Week 65-69

Week 69 (Week of July 26, 2021):

A very warm greeting to all SRC participants & friends.

This week, in light of the fact that this past weekend kicked off the Tokyo Summer Olympics, let’s turn the spotlight on the musical ‘soundtrack’ to the Olympics!

 

If you’ve ever watched coverage of the Olympic Games, you are most likely familiar with the majestic sounding “Olympic Anthem” that is played (often only in snippets) on TV.

But perhaps you’re unfamiliar with the story behind the song.

Before we dive in, here is the theme music for the Olympics that began every telecast of the games by ABC starting in 1968.

“Bugler’s Dream”.

 

  Listen here:

https://youtu.be/DiDaId3w3sA

 

From the very beginning with that opening timpani solo followed by the trumpets and brass announcing fanfare, the song has become synonymous with the Olympic Games.

But who composed it?  And how did it become so iconic?

This work, “Bugler’s Dream”, was composed in 1958 by the French-American composer Leo Arnaud.

This musical symbol of the Olympic games is often described as majestic, announcing and stately.

 

The musical theme to “Bugler’s Dream” is based around a typical cavalry trumpet call- “Salut aux étendards” that was composed during the time of Napoleon’s French Consulate- around the early 1800s.

Arnaud was commissioned by conductor Felix Slatikin to write a work for his album “Charge” in 1958 – and so he composed “The Charge Suite” which contained the now famous “Bugler’s Dream”.

For 16 years this was the Olympics’ ‘musical soundtrack’ for the televised coverage here in America.

 

Here is another performance video of “Bugler’s Dream”:  https://youtu.be/gac0wK66YcU

 

However, there is also another iconic musical work that has become perhaps even more well-known for being associated with the Olympics!

 

In 1984, iconic film composer John Williams, known for his soundtracks to “Star Wars”, “E.T”, “Schindler’s List” and the Indiana Jones films, was commissioned by the Los Angeles Olympic Organizing Committee to compose a fanfare to be used during the 1984 Summer Olympic Games held in Los Angeles.

Wisely, because the “Bugler’s Dream” opening fanfare was still being played at all of the medal ceremonies and official events, John Williams incorporated Leo Arnaud’s “Bugler’s Dream” into his own “Olympic Anthem”- using it for the opening 45 seconds of his work.

John Williams original composition “Olympic Fanfare and Theme” follows and Williams’ own original composition has become just as associated with the Olympics as “Bugler’s Dream.”

 

Here is the combined effort of John Williams’ “Olympic Fanfare and Theme” which follows the opening “Bugler’s Dream”- which has now simply become known as the famous

“Olympic Anthem”.

Williams first premiered “Olympic Fanfare and Theme” with the Boston Pops at Symphony Hall on June 12, 1984.

Take a listen:  https://youtu.be/MCqUESCoB1w

 

Both works, Arnaud’s “Bugler’s Dream” and John Williams “Olympic Fanfare and Theme” were not combined and performed together until the 1996 Olympic Games held in Atlanta.

NBC had acquired the rights to broadcast the Olympics in 1988 and had experimented with other music for the games but until the combined “Olympic Fanfare and Theme” nothing else had quite stuck.

 

Here is a clip from an interview with the man himself (John Williams) on the 30th Anniversary of the work:  https://youtu.be/EALRJIZmWY4

 

I also JUST saw this ad on tv (Xfinity) which features the song- a great commercial with really demonstrates how it has become so iconic for so many:  https://youtu.be/5yt72OuGua8

 

I hope you enjoyed learning about these 2 works (and combined effort “Olympic Anthem”) that make up the musical ‘soundtrack’ to the Olympic Games!

Happy Olympics watching!  Keep an ear out for the music!

 

BONUS VIDEO:

                As always, here is your virtual piano concert from the inspirational Henry ‘Hank’ Shapiro.

This week’s video is from his Saturday, July 3rd- Facebook live streamed online gig.

Enjoy!

https://youtu.be/OrKjAj4bCkE

 

 

Week 68 (Week of July 12, 2021):

 Hello everyone!

I hope this finds everyone doing well and trying to avoid all of these summer thunderstorms we’ve been having lately!

