Liszt tempos are too quickly paced

Liszt Tempos are too Fast, said von Sauer

Liszt Tempos are too Fast According to von Sauer. Emil Georg Conrad von Sauer (8 October 1862 – 27 April 1942)[1] was a notable German composerpianist, score editor, and music (piano) teacher. He was a pupil of Franz Liszt.    Also, he one of the most distinguished pianists of his generation. Josef Hofmann called von Sauer “a truly great virtuoso.”[2] Martin Krause, another Liszt pupil, called von Sauer “the legitimate heir of Liszt. He has more of his charm and geniality than any other Liszt pupil.”[3]

 Emil von Sauer (1902)

Proof of the Liszt Tempos

So how is it that I know what Sauer said about Liszt’s music? From my own teacher, Mischa Kottler. He publicly made the statement in an interview for the Detroit Free Press/Sunday April 10, 1983. The featured picture is from the interview. I’ve saved the Sunday magazine section all these years.  The article was written by John Guinn/photos by Patricia Beck.  John Guinn was the Free Press music critic. Patricia Beck was a staff photographer. To make my point, I will quote a couple of sections:
  • “Kottler studied with Cortot in Paris, and then went to Vienna where he ended up studying with Emil von Sauer. Sauer had studied with Franz Liszt in Weimar in 1884-85. Liszt was a pupil of Carl Czerny, who studied three years with Beethoven himself.” Incidentally many of the techniques I learned from Mischa came from Beethoven. Reputedly, Beethoven invented the “prepared thumb” technique. I in turn pass this knowledge on to my own Sarasota piano students.
  • This is a direct quote from the interview: “Sauer told me everybody plays Liszt’s music too fast,” Kottler said. “there’s no reason to do that,” Sauer insisted-“Liszt didn’t.”

So where can you hear me play Liszt tempos not too fast? At the Crab and Fin Restaurant in Sarasota, Florida.

“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. You can enjoy lunch, dinner or simply purchase a beverage and listen to my piano playing at this beautiful outdoor setting.  

I was also an arranger/accompanist for Rubinoff an His Violin. So I also play popular music beautifully. Rubinoff was the conductor and violin soloist 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.  I play outdoors so check the weather. You could call me a “fair weather pianist.”

Map
  • Edit
    420 St Armands Cir
    Sarasota, FL 34236

 

Special Birthday for Pianist Age 94

Special Birthday for My Teacher, Mischa Kottler

Special Birthday for My Teacher, Mischa Kottler. How many people can still be outstanding in their fields of endeavor when they are in their nineties? I guess that when you are that aged, every birthday is a special birthday. The active aging honor mostly goes to creative artists and musicians.  When Mischa Kottler was 94, he flew, without escort, to Sarasota to visit us.  “Us” is my wife, three children and me.  He shows up at the Sarasota-Bradenton airport sporting a handsome blue sport coat wearing a  baby blue colored French beret. Music kept him young and vital until his last days.  He stayed with us for weeks at our Sarasota home.  There I was lucky to receive regular piano lessons from this great master once more. For our family and friends  he flawlessly played the version of Chopin’s Minute Waltz that on youtube below. Another famous musician who actively lived into his nineties was James Hubert “Eubie” Blake (* 7 February 1 887 [1] in Baltimore , Maryland ; † 12. February 1983 in New York City , New York ). He was an American jazz pianist and – Composer who influenced the development of Ragtime and early jazz. Music and the arts definitely offer “a retirement profession.”

Chopin-Kottler  Waltz 6 in D♭ major, Op 64~1

Maestro Mischa Kottler came to visit with our family on his special birthday
A young David (the blogger) and older Mischa at age 94.

Special Birthday and a  Special Man, Mischa Kottler

Mischa Kottler was a pianist, born in 1899. As a young man in New York, he played for Sergei Rachmaninoff, impressing Rachmaninoff with his own third piano concerto. Rachmaninoff recommended Kottler study in Europe; he went and became a student of Alfred Cortot in Paris and Emil von Sauer in Vienna, the latter being a pupil of the great Franz Liszt. Back in the United States, Kottler was lead pianist for the Detroit Symphony Orchestra. In 1933 he became musical director of WWJ radio in Detroit. He was chairman of the Piano Department at Wayne State University, and was a major influence on young pianists.

