October 22 ~ This Day in Music History

today

OCMS 1811 ~ Franz Liszt, Hungarian composer and pianist
Read quotes by and about Franz Liszt
More information about Liszt

• 1885 ~ Giovanni Martinelli, Opera singer, tenor with Metropolitan Opera for 30 seasons

• 1904 ~ Paul Arma, Hungarian composer and theorist

• 1917 ~ Leopold Stokowski led the Philadelphia Orchestra in its first recording session, for Victor Records.

• 1930 ~ Dory Previn, Songwriter with André Previn

• 1939 ~ Ray Jones, Bass with Billy J. Kramer & The Dakotas

• 1943 ~ Paul Zukofsky, American violinist

• 1943 ~ Bobby Fuller, Singer, guitarist with Bobby Fuller Four

• 1945 ~ Leslie West (Weinstein), Singer, musician, guitarist with Mountain

• 1945 ~ Eddie Brigati, Singer, musician with The (Young) Rascals

• 1959 ~ “Take Me Along” opened on Broadway and quickly became an American classic. Walter Pidgeon starred along with Jackie Gleason.

• 1966 ~ The Supremes rocketed to the top of the pop album charts with “Supremes A’ Go-Go”. They were the first all-female vocal group to hit the top of the LP chart.

• 1969 ~ Giovanni Martinelli passed away

• 1969 ~ Michael Tilson Thomas, the 25-year-old assistant conductor of the Boston Symphony Orchestra, took over for ailing conductor William Steinberg in the symphony’s appearance in New York City.

• 1971 ~ Folk singer Joan Baez received a gold record for her hit, The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down. It turned out to be her biggest hit, peaking at #3 on the charts on October 2, 1971.

• 1983 ~ Celebrating its 100th anniversary, New York’s Metropolitan Opera featured a daylong concert with some of the world’s greatest opera stars. On stage at the Met were Dame Joan Sutherland, Placido Domingo and Luciano Pavarotti.

• 2001 ~ Tom Baker, one of Australia’s most respected jazz musicians, died of a heart attack while touring in the Netherlands. He was 49. Baker, a native of California, took up residence in Australia 30 years ago. He was a regular at Sydney’s famous jazz club, The Basement. Willie Qua, drummer and co-founder of one of Australia’s best-known jazz bands, Galapagos Duck, said Baker had often played as “a part-time member” of the band and was an icon of the Sydney jazz scene. Baker formed his first band, Tom Baker’s San Francisco Jazz Band, in 1975, earning himself a reputation as one of Australia’s very best jazz musicians. Recently he toured extensively through Europe and America.

Happy Birthday, Franz Liszt!

liszt-quote

Franz Liszt was born in Raiding, near Ödenburg, October 22, 1811 and died in Bayreuth, July 31, 1886. He was a Hungarian composer and pianist who was a major influence during the romantic period. Liszt was an outstanding pianist at seven, composed at eight and made concert appearances at nine. In addition to being a piano virtuoso, he was also a critic, conductor, city music director, literary writer and transcriber of the works of other composers. He transcribed Beethoven’s Symphonies for the piano.

Franz Liszt began his career as the outstanding concert pianist of the century, who, along with the prodigious violinist Niccoló Paganini (1782-1840), created the cult of the modern instrumental virtuoso. To show off his phenomenal and unprecedented technique, Liszt composed a great deal of music designed specifically for this purpose, resulting in a vast amount of piano literature laden with dazzling, and other technical marvels. In this vein, Liszt composed a series of virtuosic rhapsodies on Hungarian gypsy melodies, the best-known being the all too familiar Hungarian Rhapsody no. 2. Liszt developed the rhapsody as a form of serious music. This kind of music is worlds apart from the generally more introspective, poetic music of pianist-composer Frédéric Chopin.

Liszt was wildly handsome and hugely talented. He was extremely popular in Paris during the 1830’s. It is said that women actually fainted at his piano recitals. He was the first to position the piano so that its lid reflected the sound and the audience could see his profile as he performed.

