April 17: Names and Notes in Music

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Lance
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April 17: Names and Notes in Music

Post by Lance » Sat Apr 29, 2006 5:23 pm

APRIL 17

Births and Deaths
  • Born 1904: Joseph Ahrens, composer, died-??
  • Died 1978: Ethel Bartlett, pianist/duo-pianist, born 06-06-1896 [Barlett & Rae Robertson Piano Duo]
  • Died 1998: David Blum, conductor/author, born 1935
  • Born 1885: Cecil Burleigh, violinist, died 07-28-1980
  • Died 1974: Herbert Elwell, composer, born 05-10-1898
  • Born 1883: Watler Goetze, composer, died 03-24-1961
  • Died 1942: Alfred Hertz, conductor, born 07-15-1872
  • Born 1940: Siegfried Jerusalem, tenor
  • Died 1959: Barbara Kemp, soprano, born 12-12-1881
  • Died 2000: Paula Lindburg, mezzo-soprano, born 12-21-1897
  • Died 1971: Pierre Luboshutz, pianist/duo-pianist, born 06-17-1891 [Luboshutz & Nemenoff Piano Duo]
  • Born 1914: Janine Micheau, soprano, died 10-18-1976
  • Died 1996: Angelica Morales, pianist, died 10-18-1976 [wife of pianist/composer Emil von Sauer]
  • Born 1903: Nicolas Nabokov, composer, died 04-06-1978
  • Born 1950: Christina Ortiz, pianist
  • Born 1903: Gregor Piatigorsky, cellist, died 08-06-1976
  • Born 1882: Artur Schnabel, pianist/teacher, died 08-15-1951
  • Born 1927: Graziella Sciutti, soprano, died 04-11-2001
  • Born 1935: Anja Silja, pianist [wife of conductor Christoph von Dohnányi]
  • Born 1888: Maggie Teyte [Tate], soprano, died 05-26-1976
  • Born 1903: Frederic Waldman, conductor, died 12-01-1995
Musical Quote for Today

"The notes I handle no better than many pianists. But the pauses between the notes—ah, that is where the art resides."
—Artur Schnabel, pianist

What happened on this day in music history?

In 1833, the first performance in America of Mozart's The Magic Flute was given in New York.
Lance G. Hill
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When she started to play, Mr. Steinway came down and personally
rubbed his name off the piano. [Speaking about pianist &*$#@+#]

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Corlyss_D
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Post by Corlyss_D » Sat Apr 29, 2006 5:38 pm

Good to see the piano didn't fall on you, Herr Direktor. :D
Corlyss
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Lance
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Post by Lance » Sat Apr 29, 2006 5:41 pm

Corlyss_D wrote:Good to see the piano didn't fall on you, Herr Direktor. :D
Would ever a gorgeous 9' German Bechstein do such a thing? The instrument was placed on the three-prong steel truck WITH THE ORIGINAL WHEELS STILL ON [!!!] because the length of the original casters is longer than conventional American ones. Consequently, given the right amount of "shove," the piano could slip off the three-pronged steel truck. But I am alive and well and going to hear this new Bechstein in about 30 minutes ... it's first public performance!
Lance G. Hill
Editor-in-Chief
______________________________________________________

When she started to play, Mr. Steinway came down and personally
rubbed his name off the piano. [Speaking about pianist &*$#@+#]

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Donald Isler
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Post by Donald Isler » Sat Apr 29, 2006 5:46 pm

The Schnabel quote reminds me that a colleague once asked Shura Cherkassky who his favorite pianists were, and the answer included Schnabel and Cortot. This person was surprised, since, unlike Cherkassky they missed a lot of notes. "Ah" said Cherkassky, "But they never missed a phrase!"
Donald Isler

Werner
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Post by Werner » Sat Apr 29, 2006 6:11 pm

And as to that Bechstein performance, Lance, will you tell us about it?
Werner Isler

premont
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Re: April 17: Names and Notes in Music

Post by premont » Sat Apr 29, 2006 7:52 pm

Lance wrote:APRIL 17

[*]Born 1935: Anja Silja, pianist [wife of conducor Christoph von Dohnányi]
This is new to me. I only know one Anja Silja, the soprano born 1940. She exelled in Wagner, I once heard her in Copenhagen in the role of Senta.