 

Entertainer David Ohrenstein plays ragtime

Entertainer Lives on St Armand’s Circle at the Crab and Fin

Entertainer Lives on St Armand’s Circle at the Sarasota Crab and Fin restaurant. How? Listen to the outdoor piano playing of David Ohrenstein. He plays there Monday from 6-10 pm. And during the daytime on Tuesday 12:30 to 5:30 and Wednesday, same hours.  Are you in the mood for fun? Then come and listen to David at the Crab and Fin.  Enjoy the music written by the genius of Scott Joplin, Arthur Marshall or Scott Hayden. These three musical giants collaborated and/or lived together in Sedalia, Missouri at the Marshall home.  This was because at the turn of the 1900’s, Sedalia allowed minority groups the chance for an excellent education. While some locations only allowed schooling for  3 months/year, Sedalia allowed a full 9 months. In no small measure, Sedalia, by accommodating Joplin and friends, allowed for the birth of the ragtime movement.  That, in turn, shaped American popular culture.

Poster stamp for the Sedalia  Missouri State Fair, c.1930.

Sedalia is also home to The Pettis County Museum and Historical Society, located at 228 Dundee Ave. The building was once a Jewish Synagogue and features many Historical artifacts from all periods of Pettis County history.

Entertainer is Heard on the Streets of Sarasota at the Outdoor Setting of the Crab and Fin

David offers a lesson on playing the music of Scott Joplin in the enclosed video. He explains how the notes tied over the measure are of the essence. Of course, playing ragtime requires a beautiful tone. All three of the ragtime giants described above were classically trained. Ideally, any serious player of ragtime should have had  such training. Without the production of nice tone, any music can become vulgar. David studied with Mischa Kottler at Wayne State University. He holds a Master of Music degree.  Kottler,then  head of the piano department at Wayne, believed that it took about one full year to develop a correct approach to touch and  beautiful tone.  David now offers piano lessons in Sarasota to this end. In the meanwhile, be entertained by David’s version of The Entertainer. 

Tips on playing ragtime.

Posted by DSO Works on Saturday, May 27, 2017

proper musical rendition

Proper Musical Rendition Has Multiple Choices

Proper Musical Rendition Has Multiple Choices. For this blog I reference one of my favorite books, Inside Music by Karl Haas. Karl Haas (December 6, 1913 – February 6, 2005) was a German-American classical music radio host, known for his sonorous speaking voice, humanistic approach to music appreciation, and popularization of classical music.[1] He was the host of the classical music radio program Adventures in Good Music, which was syndicated to commercial and public radio stations around the world.[2] He also published the book Inside Music.[3] I grew up in Detroit. Karl Haas was one of the Detroit’s musical luminaries. When I started to play the piano at age 11, I composed a piano concerto in Eb minor (six flats). Also, at my 1st year piano recital I played the entire Moonlight Sonata by Beethoven from memory. I still play it at on St Armand’s Circle at the Crab and Fin Restaurant. See events on DSOworks.

After this initial start, my father then took me to Karl Haas for an interview. Haas was giving  some piano lessons to a few students. He was getting busy with his radio program on WJR in Detroit so he recommended that I go to Mischa Kottler.  Kottler was the head of the piano department at Wayne State University.  I also began a 20 year association with Rubinoff and his Violin through the college. Here’s how it happened: I had just completed a piano lesson with Mischa . Mischa had his studio next door to the Liberal Arts Music Office.  Rubinoff called the office as a was walking past. He was looking for an accompanist/arranger. Professor Morris Hochberg summoned me in to talk with Rubinoff. The rest is history.

By special request, here is a story about Rubinoff And His Violin – The Fascination Waltz (1905) and how he approached the music with style and finesse.

Posted by DSO Works on Sunday, May 28, 2017

Proper Musical Rendition and Rubinoff and His Violin

Karl Haas  states in Inside Music that a performer must always question the validity of the “subjective tastes of the editor.” That even applies to fingering. He tells a story about studying a Beethoven Sonata under the guidance of famed German pianist Artur Schnabel. Karl found the fingering extremely difficult that Schnabel penciled into the score. On questioning Schnabel, he  replied: the fingering was simply ” a prompter to try ways by yourself in order to find the one best suited to your digital needs.”

Rubinoff both questioned and interpreted music in countless ways. Typically he would try difference rhythms, as I explain in the youtube video. He would change phrasing: Which notes to emphasize, or which to drop off on. The point is, the public loved his interpretations. If the proof of the pudding is in the tasting, his pudding was great. Some years in the 1930’s he could make $500,000.00.

Conclusion: Success in music, as well as in in other disciplines, is based on questioning and analyzing the subject at hand in great depth for proper musical rendition.