 

This week, let’s take a look at another cultural instrument (as we did in Week 62 with the Balalaika).

Today let’s ‘travel’ down to Australia as we take a closer look at an instrument of the Aborignal peoples of northern Australia- the didgeridoo.

 

The instrument is technically categorized as a wooden wind instrument and is to be played by constantly vibrating your lips to create one long continuous drone.

Didgeridoos are cylindrical or conical instruments made from a hollow wood- commonly that of the eucalyptus or bamboo trees.

Traditional didgeridoo makers seek hollow live trees to use that have obvious termite activity!

Once a tree is selected it is cut down and cleaned out with the bark stripped off, the ends and the exterior shaped.

Often a rim of beeswax is applied to the mouthpiece end of the instrument in order to better form a seal to the player’s lips.

Some didgeridoos can also be decorated and painted using the Aboriginal peoples’ traditional paint or simply modern paints.

 

Modern didgeridoos can be made of non wood materials such as glass, fibreglass or even PVP pipes.

This represents a design innovation with this instrument that began around the late 20th Century.

 

The average didgeridoo is about 4 feet long in size, although the size of this instrument can vary from as little as 3 feet to as much as 10 feet long in size!

In general, the longer the instrument, the lower it’s pitch or key.

 

The name of the instrument is said to perhaps resemble the sound that it makes- similar to our words for animal noises like “oink”, “meow” or “roar”.

The local name for the instrument with the Yolngu Aboriginal people of NE Australia is “Yidaki.”

The didgeridoo can also be called a drone pipe.

 

The didgeridoo is a very old cultural instrument – being perhaps developed by the Aboriginal peoples around 1,500 or 1,000 years ago based on archeological studies of rock paintings.

Though the instrument is in use around the world, it is still most strongly associated with the Aboriginal peoples of Australia.

 

Traditionally this instrument was played by the Aboriginal peoples for ceremonial dancing and is still used in many modern day ceremonies and recreational activities of the people.

For these people, the didgeridoo is an important part of their culture- often played with “clapsticks” (similar to our ‘rhythm sticks’) and a song leader to supply the vocals.

 

As a notable part of their culture, in the Aboriginal groups only men play the didgeridoo and playing of the instrument by Aboriginal women is sometimes still strongly discouraged by the community and elders.

This ‘cultural taboo’ is the strongest perhaps among the Aboriginal groups of SE Australia – where it is forbidden especially for non-Aboriginal women to play or even TOUCH the instrument!

 

This instrument is played using a very specific breathing technique called ‘circular breathing’- a technique used by many modern day wind players.

Circular breathing requires the player to breathe in through the nose while simultaneously expelling ‘stored air’ out of their mouth.

A concept which is hard for us to even wrap our heads around!

This technique allows the player to sustain a note for as long as desired, while still replenishing their lungs!

Recordings of modern didgeridoo players demonstrate circular breathing with a continuous drone for as long as 40-50 minutes by using this technique!

 

Modern day wind players, such as saxophone or clarinet, use the technique of  circular breathing in their performances- though it can be difficult to master.

For example, in 1997 pop saxophonist Kenny G set the new Guinness World Record for the longest held musical note by using circular breathing – a total of 45 minutes and 47 seconds!

As of 2017, the new Guinness World Record for the longest held musical note (again using ‘circular breathing’) is a grand total of 51 minutes and 38 seconds, completed by Nigerian saxophonist Femi Kuti.

 

Let’s watch some videos together to further explore the world of the didgeridoo!

 

Educational Videos: 

  1. A short introductory video on the didgeridoo (though I would disagree with his naming it a “brass instrument):  https://youtu.be/pIPxYiuVHcA
  2. A great (longer at 16 minutes) Tedxtalk on the didgeridoo- excellent video! :  https://youtu.be/ZzhTbl9E7tA

 

Didgeridoo Performance Videos:

  1. Traditional Didgeridoo rhythms and drones:  (you can hear the ‘clapsticks’ as well).   https://youtu.be/yG9ZX1FS20A
  2. An example of a traditional Aboriginal dance show  (featuring the didgeridoo, clapsticks and well as vocals).    https://youtu.be/OhyKsEn6_So
  3. Didgeridoo & traditional orchestra :  a work performed at the Sydney Opera House featuring the Australian Youth Orchestra:   https://youtu.be/cLu9GmV2vF0

 

Hope you enjoyed learning more about this cultural instrument of Australia!

