrastructure while providing widespread employment opportunities. Both worked in Israel’s defense. These golden roads were to also be used as a landing strips for military planes. Shimon Peres was instrumental in purchasing fighter jets from France. Both were appointed to numerous cabinet positions. And both Golda Meir and Shimon Peres rose to the elected position of Prime Minister of Israel.
Shimon Peres appointed to Golda Meir’s Cabinet
Shimon Peres’ first appointment to full cabinet Minister was in 1969 when Golda Meir became Prime Minister of Israel. His political career was enhanced during her five years as Prime Minister. Peres served as Minister of Immigration Absorption. Then, in 1970, became Minister of Transportation and Communications and Minister without Portfolio. In 1974, he was Minister of Information. When she stepped down later that year, his outstanding leadership qualities positioned him for higher office. Shimon Peres and Itzak Rabin vied to be the next Prime Minister of Israel. Rabin won and appointed Peres Minister of Defense. Shimon Peres later became Prime Minister of Israel in 1995.
The Lesley and Ohrenstein musical Golden Roads brings to life the dream of Golda Meir and many others like Shimon Peres to have a homeland of their own. That “golden road” is challenging. Both Golda Meir and Shimon Peres kept going forward against all odds. Their determination is something we all can look to when our own lives get rough – as the lyrics to the theme song say…
Golden Roads by Lesley & Ohrenstein
Golden Roads, Golden Roads….
One Step, two steps, the three steps
A path appears before your eyes
You think you see where it’s going
But you’re in for a big surprise
’cause man makes plan and
God just laughs at them
On whatever road you go,
It’s all a big adventure ride
That’s sure to keep you on your toes.
In a very complex nutshell – (Mandate) Palestine was a territory ruled by the British that allowed self-rule for Jewish settlers. But the Arab population disagreed – thus, began a century long struggle. The following is an excerpt from the Balfour Declaration in 1917.
His Majesty’s government view with favour the establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people, and will use their best endeavours to facilitate the achievement of this object, it being clearly understood that nothing shall be done which may prejudice the civil and religious rights of existing non-Jewish communities in Palestine, or the rights and political status enjoyed by Jews in any other country. (written by United Kingdom’s Foreign SecretaryArthur James Balfour)
Keep checking our events calendar on DSOworks.com for engagements.