Lecture magic in Circleville, Ohio

Lecture Magic for Me in Circleville Thanks to Rubinoff

Lecture Magic for Me in Circleville Thanks to Rubinoff and His Violin. Life can spin out of control. Sometimes this can be in  wonderful ways. Sometimes events can spin badly.  In Circleville it was very good. First, I will define key words in this blog. First word to define  is Circleville, Ohio. The featured picture was taken at the lectern in the auditorium at Circleville High School.  Date was June 2, 2018. A concert honoring Rubinoff and His Violin was about to take place.  I am standing at the podium for two reasons;

  1. To give a lecture. It covered high points of my 15 year association with Rubinoff and His Violin.
  2. I will be performing on the piano. My position will be to accompany violin maestro Steven Greenman. We were set to play several arrangements I made with Rubinoff.

Also included was a 28 piece high powered orchestra. Assembled for the performance were top instructors. They were  from leading musical programs at top universities around Ohio. This performance was the vision of the conductor, Joseph Rubin. He is also the curator of the Ted Lewis Museum in Circleville. Please keep checking my posts. Samples and segments from the concert will soon be available on youtube.

Image result for Pictures from the Ted Lewis Museum in Circleville, Ohio
With his trademark battered top hat and clarinet, Circleville’s own Ted Lewis drew standing room only houses. He sold millions of records He starred in every entertainment medium from Vaudeville to Television. His career spanned five decades.

Lecture Magic in Circleville, Ohio

So what’s magical about this concert? An element of the mystical is found in the very town of Circleville. The city’s name is derived from its original layout. It was created in 1810 within the 1,100 ft (340 m) diameter of a circle. Many future blogs will be appearing about this  1100 foot diameter. It will illustrate a connection to prehistoric cultures. The Hopewell tradition earthwork dates back to the early centuries of the Common Era.

Dave loved the American Indian tradition. I specify this in my lecture magic. He, like many Europeans, was enchanted by Indian ways and wisdom. The decor of both of his homes amply illustrate this great love. It is most fitting  that he will be honored at the Ted Lewis Museum. Ted was from Circleville. The Museum is actually almost directly across the street from his residence. I had a personalized museum  tour. Wow!

Image result for picture of the Ted Lewis Museum in Circleville
#1 spot in American to visit if you love music!

Here are some internal links.  They will  illustrate connections between Rubinoff and His Violin and myself. There are many more posts on DSOworks on this subject. Feel free to explore them. Dave became enormously wealthy playing the violin and conducting. This was throughout the Great Depression.  His annual income was as high as $500,000.00.

Rubinoff and His Violin Sort of Was My Grandfather – DSO Works

Will Rogers and Rubinoff and His Violin- My Story – DSO Works

Lots of exciting posts are in the making. The fun has just begun. Please feel free to share this.

Ted Lewis Musical Museum

Musical Museum Sponsors Memorable Concert

Musical Museum Sponsors Memorable Concert under the Baton of Maestro Joseph Rubin. Oh my gosh. I now have a tiny place in the Ted Lewis Big Band Museum.  In the featured picture, I am in the lower right corner standing with Rubinoff. What is the basis for this claim to fame? I worked with David Rubinoff and His Violin for some 15 years. My capacity was as his arranger and accompanist. Maestro Rubin read one of my Rubinoff posts. They are on DSOworks.com. He contacted me to be a part of a Rubinoff commemoration concert. The concert was June 2, 2018. Steven Greenman was the distinguished violin soloist.

The photo below of Rubinoff and myself was taken in concert in 1984. Dave was 86 years of age. Our entire concert is below the picture on youtube. Just click on it. In his heyday, Dave was a national phenomenon. This was to the tune of as much as $500,000.00 annually in the 1930’s. Serious musicians (those who only played classical) were envious. However, the point is, whatever Dave touched was superbly played. Many examples of him are now posted on youtube. Many of these show him playing at his peak. Also below is an internal link with a “Rubinoff” story.

commemorative concert to be given in Circleville, Ohio
Dave Rubinoff and myself after a concert at Scott’s Oquaga Lake House in the Catskills in 1984. The youtube of the concert is below.