 

BONUS VIDEO:

                As always, here is your virtual piano concert from the ‘one and only’ Henry ‘Hank’ Shapiro.

This week’s video is from his Saturday, June 26th Facebook live streamed online gig.

Enjoy!   https://youtu.be/YVIfDFkwWKU

 

 

Week 67 (Week of July 12, 2021):

A very big greeting to all SRC participants and friends!

I hope this finds everyone doing well and enjoying the summer weather- when it is not 90+ degrees or thunderstorming that is!

This week will be a continuation from Week 63 when we looked at the life and compositions of German composer Robert Schumann.

Today, let’s look at the life of his wife, Clara Wieck Schumann, also a composer and well known child piano prodigy!

 

Clara Josephine Wieck was born on September 13, 1819 and passed away on May 20th of 1896 at the age of 76.

Clara spent her childhood in Leipzig, Germany as the daughter of a famous performing Soprano soloist (Mariane Tromlitz) and a professional pianist and piano teacher (father, Friedrich Wieck).

Her parents divorced in 1825 when Clara was five years old and young Clara remained with her father in Leipzig, while her mother moved to Berlin with a former friend of her husband, Adolph Bargiel, with whom she had been having an affair with for quite some time.

Clara’s contact with her mother from that point on was limited to letters and the occasional visit.

She also began piano lessons with her father shortly after their divorce upon which it was quickly discovered that the young Clara was quite the piano prodigy!

Clara’s father immediately began planning and mapping out her future career down to the detail and together they embarked on daily one hour music lessons, which also included studying piano, violin, singing, music theory and music composition.

After daily lessons, Clara would then practice for two hours.

 

Clara made her official concert debut in Leipzig at the age of nine and began touring at the age of 11, receiving success in the cities of Paris and Vienna.

At the age of nine, while performing in her hometown of Leipzig, Clara also met another young gifted pianist Robert Schumann who was nine years her senior at the age of 18.

It is said that this meeting is what may have prompted the young Robert Schuman to beg his mother for permission to cease his studies in law in order to take music lessons with Clara’s father- renting out a room in their family home for approximately one year.

 

Around the age of 18, Clara was receiving wild success from her concerts in and around Vienna, Austria.

She was regularly performing to sold out crowds and receiving continuous rave reviews from music critics in the city.

Frédéric Chopin around this time wrote to his friend, Franz Liszt to praise Clara’s piano skills after attending one of her concerts.

By the age of 19, Clara was honored by the Austrian court for her musical skill and was elected to a prestigious German Music Society of the time (Gesellschaft der Musikfreunde).

 

As we saw in Week 63, when a 27 year old Robert Schumann proposed to 18 year old Clara, it was to the strong objection of Clara’s father who refused his permission for Robert to marry his daughter and took the matter to court.

Eventually, after many long and arduous court appointments, the judge eventually allowed the marriage between Clara and Robert Schumann, which took place the day before Clara’s 21st birthday.

The couple would go on to become joint partners in both their family life and their musical careers, with Clara often premiering many of her husband’s works along with her own compositions during her recitals.

Clara and Robert would go on to have 8 children.

Once their family began growing, Clara’s family life took over to the point of curtailing her concertizing career and she began teaching music lessons at the Leipzig Conservatory as well as continuing her own composing.

 

Around 1853, about a year before Robert’s tragic mental collapse and stay at the institution, the Schumann’s became friends with a young 20-something year old composer and pianist, Johannes Brahms.  Robert Schumann would go on to praise Brahms’ compositions and Clara herself would go on to write in her diary that it “seemed as if [Brahms] he was sent straight from God.”

Together the Schumann’s would go on to encourage and support the young composer and maintained a close relationship with him.

Following Robert Schumann’s mental collapse, Brahms continued to be a strong presence for the Schumann family- visiting Robert in the institution where he was staying as well as supporting and helping Clara at her home.