 

 

piano accompanying of a singer is quite different than an oboist

Piano Accompanying from Singers to Oboe Players

Piano Accompanying from Singers to Oboe Players. Talk about maximum contrast. A competent accompanist needs to be like a chameleon. Chameleons or chamaeleons (family Chamaeleonidae) are a distinctive and highly specialized clade of Old World lizards with 202 species described as of June 2015.[1] These species come in a range of colors, and many species have the ability to change color. Likewise, a good accompanist must have the ability to change styles like a chameleon changes color. This, of course, depends on who he’s accompanying. I have been fortunate to work with oboist Edmund DeMattia.  He is an incredible oboe player and conductor. He is also  into his 80’s. I have been receiving a wealth of much needed knowledge from him. Among his accomplishments:

Oboj.jpg piano accompanying
This humble, quiet looking instrument can be quite powerful,Much more than most singers.

 

  • 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.

Ed and I are rehearsing regularly for an upcoming concert. We will do well known and established works for oboe.  My wife,  Sharon Ohrenstein, will also sing. Much of our music is original. I write the music. Shes does the lyrics. However, I must mention, Ed will also be performing also be playing one of my original works. It is called the Iguana Farm. Audiences go wild over it.

I will be piano accompanying for my oboe music called Iguana Farm
An real, genuine Iguana farm

Now here’s the difference between the voice and the oboe:

Piano Accompanying for Singers

  • Singers need  more of a background accompaniment. It is essential that lyrics be heard. Use the soft pedal on the piano. When music is marked forte, bring it down to mezz0 piano. If something is marked mezzo piano, bring it down to pianissimo, etc.
  • When the singer is tacit in  a piano solo section, then release your soft pedal. Play it full out.

Piano Accompanying for Oboe Players

Ed tells me “I need a full sound.” There is no concert band with us. We do not have 50 players. You are the only one. Contrary to the singer,  when the music is marked mezzo forte, play it full forte. When it is full forte, play it doubly loud. The bass must always be strong and solid, even with syncopated passages in the treble. Without these directions, the music can easily turn to chaos.

I have been so fortunate to work with experienced older musicians. (1) Piano lessons with Mischa Kottler (2) Accompanist to world renowned violinist, David Rubinoff (3) Work with Edmund DeMattia. I’ve continually built on my Master of Music degree from Wayne State University. Since I myself am becoming older, I wish to keep the tradition going.  I offer piano lessons in Sarasota; but for those who are interested the possibility of a career. Our concert date and place will be announced shortly.

 

Learning piano with the Best Piano Instructor, Mischa Kottler

Learning Piano With Mischa Kottler Thanks to My Dad

Learning Piano With Mischa Kottler Thanks to My Dad. This blog is in memory of my father. Much of the content will be in my eulogy for my father, Bernard Ohrenstein. He just passed away at age 97.  Dad was from Poland. He was a survivor from four years in the camps.

Learning piano with Mischa Kottler thanks to my father.
My father, Bernard Ohrenstein, saw to it that I studied with the best piano instructor, Mischa Kottler.

My father saw I had a flare for piano and composing. This was at age 11. He did everything possible to nurture that. I began composing as soon as we got the piano. He arranged for a solo concert of my eastern European flavored music at the local synagogue in Detroit. I was 12 years old when I played the concert.  Later that year wrote a musical play. He arranged for a presentation with renowned Detroit Mi  and Louisville Ky cantor,  Joseph Birnholtz.  I had been studying piano with a Mrs. Foster. At my 1st year recital I played the entire Moonlight Sonata by Beethoven from memory.

Learning Piano With Mischa Kottler

Dad then took me to the best, Mischa Kottler.  Mischa was  considered the finest teacher and prima piano player of Detroit. He headed the piano department at Wayne State University. He was the official pianist of the Detroit Symphony. He had his own radio program with WJR, On it, he played a different program every Sunday. My father paid for my college education and piano lessons with Mischa.

