Today’s piece is the other one of two pieces that are so often played incorrectly that they have the distinction of being banned from competition in Northern Virginia Piano Teacher competitions.
The first was Fur Elise. This one is Spinning Song by Albert Ellmenreich. It’s in many, many piano method books. When I was in 5th or 6th grade, I tore it out of my book, put it in a construction paper cover and played it for some Girl Scout talent show. I have no idea why I couldn’t leave it in the book.
The left hand is supposed to sound like the foot pumping the wheel to make it move
This is part of a larger work called Musikalische Genrebilder, Op.14 which can be downloaded at IMSLP:
Spinnliedchen (Spinning Song), the best known item from the set, seems to be universally referred to as number four. The announcement of the first edition in Hofmeister’s Monatsberichte lists it as the fifth item. In Schirmer’s 1878 edition (see cover: here) of Op.14 it appears that items two and three were possibly combined into one number (entitled Sorrow and Consolation) so that Spinnliedchen became number four. Perhaps, this is the origin of the re-numbering.
To learn this sheet music, it’s available in Piano Pronto Movement 4 and Alfred Premier Piano Course Book 6
Here’s a sample:
With scrolling sheet music
How to conduct(?)
While this piece is not usually popular with other instruments, a trumpet quartet gave it a try
The DMS Percussion Ensemble
Singers from the Londonderry Middle School gave it a try:
The first half of this video is flute tuning. After that is a lovely flute duet.
For clarinet “quartet”. Quartet is in quotes because the performer wrote “This is a ‘cover’ I did of Spinning Song by Albert Ellmenreich. I played all the parts on my clarinet, using the really crappy camera I have. So the sound quality sucks… Also, I don’t have a bass clarinet, so the low part is edited down… and it sounds like a saxophone… oh well. lol!”
• 1960 ~ “Once Upon a Mattress” closed at Alvin Theater New York City after 460 performances
• 1971 ~ Edward Ballantine, Composer, died at the age of 84
• 1972 ~ “Fiddler on the Roof” closed at Imperial Theater New York City after 3242 performances
• 1973 ~ Betty Grable, U.S. actress, singer and World War Two pin-up girl, died. Her films included “How To Marry A Millionaire,” “Down Argentine Way” and “Tin Pan Alley.”
• 1979 ~ Sony introduced the Walkman, the first portable audio cassette player. Over the next 30 years they sold over 385 million Walkmans in cassette, CD, mini-disc and digital file versions, and were the market leaders until the arrival of Apple’s iPod and other new digital devices.
• 1982 ~ Paul Rovsing Olsen, Composer, died at the age of 59
• 1984 ~ Ramiro Cortes, Composer, died at the age of 50
• 1984 ~ Epic Records set a record as two million copies of the Jacksons’ new album, Victory, were shipped to stores. It was the first time that such a large shipment had been initially sent to retailers. The LP arrived just days before Michael and his brothers started their hugely successful Victory Tour.
• 1987 ~ Michael Bennet, Choreographer of A Chorus Line, died at the age of 44
• 1990 ~ Snooky Lanson (Roy Landman) passed away
• 1992 ~ Edith Valckaert, Belgian violinist, died at the age of 42
• 1992 ~ Jose Monje, Spanish flamenco singer, died
• 1994 ~ Marion Williams, Gospel singer, died at the age of 66
• 1995 ~ “Rose Tattoo” closed at Circle in the Square New York City after 80 performances
• 2002 ~ Ray Brown, a legendary jazz bassist who played with Dizzy Gillespie, Charlie Parker and his one-time wife Ella Fitzgerald in a career that spanned a half-century, died in his sleep in Indianapolis. He was 75. Brown was in Indianapolis for an engagement at the Jazz Kitchen. Brown, whose fluid sound helped define the bebop era, started his career in the 1940s and performed during jazz’s Golden Age with Gillespie, Parker and Bud Powell. He was a founder of bebop and appeared with Gillespie in the 1946 film “Jivin’ in Be-Bop.” Brown later became musical director and husband of singer Ella Fitzgerald. They divorced in the early 1950s. Ray Matthews Brown was born in Pittsburgh in 1926 and moved in 1945 to New York. While playing in Gillespie’s Big Band in 1946 and 1947, he became Fitzgerald’s music director – and, in the late 1940s, her husband. Brown played with an early edition of what became the Modern Jazz Quartet, recording with the Milt Jackson Quartet in 1951. He subsequently was a founding member of the Oscar Peterson’s Trio, which ranked among jazz’s most popular groups of the ’50s and ’60s. Among his recordings is the solo effort Something for Lester.
• 2002 ~ Experimental composer Earle Brown, whose visually elegant scores and collaborative spirit pushed traditional musical composition, died at his home in Rye, N.Y. He was 75. Brown worked with composer John Cage and became known for his graphic scores. One of their most famous works is “December 1952.” Brown believed in allowing musicians much freedom in playing his compositions, describing “December 1952” as “an activity rather than a piece by me, because of the content being supplied by the musicians.” Brown’s music was highly influential in Europe and he was repertory director of an important series of new-music recordings that included works by 49 composers from 16 countries between 1960 and 1973. He taught at Yale University, the Peabody Conservatory in Baltimore and at the Tanglewood and Aspen music festivals.
• 2016 ~ Earle Brown, American Composer (open form), died at the age of 75
• 2019 ~ Michael Colgrass, American-Canadian composer who won the 1978 Pulitzer Prize for Music for the piece “Déjà vu”, died at the age of 81