Liszt was the first to write a tone poem, which is an extended, single-movement work for orchestra, inspired by paintings, plays, poems or other literary or visual works, and attempting to convey the ideas expressed in those media through music. Such a work is Les Préludes, based on a poem in which life is expressed as a series of struggles, passions, and mysteries, all serving as a mere prelude to . . .what? The Romantic genre of the symphonic poem, as well as its cousin the concert overture, became very attractive to many later composers, including Saint-Saëns, TchaikovskyDvorák, Sibelius, and Richard Strauss.


     Liszt’s birthday

     anniversary of Liszt’s death

    Listen to Liszt’s transcription of Meyerbeer’s Hellish Waltz from Robert du Diable, which probably caused more public commotion than any other piano piece in history.


     Read quotes by and about Liszt

     Liszt was the first recitalist

     In Praise of Pianos and the Artists Who Play Them

     History of the Piano

     Franz Liszt

New for Fall: LIstening and Coloring Pages

 

I have just purchased a set of Shades of Sound Listening & Coloring Book: Halloween for the studio.

Each week, I will print out some of the pages for your student and put them in his/her notebook.  After listening to the music on YouTube, the student may color the pages.

After they are colored, please return them to the notebook so that there will be a complete book when finished.

If you are an adult and want to listen and color, too, just let me know and I’ll print you a set.

From the website:

The Shades of Sound Listening and Coloring Books are a great way to encourage students to listen to great piano and orchestral repertoire. Students of all ages will love coloring the fun pictures while listening to and learning from the music of the great composers.

This Shades of Sound Halloween edition includes 13 spooky pieces of piano and orchestral literature, ranging from the Baroque to the Modern period. By spending just 5-10 minutes per day listening for just a few days per week, students can listen to and complete the whole book in a few weeks.

Aspiring pianists need to know the literature, hear the greats perform, and be inspired and excited by the great music that is available! Just as writers need to read, read, read, pianists need to listen! Through this fun curriculum, students will learn about the musical periods and the great composers and their works. Listening repertoire selected includes selections from the standard solo piano literature, as well as solo piano and orchestra literature and orchestral works.

My hope is that students can add just 5-10 minutes of listening per day to their normal practicing. Listening to great music will change their understanding of music and will vastly increase their music history knowledge. It will excite and inspire them, encourage further study and listening, give them new pieces to add to their own repertoire wish list, infuse more great music into their lives, homes and families, and will boost their musicianship and expression to the next level.

The Halloween Shades of Sound book includes 13 different pieces, including:

  • Totentanz by Liszt
  • Le Cimetiere, from Clairs de Lune by Abel Decaux
  • Graceful Ghost Rag by William Bolcom
  • Night on Bald Mountain by Mussorgsky/Rimsky-Korsakov
  • Tarantelle, from Music for Children Op. 65 No. 4 by Prokofiev
  • Tarantella by Albert Pieczonka
  • In the Hall of the Mountain King by Grieg
  • Toccata and Fugue in D minor, BWV 565 by Bach
  • Funeral March, from Piano Sonata No. 2 in B-flat minor by Chopin
  • Danse Macabre by Saint-Saens
  • The Banshee by Henry Cowell
  • Scarbo, from Gaspard de la nuit by Ravel
  • The Sorcerer’s Apprentice by Paul Dukas

Students may use The Playful Piano – Halloween Listening YouTube playlist to listen along with their book using quality recordings. The playlist is ordered to go right along with the book, and also includes 5 extra pieces (some pages include optional “Further Listening” examples students may listen to).

 

Happy Birthday, Clara Schumann

cschumann

 

Clara Schumann (1819-96) was much more than the wife of composer Robert Schumann. She was, quite simply, one of the greatest pianists of all time. A child prodigy, her technique and musicianship as a mature artist led to her being regarded as the equal of giants of the keyboard such a Franz Liszt, Sigismond Thalberg and Anton Rubinstein.

And from her girlhood until the end of her marriage she composed wonderful music, mostly solo piano music, but other works as well, including a concerto, a large number of songs and a sublime piano trio.