Brahms’ relationship with Clara Schumann has been interpreted as somewhere in the vague area between strong friendship and possible love, as evidenced by his letters at the time.

Brahm’s had the utmost respect for Clara both as his female friend and as a fellow musician, with Clara occasionally giving Johannes Brahms advice about his compositions and often Clara being the one to premiere Brahm’s works at recitals.

 

After her husband’s tragic death, Clara continued her European concert tours and continued her work as a much respected piano teacher.

Clara would also go on to compile, edit and promote the works of her late husband.

Clara was the only woman on the faculty of a music conservatory in Frankfurt, Germany upon her appointment in 1878 and held the teaching post until 1892, only four years before her passing.

She suffered a stroke on March 26, 1896 and died two months later at the age of 76, buried next to her husband at her request.

 

In regards to her renowned concert career as a pianist, over 1,300 concert programs have been found and preserved from her many performances ranging from 1831-1889!

Many of the works performed in these concerts were the works of her husband, the works of Johannes Brahms or other contemporaries at the time such as Chopin and Mendelssohn.

However, Clara would also perform on occasion one of her own works!

 

A composer in her own right, Clara had learned the skill of musical composition at a young age as a part of her musical studies from her father.

From childhood to middle age, she produced a good amount of musical works!

While her early works were strictly piano works, after her marriage she turned to vocal works such as  German art songs (Leider) and larger Choral works.

It has been especially noted that after a ‘dry period’ of not composing during the years when her children were very young, during the year in which Clara met Johannes Brahms, she engaged in a “flurry of composing” that resulted in 16 pieces for that year alone!

After her husband’s death, she would go on to primarily compose piano transcriptions of works by her late husband and Brahms, with the occasional short piano work of her own in between.

The vast majority of Clara’s musical compositions was never played by anyone else and was largely forgotten until the 1970s brought a surge of interest into her own works.

 

Let’s take a listen three of Clara’s compositions considered to be at 3 of her best:

 

  1. Piano Trio (Piano, Violin, Cell0) in g minor:  This piece is known as perhaps the ‘masterpiece’ of all of her known compositions.

         Written from 1845- 1846, this work represents her only ‘piano trio’ composition.  At the time it was written, Clara’s husband’s depression and a strange handful of worrying symptoms which would only worsen as the years passed were coming to an apex and causing quite the turbulent year for his health.

Around the time this work was being completed, Clara also suffered a miscarriage.

This longer work (approx a half hour) is in 4 movements, building in intensity and emotion.

See if you can hear spots in the music that may have reflected this troubling time for the Schumann’s.

https://youtu.be/9JyeWA1ZD8g

 

  1. Drei Romanzen (Three Romances) for solo piano:  Three short ‘romances’ for solo piano, these short piano works compiled together are also known as standouts among Clara Schumann’s compositions.  Composed between 1853-1855, these short works represent great emotional sweeping melodic lines and fully developed musical ideas that are quite simply beautiful to listen to.  The first movement ‘Andante’ is a minor and has a pressing urgency to it’s dramatic melody.  The second movement is a playful, bouncy ‘Allegretto’ full of character and charm in the Key of F Major.  The final short work ‘Agitato’ (to be played in a ‘restless and agitated manner’) is full of character and dramatic fast passages that are complex and full of musical style contrasts.

Take a listen (and follow the score) and see what YOU think of this work:    https://youtu.be/TYdxYpRMlRE

 

  1. Piano Concerto in a minor:  This is Clara’s only finishedpiano concerto. (she began another piano concerto in 1847, but only completed the first movement- with that only being published separately in 1994!). This piano concerto (solo piano accompanied by an orchestra) was composed between 1833-1835, when Clara was only 14-16 years of age!

When it was completed in 1835, it was performed under the baton of conductor/composer Felix Mendelssohn featuring the Leipzig Orchestra!

The orchestration received help and revision in 1834 by none other than her future husband, Robert Schumann, who at the time was a student of her father’s.

The concerto is in 3 movements and takes just around 20 minutes to perform.

It features supreme virtuosic work by the pianist and is especially remarkable given her age at the time of its composition.