 44:13
 Lost Concert “Rubinoff and His Violin” on Oquaga Lake, 1984
Lesley & Ohrenstein
1.2K view

Violin Cases Create a Sensation for Rubinoff – DSO Works–  Here is an internal link with a typical Rubinoff Story

Musical Museum is a Must to Visit

Image result for picture of the Ted Lewis Museum in Circleville

Ted Lewis’ band was second only to the Paul Whiteman band in popularity during the 1920s.   Paul Whiteman led a usually large ensemble and explored many styles of music.  He blended symphonic music and jazz.  An example was his debut of Rhapsody in Blue by George Gershwin.[3] Many say Ted Lewis played more real jazz than Whiteman. This is especially true with Ted’s recordings of the late 1920’s. American history at the musical museum is quite rich. Much is in the works on DSOworks.com. Keep watching.

new artistic cycle forecasted by Rossini

New Artistic Cycle as per Rossini in 1868

New Artistic Cycle as per Rossini in 1868.  His words apply to now. I  thus begin this blog with the quote by opera composer, G.Rossini.  It is from his  letter dated June 21, 1868. It states: ” Delight must be the basis and aim of this art. Simple melody-clear rhythm.” My source is Serious Music-and All That Jazz. It was written by Henry Pleasants. He contributed articles on European musical events to The New York Times. He also wrote regularly for Opera Quarterly.  He alsowas London editor for the magazine Stereo Review. He also was the London music critic for the International Herald Tribune.

Pleasants contributed articles on European musical events to The New York Times. He wrote regularly for Opera Quarterly.   In addition, he was London editor for the magazine Stereo Review.  For 30 years, beginning in 1967, was the London music critic for the International Herald Tribune.

I, blogger, David, just gave a concert at under the sponsorship of the Ted Lewis Museum. I am also a composer of opera. My book writer and lyricist is my wife, Sharon. Our opera, to be announced, uses melody in a big way. Rhythm, of course, must always be solid . However, in our opera it will take a back seat to memorable melodies.

Check out the internal link right below. I worked with Rubinoff for 15 years. Rubinoff and His Violin made up to $500,000.00 yearly in the 1930’s. His secret was playing beautiful melody  better than anyone else.  Yes, “There’s gold in them thar hills”

Ted Lewis Museum Paves the Way for Melody’s Big Return – DSO Works

 

Henry Pleasants
American music critic Henry Pleasants.jpg
BornMay 12, 1910
Wayne, Pennsylvania
DiedJanuary 4, 2000 (aged 89)
London, England
NationalityAmerican, British
OccupationSpymusic critic

Henry Pleasants (May 12, 1910 – January 4, 2000) was an American music critic and intelligence officer.

New Artistic Cycle Foreshadowed in Another Quote

Pleasants relates a 2nd applicable quote. Joseph Addison wrote the following the The Spectator. It is dated April 3, 1711: ...Taste is not to conform to the art, but art to the taste. The public is longing for what is beautiful. As stated in the lyrics found in the musical ‘ Ain’t Misbehavin:

Find out what they like, and how they like it, and let him have it just that way
Give them what they want, and when they want it, without a single word to say

Three cheers for melody!

Monstrous pianos have replaced earlier instruments.

Monstrous Pianos Replace Early Keyboard Instruments

Monstrous Pianos Replace Early Keyboard Instruments. The title of this blog poses a basic questions: How does a pianist interpret the music of composers who lived before 1850?  Or, expressed another way: How do we stay true to the intentions of composers who lived in this time period? In part this will be answered by the desciption of a concert I gave as pianist for a world renowned violinist. First, how does a harpsichord produce sound? A harpsichord is a musical instrument played by means of a keyboard which activates a row of levers that in turn trigger a mechanism that plucks one or more strings with a small plectrum. The harpsichord can produce a specific louder sound. This happens when a coupler joins each key to both manuals of a two-manual harpsichord.  However, it offers no dynamic or accent-based expressive control over each note.