In her later years she was an internationally famous teacher, and her performing career lasted more than six decades. She was, quite simply, a phenomenon.

Hungarian Rhapsody no. 2 in c-sharp minor by Franz Liszt

liszt

Hungarian Rhapsody No. 2, S.244/2, is the second in a set of 19 Hungarian Rhapsodies by composer Franz Liszt, and is by far the most famous of the set. Few other piano solos have achieved such widespread popularity, offering the pianist the opportunity to reveal exceptional skill as a virtuoso, while providing the listener with an immediate and irresistible musical appeal.

In both the original piano solo form and in the orchestrated version this composition has enjoyed widespread use in animated cartoons. Its themes have also served as the basis of several popular songs.

It is probable that you have heard this piece of music somewhere at one time or another because it is perhaps the most prominent piece of classical (romantic, actually) music featured in animated cartoons across the years.

Now, let the anvils fall and dynamite explode!

And, in real life, Valentina Lisitsa plays Liszt’s Hungarian Rhapsody No. 2

July 31 ~ This Day in Music History

today

• 1828 ~ François Auguste Gevaert, Belgian composer, musicologist, conductor and organist

• 1845 ~ The French Army introduced the saxophone to its military band. The musical instrument was the invention of Adolphe Sax of Belgium.

• 1847 ~ Ignacio Cervantes, Pianist

• 1886 ~ Franz Liszt, Hungarian composer and pianist died. Originator of the symphonic poem, he was a prolific teacher and a huge influence on Richard Wagner and Richard Strauss.
More information about Liszt

• 1911 ~ George Liberace, Violinist, conductor; administrator of Liberace Museum; brother of pianist/entertainer Liberace

• 1918 ~ Jan La Rue, American musicologist

• 1918 ~ Hank Jones, Pianist. He accompanied Billy Eckstine and Ella Fitzgerald. He led the Hank Jones Trio

• 1919 ~ Mornam Del Mar, British conductor

• 1923 ~ Ahmet Ertegun, Recording Executive

• 1939 ~ John West, Musician, guitarist with Gary Lewis and the Playboys

• 1942 ~ Harry James and his band recorded the classic I’ve Heard that Song Before, for Columbia Records. Helen Forrest sang on the million-seller.

• 1943 ~ Lobo, Singer

• 1946 ~ Gary Lewis (Levitch), Singer with Gary Lewis and the Playboys, entertainer Jerry Lewis’ son

• 1946 ~ Bob Welch, Guitarist and singer with Fleetwood Mac

• 1947 ~ Karl Green, Musician, guitar and harmonica with Herman’s Hermits

• 1964 ~ Jim Reeves, popular U.S. country music singer, died in an air crash near Nashville.

• 1985 ~ Prince was big at the box office with the autobiographical story of the Minneapolis rock star, Purple Rain. The flick grossed $7.7 million in its first three days of release on 917 movie screens. The album of the same name was the top LP in the U.S., as well.

• 2016 ~Gloria DeHaven, a singer and actress known for starring in several MGM musicals, died at the age of 91.

June 9 ~ This Day in Music History

today

 

Be sure your student reads and listens to Today’s Daily Listening Assignment

 

 

• 1361 ~ Philippe de Vitry, French Composer and poet, died at the age of at 69

• 1656 ~ Thomas Tomkins, Composer, died

• 1717 ~ Louis Le Quointe, Composer, died at the age of 64

• 1810 ~ (Carl) Otto (Ehrenfried) Nicolai, Composer
More information about Nicolai

• 1828 ~ Carlo Marsili, Composer

• 1829 ~ Gaetano Braga, Composer

• 1832 ~ Manuel Garcia, Composer, died at the age of 57

• 1849 ~ Joseph Vezina, Composer

• 1849 ~ The term recital used for the first time to describe a solo performance by an instrumental player. The first recitalist was Franz Liszt

• 1865 ~ Carl Nielsen, Danish composer and conductor
More information about Nielsen