Take a listen and see what you think:  https://youtu.be/fcLtg5Ps8Rk

 

I hope you enjoyed learning a bit more of the life of Clara Schumann as we ’round out’ our look at The Schumann’s backgrounds and compositions as a couple!

 

BONUS VIDEO:

                As always, here is your virtual piano concert from the ever-inspiring Henry ‘Hank’ Shapiro.

This week’s video is from his Saturday, June 19th Facebook live streamed online gig.

Enjoy!   https://youtu.be/Tn70jEPbxGU

 

Week 66 (Week of July 5, 2021):

Greetings to all!  I hope everyone had a lovely 4th of July!

In honor of the 4th of July, this week let’s take a look at a recognizable patriotic march that I bet many recognize but don’t know very much about.

Let’s take a closer look at the American march, “The Stars and Stripes Forever”.

 

“The Stars and Stripes Forever ” was composed by John Philip Sousa, an American composer of the late Romantic era in Classical music known for his military marches.

In fact, so much so that John Philip Sousa was nicknamed “The American March King”!

Throughout his lifetime, John Philip Sousa wrote a grand total of 130 marches.

However, “The Stars and Stripes Forever ” remains his greatest and most popular march that he wrote.

In 1987, “The Stars and Stripes Forever” became the official National March of the United States of America.

 

John Philip Sousa spent 12 years as a conductor for the United States Marine Band, perhaps following in the footsteps of his father who was also a member of the US Marine Band.

After his time with the Marine Band, Sousa then left to form his own band and travel & perform with them exclusively.

 

In writing about “The Stars and Stripes Forever” in his autobiography, Sousa wrote that he composed this march on Christmas Day of 1896 while traveling back to America on a passenger ship after a European vacation.  As the story goes, he composed this famous march in his head while aboard the ocean liner and then later wrote the work down on paper once he arrived home.

Legend also says that Sousa named the march after the American flag that he was so grateful to see upon his safe arrival home.

 

“The Stars and Stripes Forever” was first performed just outside of Philadelphia on May 14, 1897 and it was an immediate public success!

 

Historically speaking, especially in the theater and circus venues, “The Stars and Stripes Forever” became nicknamed and known as the “disaster march.”

This is because the sudden performance of this song during a show by the early 20th century ‘house bands’ became a code to signal to the workers that there was a life threatening emergency in the venue.  It was played to help the theater & circus personnel to organize a quick audience exit with minimal panic.

Otherwise, unless in the case of a life threatening emergency, the march was never to be played in these show business circles otherwise!

One example of this was during the Hartford Circus Fire in July of 1944.

 

“The Stars and Stripes Forever” was also the final piece that Sousa ever conducted, as he remained active in his music career right up until his passing at the age of 77.

Sousa passed away suddenly of heart failure after a band rehearsal in the Spring of 1937, “The Stars and Stripes Forever” being the last selection of the rehearsal the night before.

 

Traditionally, this march is played for the President of the United States after he gives a speech at a public event or ceremony.

 

While it is not commonly known or even usually performed as such, Sousa also wrote lyrics to accompany this march.

One of the videos I will provide below will demonstrate this.

Here is an example of Sousa’s lyrics for the march’s final strain:

 

   “Hurrah for the flag of the free.

May it wave as our standard forever
The gem of the land and the sea,
The banner of the right.
Let tyrants remember the day
When our fathers with mighty endeavor
Proclaimed as they marched to the fray,
That by their might and by their right
It waves forever”

 

As early as the 1930s, becoming popularized around the ’40s and especially ’50s, nonsense lyrics started emerging and appearing in pop culture of the time.

These ‘silly lyrics’ became known as “The Duck Song”.

Here is an example of these nonsense lyrics sung to the tune of one of the marches’ strains:

 

   Be kind to your web-footed friends,

For a duck may be somebody’s mother.
Be kind to your friends in the swamp,
Where the weather is very, very damp,
Now you may think that this is the end,
Well it is
!”

 

Let’s listen to a handful of different performances of this piece together.

