Johannes Brahms Arch Romanticist

Low Living High Thinking Characterizes Johannes Brahms

Low Living High Thinking Johannes Brahms. I think the featured picture of Brahms portrays his humility and kindness. Johannes Brahms (* 7 May 1833 in Hamburg , † 3. April 1897 in Vienna ) was a German composer , pianist and conductor whose compositions mainly of high romance from the Romantic Era of classical music. In the Romantic period, music became more expressive and emotional, expanding to encompass literary, artistic, and philosophical themes. Famous composers from the second half of the century include Johann Strauss II, Brahms, Liszt, Tchaikovsky, Verdi, and Wagner. Brahms is one of the most important composers of the second half of the 19th century. He was born in Hamburg on May 7, 1833. His masterful of use of counterpoint with beautiful melody are unequaled.

I’ve been practicing the six numbers of opus 118. Very seldom does he change a time signature in any one of these numbers.  However, like Chopin, he often changes meter within the context of the music. Thus both Brahms and Chopin would write in 3/4. But the feeling of the beats are 2/4 time. Then, the beat flows back to the designated 3/4 time.

Low Living High Thinking  is How the Giant Named Johannes Brahms Grew Up

 

Low living high thinking, This was the birthplace of Johannes Brahms.
Johannes Brahms grew up in the first floor dwelling to the left of the door. A great man grew up in a small apartment tenement.

Young Brahms became the the conductor of a Choral Society in Detmold. He was also Court Pianist and Teacher of the royal family. The post came with free rooms and living expenses.  He resided at the Hotel Stadt Frankfort. It was located exactly opposite the castle where he worked. He brought about quite a change in his lifestyle by his own efforts! Also, he could talk about almost any subject. One of his sayings was: : “Whoever wishes to play well must not only practice a great deal, but read many books.” My source is Story-Lives of Master Musicians by Harriette Brower, 1922 Frederick A. Stokes Company, page 306.  Now you can see why I chose the featured library picture. And yes, a poor person with character, determination and knowledge can make a tremendous success out of life.

 

 

New music of the romantic era reflects the times in Beethoven's later music.

Two Significant Beethovens include the Grandfather

Two Significant Beethovens include the Grandfather. Most have read of Beethoven’s father. Mostly, about how he was alcoholic and beat his son on his ears.   Before turning to drink, the father was a gifted musician. He sang tenor in chorus and in opera. His name was Johann Beethoven. As a result of the father’s drinking, the family lived in abject poverty. His small salary was wasted at the ale-house. With such unfortunate circumstances his oldest son, Ludwig, became the breadwinner of the home.

Image result for DSOworks picture of Beethoven at the piano
Piano in Beethoven’s attic given to him as a present from Count Waldstein

Two Significant Beethovens Were Originally Dutch as was the Father, of Course

The Beethoven family were singers at the cathedral at Antwerp. The grandfather was also named, Ludwig. In Germany, the  grandfather held many important positions in the musical establishment of the Archbishop-Elector of Cologne. He was at first a solo bass singer in the opera and choir. Later he was appointed stage director. Finally he became the musical conductor at the church.   He had moved earlier in the 18th century to Bonn on the Rhine.

File:Pitstone-windmill.600px.jpg two significant Beethovens had roots in Holland
Holland was the original home the family.

 

Some significant chronology on L.v. Beethoven:

  • At age 11 he was playing viola in the orchestra.
  • At age 12 he was the assistant organist with the orchestra at the church.
  • 6 months later he was the assistant conductor. His duties included conducting the sub-rehearsals. He arranged the music for the singers and orchestra. Also when an opera did not have a suitable aria for a great singer, he would write one. However, he never received a salary for his work until after 17 years of age. But Beethoven still laid the foundation for financial support.  Here’s how:

He made a number of connections at the church. This included a wealthy lady, Frau von Breuning. He taught her son and daughter. He also befriended members of the Vienna aristocracy who were in their university days in Bonn. This included the young Count Waldstein. Beethoven dedicated his Waldstein sonata to him. Finding that the young Beethoven lacked a suitable instrument on which to practice, Waldstein had a fine grand piano sent to Beethoven in his attic room (see picture above).  He also befriended Count Lichnowsky and many others. They became life long patrons.

I enjoy blogging about Ludwig van Beethoven for several reasons:

  1. I trace my own teachers back to Beethoven. Here’s how. I studied with Mischa Kottler. Kottler studied with Emil von Sauer. Sauer studied with Liszt. Liszt studied with Czerny. Czerny studied with Beethoven. Many of Beethoven’ s innovations were shown to me by Kottler. These included the principle of the prepared thumb.
  2. I have just finished my 8th yearly season as pianist at the Gasparilla Inn on the isle of Boca Grande. Management had the Steinway concert grand in the dining room rebuilt. I now play it in season. It has the finest Steinway parts. They were ordered directly from Germany.
  3. I also enjoy composing. Here is a sample of my own music entitled El Nino in Sarasota. Oh yes, I am available for piano lessons in Sarasota.

    Moonlight on the Lake by composer/pianist David Ohrenstein – YouTube

    Conclusion: Here is one formula for success for aspiring musicians and composers. It is based on this blog: (1) Get the audience. Be a church or by any other means. (2) Appeal to everyone, even the elite. Young musicians and composers need as much help as possible. I encourage all to be kind to composer/musicians that you believe could have potential. You just might have a great work dedicated to you.

 

Neolithic number eight is on the piano keyboard.

Success: Stacking the Odds in Your Favor

Success: Stacking the Odds in Your Favor. A formula with a definite order exists. It can propel you to the top. I call it “stacking the odds” in your favor. If you like it, feel free to share it with your friends.

Success can bed as accesible as these "silly6pins."
I’ll now blog about  how these “Silly6 pins” hold a formula for success. They beautifully express an ancient Greek concept. They are the first three rows of the Greek tetracktys- a bowling pin set up that is actually completed by ten dots. This is a wonderful little toy.  It is  made by Milton Bradley and currently sells  for $19,99. I assure you, I have no financial stakes in this game. It is so  appropriate for this blog.

 

Success Can Be As Easily Acquired As A Fun Game

  • The 1st row dot: Very fitting that the first dot is smiling. It tells us to first pursue happiness. How? One way, keep a quality joke book near your bed. Before rising, read a few of your favorite jokes. We all have them. If a joke is funny once, it is always funny. Good jokes do not die. They can be as old as the hills and still have an appreciative audience.
  • Second row dots: If your are happy, then you will be healthy. Happiness leads the way to healthiness. Just as the first dot is followed by the two next dots. The following is a quote from Wikopedia: “Norman Cousins battled a sudden-onset case of an unidentified, crippling illness tentatively diagnosed as Ankylosing Spondylitis, for which he took massive intravenous doses of Vitamin C, and the recovery of which was accelerated by self-induced bouts of laughter brought on by videos of the television show Candid Camera, and by various comic films.” So we now see how happiness and health can be linked together.
  • Third row dots: If your have happiness and health; then wealth will follow. How? First of all, you avoid medical costs. Therefore, you have a greater chance for financial success. But money means nothing if you are not happy and/or feel terrible. Happiness and Health must come first, like the stacked “Silly6 pins.” Without happiness and health, money can only prolong misery. Sooner or later  chances for wealth will arrive. Be it in 10, 20, 30 years….. Who’s counting? At least in the meanwhile, you are actively enjoying your life.