• 1865 ~ Alberic Magnard, Composer

• 1870 ~ Erik Drake, Composer, died at the age of 82

• 1879 ~ Oscar Back, Austrian-Dutch viola player

• 1886 ~ Kusaku Yamada, Composer

• 1888 ~ Hugo Kauder, Composer

• 1890 ~ The opera “Robin Hood” premiered in Chicago

• 1891 ~ Cole Porter, American composer and lyricist for the musical theater. His many famous musicals include “Anything Goes”, “Kiss Me Kate” and “Can Can”.
More information about Porter

• 1892 ~ Friedrich Wilhelm Langhans, Composer, died at the age of 59

• 1900 ~ Fred Waring, Musician, conductor and inventor of the Waring Blender

• 1904 ~ The London Symphony Orchestra presented its inaugural concert.

• 1905 ~ Walter Kraft, Composer

• 1912 ~ Edgar Evans, Tenor

• 1914 ~ Hermann Haller, Composer

• 1915 ~ Les Paul, Guitarist and inventor of the Les Paul guitar

• 1924 ~ Jelly-Roll Blues was recorded by blues great, Jelly Roll Morton

• 1927 ~ Franco Donatoni, Composer

• 1931 ~ Henrique Oswald, Composer, died at the age of 79

• 1932 ~ Natalia Janotha, Composer, died at the age of 76

• 1904 ~ Pal Karolyi, Composer

• 1934 ~ Jackie Wilson, Singer

• 1934 ~ Wild Jimmy Spruill, blues guitarist

• 1938 ~ Charles Wuorinen, American composer, won the Pulitzer Prize in 1980

• 1957 ~ Robert Oboussier, Composer, died at the age of 56

• 1958 ~ Purple People Eater by Sheb Wooley hit #1

• 1962 ~ Tony Bennett debuted in concert at Carnegie Hall in New York City

• 1963 ~ Barbra Streisand appeared on “Ed Sullivan Show”

• 1967 ~ Stefan Boleslaw Poradowski, Composer, died at the age of 64

• 1970 ~ Bob Dylan given honorary Doctorate of Music at Princeton University

• 1971 ~ Paul McCartney’s album “Ram” went gold

• 1972 ~ Bruce Springsteen signed a record deal with Columbia

• 1975 ~ David Frederick Barlow, Composer, died at the age of 48

• 1975 ~ Tony Orlando and Dawn received gold record for He Don’t Love You

• 1980 ~ Fourteenth Music City News Country Awards, Statler Brothers & Loretta Lynn

• 1984 ~ Cyndi Lauper’s first #1 Time After Times

• 1986 ~ Twentieth Music City News Country Awards, Statler Brothers & Loretta Lynn

• 1990 ~ Michael Jackson was hospitalized with inflamed rib cartilage

• 1991 ~ Claudio Arrau, Chilian/American pianist and composer, died at the age of 88

• 1991 ~ Bruce Springsteen wed his backup singer Patty Scialfa

• 1991 ~ Max van Praag, Dutch singer, died at the age of 77

• 1992 ~ Clarence Miller, Blues/jazz vocalist, died at the age of 69 of a heart attack

• 1993 ~ Arthur Alexander, Singer/songwriter, died at the age of 53

• 1995 ~ Frank Chacksfield, Conductor/arranger, died at the age of 81

• 2000 ~ Jazz bassist Burgher “Buddy” Jones, who played in big bands behind Peggy Lee and Frank Sinatra and toured with Harry James and Tommy Dorsey, died at the age of 76.

A native of Hope, Ark., Jones was a childhood friend of the late Virginia Kelley, mother of President Clinton. At 17, Jones went to the University of Kansas City, where he met and befriended saxophonist Charlie Parker. Jones later introduced Parker to his wife, Chan. Jones played in the Elliot Lawrence band, when its arrangers included Al Cohn, Tiny Kahn and Johnny Mandel. As a staff musician for CBS in New York in the 1950s and 1960s,

Jones played for the Jack Sterling radio show and in bands behind Lee and Sinatra. In 1996, Jones was inducted into the Arkansas Jazz Hall of Fame.