How does a modern piano produce its sound? By strings being struck by the action of hammers.  Loudness of every tone can controlled by the fingers hitting the keys that activate the hammers. The more force you employ, the louder the sound. The tones produced can be blended and amplified by a foot pedal. However, here is the primary pitfall: Unless the pianist is incredibly precise in hitting  notes exactly together, the piano pedal merely amplifies his imprecision.

Steinway grand piano in the White House

I worked for 15 years with a violinist whose accompanists used the pictured piano above. My capacity was as his arranger and accompanist.  His stage name was Rubinoff and His Violin. He played for 5 American Presidents. I’ve played for only two up to this point. I just commemorated his memory in a concert at Circleville, Ohio this last June 2, 2018.  In the 1930’s Dave made as much as $500,000.00 annually as violinist and conductor.  For my own last concert, Maestro Steve Greenman was the featured violinist. Joseph Rubin is the curator of the Ted Lewis Museum.  He also  conducted the orchestra. As  mentioned in the poster, I also gave a featured lecture about our working relationship.  More concerts with Maestro Greenman are in the making. Announcements will be forthcoming.

Rubinoff and His Violin Archives – DSO Works

Image result for picture of Rubinoff concert on poster from Ted Lewis Museum on June 2, 2018
Rubinoff’s popularity as a violinist in the 1930’s was unparalleled in America up to that time
Image result for picture of Rubinoff concert on poster from Ted Lewis Museum on June 2, 2018
Myself seated at the grand.

No Monstrous Pianos for Rubinoff and His Violin

I brought the concert into the blog because Rubinoff was very specific about the touch he wanted. Rests had to be observed. His notated rests were not to be covered by a piano pedal. Often, he required a slightly detached and lighter  touch, like a harpsichord. However, at times the piano had to roar- like the monstrous pianos. Hear our most rare and lost concert below. Rubinoff and I gave it in the Catskill Mountains of New York State in 1984. He was 86 years of age, As he talks to the audience, you’ll become acquainted with a great man.  Also, please read the related Rubinoff blogs on DSOworks.com. You’ll see how Will Rogers helped to shape his incredible career. Dave loved the American Indians. I believe that in  turn Will,  who identified with the Cherokee Nation, helped him.

Lost Concert “Rubinoff and His Violin” on Oquaga Lake, 1984 – YouTube

 

 

commemorative concert to be given in Circleville, Ohio

Commemoration Concert for Rubinoff and His Violin

Commemoration Concert for David Rubinoff and His Violin. Musical history is about to be made. I, David, worked with Rubinoff and His Violin for decades. He passed away in 1986. Dave felt that our arrangement of the Fiddler on the Roof was the best arrangement made in his entire life. It was  a “100-proof” standing ovation elixir.  On Saturday, June 2, a great virtuoso violinist will and I will perform a special dedication to David Rubinoff.  He and I will perform the Rubinoff Fiddler on the Roof. Rubinoff was regular conductor and soloist at the Paramount in New York City. Rudy Vallee saw him.  As a result, he signed a contract with the Cantor show. During his career, Mr. Rubinoff performed at the White House for Presidents Hoover, Roosevelt, Eisenhower and Kennedy. During the Great Depression years, Mr Rubinoff made as much as $500,000.00 annually conducting and playing the violin. The American public needed music that heals. David gave them what they needed.

Image result for pictures of Rubinoff on DSOworks.com
A poor Russian as a youth, little David acquired riches
and fame through his mastery of the  violin.