 

  1. Here is a standard, typical performance of this march, with a fantastic introduction:  https://youtu.be/a-7XWhyvIpE
  1. Here is a version of the march that includes a couple snippets of Sousa’s original lyrics sung a small vocal ensemble (about a minute in):  https://youtu.be/iJc0HRTcvuI

       It is also notable that Vladimir Horowitz wrote a famous transcription of this march for solo piano as a means of celebrating his becoming an American citizen.

It was his opinion that the traditional performance tempo taken by bands of this march was altogether too fast as it was “intended to be a march played at walking tempo”.

  1. Let’s take a listen to Horowitz’ himself performing his own transcription for solo piano at a concert in 1948 (audio only):  https://youtu.be/rAZ2I08CkP8
  1. Also, on a silly and light hearted note, in 2008 The Muppets performed and put on the web their own performance version of “The Stars and Stripes Forever”

Here is their own version for your listening (and giggling) pleasure: https://youtu.be/eXeIxtI–uc

 

* Finally, it is also worth noting that in 1952, 20th Century Fox produced a film biography of Sousa’s life,  “Stars and Stripes Forever”,  that was loosely based on Sousa’s own biography “Marching Along.”

  If you are interested, you can actually view the entire full length film “Stars and Stripes Forever” here:  https://youtu.be/AHRgyttNXM8

 

That’s all for today- I hope you all enjoyed learning a bit more about our country’s National March- “The Stars and Stripes Forever”.

Bonus Video:  As always, here is your virtual piano concert from the one and only, Henry ‘Hank’ Shapiro.

                  This week’s video is from his Saturday, June 12th Facebook live streamed online gig.

                      Enjoy!    https://youtu.be/IrOSTp_TGDs

 

 

Week 65 (Week of June 28, 2021):

  A very warm ( as well as ‘hot’ & ‘sweltering’…) hello to all SRC participants and friends!

I hope this finds everyone doing well and trying to stay cool in the middle of yet another mini-heat wave!

 

This week, as a continuation from our Week 63’s (Week of June 14) focus on composer Robert Schumann, let’s take a look at one of Schumann’s most well known multi-part piano works-

  “Scenes from Childhood” (Kinderszenen).

Both SRC Piano Classes have been slowly working our way through listening to and looking at this work throughout the past couple months as a part of our class ‘listening project.’

Specifically today, while we are going to also briefly look at an overview of the entire work as a whole, we are primarily going to focus on only one of the 13 short piano solos within this multi-part composition.

 

“Scenes from Childhood” (Kinderszenen) was composed in 1838 by the German composer Robert Schumann and the title of the work, as well as the titles for each short piece within the work, has a German title as well as an English translation.

Originally, Schumann wrote as many as 30 short piano solo pieces for this work but in the end he selected 13 to make up the works in this collection of piano solos.

Schumann himself described this work, “Scenes from Childhood”, as “..souvenirs for those who have grown up”; a poetic reminiscence and a reflection on childhood for adults.

Franz Liszt, the Hungarian composer and virtuoso pianist who was friends with the Schumanns, once wrote to Robert Schumann praising this composition saying:

         “I play your ‘Kinderszenen’ to [my daughter] in the evening; this enchants her, and me still as you can imagine…”

 

Today, let’s take a look at movement #7 from ‘Scenes from Childhood’ entitled “Träumerei” (Dreaming).

One of Schumann’s best known pieces, “Träumerei” features a sweeping, sing-able melody line.

Placed around the halfway point of the work (7 out of 13), this short work is a quiet, introspective solo piano piece that is profoundly beautiful in almost an understated way.

It also serves as a bit of a musical deep breath or musical ‘palate cleanser’ for the listener as it comes after and before louder, faster, more upbeat and playful movements within the work.

 

What “Träumerei” lacks in length it makes up for in big emotion and sweeping legato phrases!

The opening musical idea is a pattern that occurs several times throughout the short work.

The final time this musical pattern occurs however, it is harmonized completely differently, giving it a particularly breakthrough climactic moment.

While some pianists and scholars like to debate whether or not the typical performance tempo, which is slower than Schumann originally instructed, may or may not be too slow or inappropriate, however it is played, the gorgeous melody line should be enjoyed and relished by the pianist.

 (personally I’d lean more towards saying a slower, but not dragging tempo – somewhere in the middle, would be best!)