Minute Waltz (Mischa Kottler Version) – YouTube

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aziJb4KAcwA
Dec 28, 2013 – Uploaded by Joseph Beels
It gets better: When 1st accepted by Mischa, you were placed on a waiting list. Lessons could even be 2 months apart. So what did my father do?  Being a jeweler, he made a solid gold ring. He then sent the ring to Italy to finest craftsman. The head of Beethoven was carved  intaglio on a sardonyx stone.   Beethoven was set into the ring.  My father’s plan worked. I got regular piano lessons. Mischa wore the ring at every concert he gave. It was his pride and joy.  So what came of my learning piano with Mischa?
  • Even at my current age, I play six nights weekly at the Gasparilla Inn. There, I’ve entertained two American Presidents. Guests have also included members of the British House of Lords. I am currently completing my 8th year.
  • I married a wonderful book writer-lyricist, Sharon Ohrenstein. Together, we write and produce shows. Below are short youtube samples. They are from our newest show entitled, Golden Roads. Thanks to my dad (and mom, of course) I’ve had a wonderful life filled with love and music. My advise to parents with children: Do any of the following: Give them piano lessons. Teach them to sing; or, to play any other instrument. Joy for everyone will follow. Feel free to share this with friends.
Learning piano with the Best Piano Instructor, Mischa Kottler

Mischa Kottler Student Endures on the Piano

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 MischaFinally, I went to Mischa Kottler. He is a brief description of him in Keyboard Magazine by one of his students student.

Haas suggested I become a Mischa Kottler student
Karl Haas also Referred Me to Mischa Kottler

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.

As a Mischa Kottler student, I am proud to play at Boca Grande at the Gasparilla Inn for my 8th season
My piano playing has continuously taken me to the finest locations thanks to Mischa Kottler
Learning piano with the Best Piano Instructor, Mischa Kottler

Happiest Unplanned Moment of My Life and Mischa Kottler

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.

Many of My Happiest moments were my piano lessons with Mischa Kottler
I studied with Mischa in Detroit from age 14. The same year I was ready to go to college, he was appointed head of the piano department at Wayne State University. I studied with him through my Master’s Degree.

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.

Mischa with our children in one of our happiest moments
Certainly, Mischa knew more piano concertos than I had children!

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.

Where to stay for the happiest moments of your life!
The Gasparilla Inn.

 

Chopinesque also includes baroque techniques

Chopinesque Includes a Love of J.S. Bach

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
  • English Suites
  • French Suites
  • Miscellaneous suites
  • 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.

Where you may hear the Chopinesque playing of David Ohrenstein
Home of a magnificent just rebuilt vintage Steinway Grand from the 1920’s. Larry Keckler, a master technician, just rebuilt it. David plays here 6 nights weekly starting Dec, 20th.
Relaxation is Now as Close as Your CD Player.

Relaxation By Listening to Our Music for Dancing

Relaxation By Listening to Our Music for Dancing. Sharon, myself (David) and family lived for about 15 long summer seasons in New York’s Catskill Mountains. Ballroom dancing took place every evening. Before the evening fun, classes were given at various times of the day on the dancing styles.Guest artists gave demonstrations before the festivities began at 7:00 pm. People literally decked themselves out “to the max” at nightfall.  I was part of “The Lakeshore Four” For years they included:

  • “Scotty” with vocals and on drums
  • Gary Holdridge on vocals and the organ
  • Ronnie Drumm on the trumpet
  • Myself, David, on the piano.
  • We often had a guest singer (Chuck Williamson) and sometimes other instrumentalists.
Relaxation by Dancing or Simply Listening
Our Daughter Has Her Picture on Our New Ballroom Dancing CD. It is available by the song or Album. Free Samplings on our front page banner of DSOworks.com

FOR RELAXATION WHY NOT TRY BALLROOM DANCING?

For years in season this went on 7 nights weekly for 5 months straight! Where can musicians get such employment today?  In this regard, I’m lucky I had a wonderful piano instructor, Mischa Kottler.  He showed me how to play so as to avoid injuries   (Currently am offering piano lessons in Sarasota to pass on his knowledge).  Oquaga Lake was a special for relaxation.  I wrote most of the music for our ballroom dancing CD at Scotts. Sharon had the time our fabulous instrumental arrangements for the CD. I was also inspired to write a book of poetry. I sense that an Indian spirit from the Lennie Lenape tribe dictated the poems. At one time one of their tribes lived around the lake. It is also available as a product on DSOworks.com. Indeed, many creative artists were inspired by the Catskills. Irving Berlin had a home at Lou Beach about 50 miles down the road. Washington Irving (April 3, 1783 – November 28, 1859) wrote in the Catskills. He was an American short story writer, essayist, biographer, historian, and diplomat of the early 19th century. He is best known for his short storiesRip Van Winkle” (1819) and “The Legend of Sleepy Hollow” (1820), both of which appear in his book The Sketch Book of Geoffrey Crayon, Gent.  The Catskills is simply wonderful for creativiity and the simple life. I, for one, hope it makes a comeback. Beautiful is now chic.

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