Corlyss_D
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Re: April 17: Names and Notes in Music

Post by Corlyss_D » Sat Apr 29, 2006 8:19 pm

premont wrote:
Lance wrote:APRIL 17

[*]Born 1935: Anja Silja, pianist [wife of conducor Christoph von Dohnányi]
This is new to me. I only know one Anja Silja, the soprano born 1940. She exelled in Wagner, I once heard her in Copenhagen in the role of Senta.
Yeah, me too. I saw her sing Salome in the nude in Munich.
Corlyss
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SueCan
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Post by SueCan » Sat Apr 29, 2006 9:32 pm

So Lance, who's playing the Bechstein? What program? Yes, DO give us a review, and watch those 'high rollers'. Nobody looks good under the wheels of a Bechstein. Nude or otherwise. In Munich or Binghamton. :lol:

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Re: April 17: Names and Notes in Music

Post by Lance » Sun Apr 30, 2006 11:28 am

Corlyss_D wrote:
premont wrote:
Lance wrote:APRIL 17

[*]Born 1935: Anja Silja, pianist [wife of conducor Christoph von Dohnányi]
This is new to me. I only know one Anja Silja, the soprano born 1940. She exelled in Wagner, I once heard her in Copenhagen in the role of Senta.
Yeah, me too. I saw her sing Salome in the nude in Munich.
Really? Totally in the nude? And what was the reaction of the audience? Did everyone ... gasp?
Lance G. Hill
Editor-in-Chief
______________________________________________________

When she started to play, Mr. Steinway came down and personally
rubbed his name off the piano. [Speaking about pianist &*$#@+#]

Image

Lance
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Post by Lance » Sun Apr 30, 2006 11:54 am

SueCan wrote:So Lance, who's playing the Bechstein? What program? Yes, DO give us a review, and watch those 'high rollers'. Nobody looks good under the wheels of a Bechstein. Nude or otherwise. In Munich or Binghamton. :lol:
Well, one day I just might write my memoirs of working on pianos. You would be amazed at what I have found (and viewed) under (and on top of) Steinways and Baldwins, not to mention other great names.

The completely restored 1913 Bechstein concert grand was used for the first time at the Bnghamton, NY home of Tri-Cities Opera, an internationally renowned opera company where many great singers of the world were trained, including Richard Leech, Jake Gardner, Cynthia Clarey ... even Placido Domingo sang one of his earliest Madama Butterfly operas here!

Tri-Cities Opera presents three operas annually, giving three performances of each one. They also present a variety of vocal recitals and operatic events many times during the year. A week before the actual opera, an "Operalogue" is given at the center with Artistic Director, Duane Skrabalak, who is the conductor. He is also a pianist of special talent. He uses the piano in discussing the opera's plots, selecting arias and selections to be sung on the stage to inform the audience of how the opera moves. His discussions are informative, spirited, entertaining, and contain much unique humour. In actuality, these should be presented nationally as they are already broadcast on our local NPR station.

While the opera has a 6'3" Baldwin grand that is used as their workhorse, it is in need of restringing and some action refurbishing. In the meantime, the opportunity to have, permanently on loan, presented itself as a result of a most generous individual who purchased the piano after receiving a gift from the Frances Jennings estate.

I happened to be in Atlanta, Ga. visiting my sister when I received a phone call to "please check out this Bechstein concert grand." Having no idea where I was going, I got in my car in went far out into "red-neck" territory to find a piano shop that had this piano set up. I telephoned my Binghamton contact and said: "If you don't buy this piano, I will." Naturally, he bought it on my recommendation and set it up in his home. It's a lot of piano for any home and is really meant for the concert stage. Subsequently, the owner decided to make the piano available for major concerts throughout the area though the piano is in permanent residence at Tri-Citires Opera where it will continue to receive my TLC (Tender Lance Care) as someone once noted.

In mid-May, the piano will be used for a violin recital by Emil Altschuler, a Binghamton native now residing in Boston, who is fast establishing himself as a major American violinist. That will be a gala event. Eventually, a piano "marathon concert" will be given to "officially" dedicate the Bechstein by, hopefully, such celebrated pianists as John Covelli (a Carl Friedberg pupil), and several other pianists of note.

The piano was completely restored in Germany and dates from 1913. It has been in the United States now for two years. I often wondered what this instrument could say—if it could talk—about what went on in Germany during both world wars.

The piano's cast iron plate has been regilded and the finish is now the high gloss ebony. It has a knob on the curvature part so the lid can be locked down. The legs are the original round legs, with the side of the case in ornate carving, as we have seen on Walter Gieseking's Bechstein pianos from photographs. Pianists lately have told me the action is "like butter," and ultra-responsive. The bass has the typical, deep-wooden sound that is quite different from American pianos. The action has been modified to present-day standards. On appearance and in sound, the Bechstein makes quite an impression in its new home where the sound is allowed to fill the hall. The tone is rich and full with no stridency in the upper range, and the piano's tone soars with a slow decay. I think it will also make a wonderful recording instrument. The piano is a Model E and measures 8'10½". Initially, we thought it to be a 9'2" instrument.

Carl Bechstein would be pleased to know that some of his early, great instruments are still giving music.
Lance G. Hill
Editor-in-Chief
______________________________________________________

When she started to play, Mr. Steinway came down and personally
rubbed his name off the piano. [Speaking about pianist &*$#@+#]

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