Here is what is particularly fun for me: Rubinoff and I worked an entire summer season on our own specical arrangement of the Fiddler on the Roof.  Now, over 30 years later it will get a new life! Maestro Greenman once played a another arrangement of the work. He was violin soloist with the Energy Corridor Houston Orchestra (ECHO). This was on Friday October 21st, 2016. Steven collaborated collaborating with his good friend, the conductor/violinist Michael Fahey.  For the ECHO performance he played”Theme from Schindler’s List” and “Fiddler on the Roof”, arranged by John Williams. With great anticipation, I am looking forward to seeing which arrangement the Maestro and our concert audience prefers. Also, I will give a  special presentation about my association with Dave. The distingusihed orchestral conductor will be maestro Joseph Rubin. He is also the curator of the Ted Lewis Museum in Circleville Ohio.

Maestro Rubin will conduct the orchestra at the Rubinoff commemoration concert
A very happy event under the baton of Maestro Joseph Rubin.

The Commemoration Concert

Tickets will be available in March. The internal links below give more information and samples  Rubinoff and His Violin. This once in a lifetime concert should not be missed!   It will be held at  Circleville High School  in the auditorium. See you at our commemoration concert. – David.

Commemoration Concert for 6/2/18.
Violinist Steven Greenman in Krakow, Poland

Steven Greenman was described by the Washington Post as “particularly impressive.”  “Extraordinary” was the term usedby the Pittsburgh Post Gazette. Steven Greenman is a multi-talented musical artist. He is equally adept at performing stunning solo violin works with symphony orchestras. Furthermore, he performs soulful East European Jewish folk music (klezmer music). He is also at home with passionate East European Romani (Gypsy) music.

Forgiving Audience for Rubinoff and His Violin – DSO Works

Riches Come from “Dance of the Russian Peasant”

 

 

First impressions are the longest lasting.

First Impressions are Long Lasting. Here’s Why

First Impressions are Long Lasting Here’s Why. Over some 15 years I toured with Rubinoff and His Violin. I served his pianist and arranger. Two questions beg to be answered. What was His Violin? What is an arranger? His violin was the Romanoff Stradivarius.  A Stradivarius violin could be worth hundreds of thousands to several million U.S. dollars .[8] The 1697 “Molitor[9]  was once rumored to have belonged to Napoleon. It sold  in 2010 at Tarisio Auctions for $3,600,000. It was, at the time, a world record.[10][11]

Next, what is a musical arranger? It is best described by means of a story. A man walks by a pet shop. It was Summer. The doors were open. He hears this unbelievably beautiful singing coming from a canary inside the shop. He asks the pet ship owner: How much is that songbird? I think I would like to buy her. The owner replies, “She’s five dollars.” The man exclaims, “Wow.  Only five dollars. I think I’ll buy her”. The pet ship owner answers: “Not so fast. Do you see that ugly, scraggly, looking bird over there?” The man replies, “Yes.”The owner replies: “When you buy her you have to buy him. And… he’s $100.00.”  The man is shocked: “Why would I want him for $100.00 when I can just have her for $5.00? The pet store owner replies: “He’s the arranger.”

Even a canary in a cage needs a good arranger!
An good arranger can be paid more than a prima donna.

An arranger sets the musical context for a melody. It can be compared to the background around a subject of a painting. With the canary story, first impressions were wrong. In the joke (based on truth) she needed the arranger to showcase her voice.

First Impressions Can be Lasting Impressions for Children

This internal link immediately below has Rubinoff and I playing in New York in the Catskills at Scott’s Oquaga Lake House. He was 86 years of age at the time. Its link is connected to connected to Youtube.  It is called, Lost Concert  Found.

Music Transforms Especially in Difficult Times – DSO Works

Rubinoff and I played a number of school functions. One was for the chamber orchestra at a middle school in Venice, Florida. I must say they couldn’t  have cared less for his Stradivarius violin. That was because he carried the violin in a genuine alligator skin violin case. It was made in Germany. It had all of the original fins. Of course, that would impress any child! Please share with friends. My upcoming concert commemorating Rubinoff will be in Circleville, Ohio on this June 2nd. Click on all events for details.  Hope to see you there. And yes, I have one or two openings for piano students in Sarasota.