 

“Träumerei” is the opening musical theme for the 1947 Hollywood film, ‘Song of Love’, about the relationship between the Schumann’s and Johannes Brahms that featured Katherine Heburn as Clara Schumann.

“Trämerei” is also the title of a 1944 German biopic film on the life of Robert Schumann.

In Russia, a hummed a capella Choral version of the melody of “Träumerei” is considered their ‘mourning music’ and is performed annually on “Victory Day” – the holiday that commemorates the surrender of Nazi Germany in 1945.

“Traumerei” was also a favorite piece of Vladimir Horowtiz and was used often as an encore piece for his concerts throughout the years, most notably performed during his 1986 Moscow concert at the tail end of his concertizing career at the age of 82.

It is also the ‘goal piece’, the ambitious song selected by Noah Adams to learn and play for his wife in his book, “Piano Lessons: Music, Love and True Adventures”- a great book about filled with piano trivia, history and tidbits that features the true story of an adult beginner piano student and the adult learning process.

 

Highly recommended fun reading to all adult piano students- link here if you are interested-

 https://www.amazon.com/Piano-Lessons-Music-Love-Adventures/dp/0385318219.

 

Let’s take a listen to a small handful of performance videos of “Träumerei” together!

 

  1. Horowitz performance:  As discussed above, here is Vladimir Horowitz performing “Träumerei” at his 1986 concert at the Moscow Conservatory in Moscow, Russia at the age of 82.

                                                   Here is his (famous) performance of this piece:  https://youtu.be/6z82w0l6kwE

  1. Lang Lang performance:  Here is pianist Lang Lang’s (who we studied in a previous week) performance of “Träumerei” – see if you can compare and contrast this version with Horowitz’

                                            Which version do you like the most?  Which one do you think is more “emotive”?

                                                  https://youtu.be/9zVQk0YviAA

  1.  Shumann “original tempo” version:  As briefly alluded to above, Schumann originally notated the tempo for “Träumerei” as to be played faster than is common for today’s performances of this piece, which tend to air on the side of slower but more emotive.

                    What do you think of “Träumerei” at this faster (but originally marked) tempo?  Which ‘side’ of the argument of “appropriate tempo” would you find yourself agreeing with?

                       Take a listen!  (the performer has a very thick accent & is a bit hard to understand but DOES begin playing at 40 seconds)

     https://youtu.be/v3ktiKOITBw

  1.  “Träumerei” arranged for violin:  As an interesting bit of “extra”, here is “Träumerei” arranged for violin.  Enjoy hearing this lush melody line on the violin.

                            https://youtu.be/p-_TsN2nj5w

 

Bonus Video:  As always, here is your virtual piano concert from the one and only, Henry ‘Hank’ Shapiro.

                  This week’s video is from his Saturday, June 5th Facebook live streamed online gig (it looks like he took Memorial Day weekend off).

                      Enjoy!    https://youtu.be/YXz0M8pKBiw

 

The Latest on Festival of Trees Dec 5th – 12th

The Senior Resource Center of Chester is sponsoring its annual Festival of Trees on Saturday, December 5, through Saturday, December 12 at the Barn at High Ridge Park in Chester, NJ. The Festival of Trees is a community celebration featuring decorated holiday trees in...

COVID 19: What Senior Should Know on Monday, Dec.7 at 12 pm

Imge Uludogan, Field Representative for Health Education for the Morris County Office of Health Management will present “COVID-19”: What Seniors Should Know” at the Chester Library/Senior Resource Center Virtual Senior Lunch and Learn on Monday, December 7 at 12 pm....

Quick & Easy way to donate online to the SRC

Please support us by shopping at smile.amazon.com to increase donations for the Senior Resource Center.  Start your shopping here.

Call or email us about our virtual program offerings!

SAVE THE DATE: Festival of Trees – “A Holly Jolly Christmas” – December 2021

Volunteers Wanted

The Senior Resource Center (SRC) is always searching for community members interested in assisting with the daily operations of our great program.  Contact us here.

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Contact Information

(908) 879-2202
50 Route 24
Chester, NJ 07930
info@srcnj.org
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