« All Events

First impressions are lasting impressions
Rubinoff played for children of all ages thanks to John Phillip Sousa and the United States State Department.
Violin cases created a sensation

Violin Cases Create a Sensation for Rubinoff

Violin cases created a sensation for Rubinoff. I (blogger David) will be giving a lecture and concert about a composer/conductor/violinist and Hollywood Movie star I worked with. The date is June 2, 2018. It will be at the High School in Circleville ,Ohio. His stage name was Rubinoff and His Violin. He had a talent for being sensational. Even with violin cases.  He made a fortune conducting and playing violin: As much as $500,000.00 annually. Wealth came to him at the peak of the Great Depression. So what made him rich? Two internal links are below will explain his rise to fame. The 1st is about the upcoming Circleville, Ohio festivities that will honor him.  Click on the 2nd for a youtube sample of Rubinoff of how Rubinoff dazzled Hollywood.  His violin wizardry speaks for itself.

Image result for pictures of Rubinoff on DSOworks.comA poor Russian as a youth, he acquired riches and fame through mastery of the  violin.

Commemoration Concert for Rubinoff and His Violin – DSO Works

Rubinoff and His Violin Concert – June 2, 2018 – YouTube

(also click on Rubinoff and His Violin youtube, The Music Shop. You will see the official seal of the Russian empire in diamonds and rubies on the crest of the violin. Dave plays “Flight of the Bumblebee.”)

 violin cases can also hide things other than violins.
A street gang thought Rubinoff’s  older violin case was hiding a machine gun- not a Stradivarius! They carefully avoided us.

Story I –  How Violin Cases Saves Us From Harm

We’d go to a deli for lunch. It was a blustery wintry day. Dave was wearing a godfather coat and hat. He was so preoccupied humming a tune, he didn’t even bother buttoning the coat. This particular violin case was in sad shape. Yet, it held a 2 million dollar Stradivarius. I saw a gang of about 12 young men walking toward us. At that time they were about 1½ blocks away. As soon as they noticed the violin case, the entire gang jay walked across the street to avoid us. Most likely, they thought Rubinoff looked like an old hit man that never got hit.

Story II- The 2nd of the Violin Cases Was an Alligator Skin

Until his last year Dave and I played school assemblies for children in the public schools. One was a performance for a chamber orchestra in the Venice, Fl Public Schools. When we made our entrance, everyone was taken by the alligator violin case. Some children could have cared less about the priceless violin. For them, the case said it all. To relive those days in Circleville is priceless. Buy your tickets now!

Changing Musical Focus inspired by Jeorge Bolet

Changing Musical Focus is About What’s Coming

Changing Musical Focus is About What’s Coming. Musical styles have come in set periods of time. For success, go with the flow. Why? In the sage words of Henry David Thoreau:

” I have yet to hear the first syllable of valuable or even earnest advice from my seniors. They have told me nothing, and probably cannot tell me anything to the purpose.”  Or as he also states in Walden, “Old deeds for old people, and new deeds for new.”

Carve your own path. This is what pianist Jeorge Bolet did. Jorge Bolet (November 15, 1914 – October 16, 1990) was a Cuban-born American virtuoso pianist and teacher. Among his teachers were Leopold Godowsky, and Moriz Rosenthal.  Roenthal was a pupil of Franz Liszt.[1]Bolet was born in Havana.   He studied at the Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia.

Consider this reference found in David Dubal’s book. It is entitled Reflections from the Keyboard.  In Bolet’s words: “Today’s audiences go to the concert hall, to hear Beethoven, Schubert and Brahms…” Then Bolet goes on to state that  the last generation “went to hear what the pianist had to say about the composer.” Thus, we not only idolized the composer, we did the same for the pianist.

I was fortunate that my own piano teacher, Mischa Kottler belonged to the same vintage.  He studied with Alfred Cortot and Emil von Sauer. The old school of pianists were not only musicians. They were also magicians. They would take you on a  “magic carpet ride” with their piano playing.

Related image
Myself, blogger David, in concert in New York with Rubinoff and His Violin

 

Changing Musical Focus and Back to the Old School

Mischa Kottler- A Visit By the Legendary Piano Instructor – DSO Works

To see what the old school was all about, click on this internal link. Mischa plays Chopin’s Minute Waltz in doubled notes. Everywhere, audiences went wild at this feat. The link also documents and describes his visit at age 92 to our family. Thanks to Mischa. and other great men I worked with, including Rubinoff and His Violin,  my own career as pianist/composer only now starting to reach a pinnacle. Check on events on DSOworks.com.

Minute Waltz (Mischa Kottler Version) – YouTube

Video for mISCHA kOTTLER PLAYS cHOPINS MINUTE WALTZ

In conclusion. Jeorge Bolet comments how today many are not interested in the musician. He states that he had often gone to all Beethoven concerts. Many pianists had been quite dull. Yet the audience applauded wildly. He states:  “In a sense, the audience is applauding for itself being there.” I believe that those days are about to go, bye-bye.

 

Rubinoff concert is shaping up

Riches Come from “Dance of the Russian Peasant”

Riches Come  from “Dance of the Russian Peasant”. Rags to riches refers to any situation in which a person rises from poverty to wealth.  In some cases from absolute obscurity to heights of fame. With this blog both wealth and fame happen. This is a common archetype in literature and popular culture. Examples are in the writings of Horatio Alger, Jr.

Rags to Riches is Exemplified by a Violinist!

The featured picture places the meaning of the title on a silver platter. The story you are about to read is touching. Anyone struggling, poor or victimized by discrimination can identify with it.

Riches came to Rubinoff and His Violin, They were partners.
Rubinoff’s posh Suite at the Leland House. We worked together on musical arrangements for years.

The Rags to Riches Story

A violinist reached an income level of  $500,000/year in the 1930’s. That was during the heighth of the Great Depression. His name was David Rubinoff. Dave’s childhood was dramatically poor. It was recorded by his wife, Dame Darlene Rubinoff. Her book is called, The Dance of the Russian Peasant. I, David Ohrenstein, was his arranger and accompanist for over 15 years. Currently guests hear my piano playing 6 nights weekly. This is on the isle of Boca Grande, Fl. It is on a newly rebuilt Steinway. Location is at the world renowned Gasparilla Inn. Dave Rubinoff dictated his entire book to wife, Dame Darlene. Since he spoke broken English, at best, she edited his words.

Image result for pictures of Rubinoff on DSOworks.com
A poor Russian as a youth, little David acquired riches and fame through his violin.

“Paderewski was Headmaster of the Warsaw conservatory. He later became premier of Poland. Professor Leopold Auer was headmaster of the violin department. He taught such greats as Heifetz and Zimbalist.

We had no time for play. Everything was work, study, practice, and practice some more. Professor Dressnor was working with me. He hit my fingers with his bow.”Wrong, wrong!” he said, loudly. I started to play the passage again and he hit my fingers.  “But I did not play it yet”, I said dejectedly.

“Never mind. It would have been wrong anyway!”, he said loudly. I vowed that for my graduation I would play something so difficult, that no one could play it but me. I filled it with difficult passages my professor would not be able to play.” As a result, Dave Rubinoff wrote “Dance of the Russian Peasant.” This personal fire stayed with Rubinoff throughout his life.

Best news of all. I will be honoring my mentor, Dave Rubinoff 30 some years after his passing away. This will be on June 2, 2018 at the new Ted Lewis Museum. It is in Circleville, Ohio. Included will be our arrangements. I will play them with famed violinist, Steven Greenman. The orchestral conductor will be maestro Joseph Rubin. Afterwards I will lecture about our association. To find the particulars, visit the Ted Lewis Museum on line. Do not miss this inspiring all-American event.

Rubinoff and his Violin – Dance of the Russian Peasant – YouTube

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h_wn9SfNdp4

 

Mar 28, 2008 – Uploaded by Rudder3218

Rubinoff in concert at the White House. This Violin solo by Rubinoff – Dance of the Russian Peasant is a …

 

 

 

 

 

Banned Music was part of the politics

Banned Music in Old Russia is Featured Our Operetta

Banned Music in  Old Russia is Featured Our Operetta. Wife Sharon and myself (David) wrote a musical.  Once titled Elizabeth of Russia.  Half Peasant – Half Royal is the new name.  We had a marvelous costumed staged reading in Sarasota Florida at the Players Theater.  Below are YouTube videos: The entire cast sings the Drinking Song  (since,more universal lyrics have been penned).  In 1740, ethnic Russian music was banned from court.  As an act of rebellion against the ruling regime, Elizabeth brings in the following entertainment:  The Dance of the Cossacks – performed by principle dancers from the Sarasota Ballet.  And, Dance of The Russian Peasant played on a Stradivarius flown in from Houston.  The link below has composer Rubinoff and his Violin playing that piece.  Sharon wrote the book and lyrics. I wrote the music.  It is copyrighted.

Elizabeth of Russia – Drinking Song – YouTube

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ymHT-2qiPEc
Dec 17, 2007 – Uploaded by Rudder3218

Lesley and Ohrenstein’s Elizabeth of Russia follows in the tradition of the great Broadway hits South Pacific …

Elizabeth of Russia – Dance of the Cossacks – YouTube

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rrnpBQEA9FgÊ
Sep 4, 2007 – Uploaded by Rudder3218

Lesley and Ohrenstein’s Elizabeth of Russia follows in the tradition of the great Broadway hits South Pacific …

But first, with regards to the featured medallion picture:   This medallion is dated and signed on the back by Gregory Musikiiskii, the first Russian painter of portrait miniatures. It can be compared to an earlier enamel painting of Peter the Great with his family, now in the Hermitage Museum, Saint Petersburg, executed by the same artists in 1717. Here, the Russian emperor is depicted together with his wife Catherine, his three daughters Anna, Elizabeth (the future empress and subject of our musical. She is reclining on  her mother.) and Natalia, and his grandson Peter (the future Peter II). Musikiiskii was transferred from the Moscow Kremlin Armory to St. Petersburg to work for the court of Peter the Great, the founder of modern Russia.

What About the Banned Music in Old Russia?

Our new title unravels and hopefully will solve the problems we had with our production.  Elizabeth of Russia, in fact, was half peasant and half royal. She fell in love with a peasant. He was reputed to have one of the most magnificent singing voices in Russia at the time. Unfortunately, the combination of the two together made them 3/4 peasant and 1/4 royal. So what was the problem with Russian secular music?

  • Early czars considered secular music to be a highly suspicious activity. Weapons could easily be hidden in instrumental cases.
  • Thus, no musical instruments of any sort were allowed in church or at court.
  • They instructed peasants to stop singing folk songs. Common people, of course, are the source of folk songs.
  • Troubadours (travelling minstrel singers) were forbidden in old Russia. The czars worried that they would sing seditious songs.
  • Thus, for the ruling elite, the act of Elizabeth falling in love with  “lowborn peasant singer” was unacceptable.

In violation of the above, a case enclosed an authentic Stradivarius violin is brought and is played on stage at a court party.  It has the official crest of the Russian empire. It is set with diamonds and rubies.  The theatrical audience went wild with excitement.  How did we come by it? I worked with Rubinoff and His Violin. His widow, Dame Darlene Rubinoff, flew the violin from Houston. It was the Stradivarius that had previously belonged to Czar Nicholas II. Now for the first time, enjoy Rubinoff himself playing his featured violin solo, Dance of the Russian Peasant. Pictures in this youtube background highlight both his life and his friendship with Sharon and myself. Feel free to share this special post with with friends. We are looking to do a full production.

Rubinoff and his Violin – Dance of the Russian Peasant – YouTube

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h_wn9SfNdp4