Music History Monday: Frankie and Johnny, and Helen and Lee
Music History Monday
by Robert Greenberg
3d ago
I am aware that Valentine’s Day is already 5 days past, but darned if the romantic warm ‘n’ fuzzies aren’t still lingering with me like a rash from poison oak. As such, I will be excused for offering up what I will admit is a belated, but nevertheless Valentine’s Day-related post. Gratitude We should all be grateful that the following Valentine’s Day-related post is not on the lines of those blogs I wrote in 2010 and 2011, blogs written for various websites in my attempt to drum up sales for my Great Courses/Teaching Company Courses. For example, I wrote a couple of Valentine’s Day-themed blo ..read more
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Music History Monday: Unauthorized Use
Music History Monday
by Robert Greenberg
1w ago
February 12 is one of those remarkable days in music history, remarkable for all the notable events that took place on this day. So: before getting to our featured topic, let us acknowledge some of those events and share some links to previous Music History Monday and Dr. Bob Prescribes posts that dealt with those events. Carl Czerny (1791-1857) On this day in 1812, Beethoven’s student (and friend), the Austrian composer, pianist, and teacher Carl Czerny (1791-1857) performed as the soloist in the premiere of Beethoven’s Piano Concerto No. 5 in E-flat major, the “Emperor.” Czerny was the subj ..read more
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Dr. Bob Prescribes Barbara Cook
Music History Monday
by Robert Greenberg
2w ago
Songs and Singers As I discussed in Dr. Bob Prescribes on January 16 of this year, I intend to make 2024 a “year of the song” here in Dr. Bob Prescribes, specifically, the year of the “popular song.” Barbara Cook as Ado Annie in the 1953 Broadway revival of Oklahoma!, age 26 As I mentioned in January, I’m doing this out of emotional and spiritual self-preservation, as I expect 2024 to be a dumpster fire to rival the COVID and election year 2020. Few things musical thrill me and uplift me as immediately as a great song, and IU assume many – if not most of you – feel the same way. Heavens knows ..read more
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Music History Monday: Getting Back to Work!
Music History Monday
by Robert Greenberg
2w ago
Giuseppe Fortunino Francesco Verdi (1813-1901) in 1887 On February 5, 1887 – 137 years ago today – Giuseppe Verdi’s 25th and second-to-last opera, Otello, received its premiere at the Teatro alla Scala in Milan.  The premiere was the single greatest triumph in Verdi’s sensational career.  But it was a premiere – and an opera – that was a long time coming. Background He was born on October 10, 1813, in the sticks: in the tiny village of Le Roncole, in the northern Italian province of Parma.   Verdi’s first opera, Oberto, received its premiere at the Teatro alla Scala in Milan in ..read more
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Music History Monday: Idomeneo
Music History Monday
by Robert Greenberg
3w ago
We mark the premiere on January 29, 1781 – 243 years ago today – of Wolfgang Mozart’s opera Idomeneo, Re di Creta (“Idomeneo, King of Crete”).  With a libretto by Giambattista Varesco (1735-1805), which was adapted from a French story by Antoine Danchet (1671-1748), itself based on a play written in 1705 by the French tragedian Prosper Jolyot de Crébillon (1674 -1762; that’s a lot of writing credits!), Idomeneo received its premiere at the Cuvilliés Theatre in Munich, Germany.  Idomeneo was a hit, and it constitutes not just Mozart’s first operatic masterwork but, by consensus ..read more
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Music History Monday: Johannes Brahms, Piano Concerto No. 1
Music History Monday
by Robert Greenberg
1M ago
Johannes Brahms (1833-1897) in 1858 We mark the premiere on January 22, 1859 – 165 years ago today – of Johannes Brahms’ Piano Concerto No. 1, in the German city of Hanover. No other work by Brahms caused him such effort; never before or after did he so agonize over a piece, working and reworking it over and over again. Background On October 1, 1853, the 20-year-old Johannes Brahms showed up at the door of Robert and Clara Schumann’s house in Düsseldorf, in the Rhineland.  At the time, Brahms was pretty much a complete unknown outside of his hometown of Hamburg.  He was visiting the ..read more
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Music History Monday: American Pie
Music History Monday
by Robert Greenberg
1M ago
On January 15, 1972 – 52 years ago today – Don McLean’s folk-rock song American Pie began what would eventually be a four-week stay at number 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart.  The song made the singer, songwriter, and guitarist Don McLean (born 1945) very famous and very rich, and it is considered by many to be one of the greatest songs ever written. Don McLean (born 1945) in 1972 No One is Perfect Not a one of us is perfect, and that goes double/triple/quadruple for me.  I eat ice cream right out of the carton before putting it back in the freezer, and will guzzle club soda and to ..read more
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Music History Monday: Pianist, Conductor, Composer, and a Cuckold for the Ages
Music History Monday
by Robert Greenberg
1M ago
Hans Guido von Bülow (1830-1894), circa 1875 We mark the birth on January 8, 1830 – 196 years ago today – of the German pianist, conductor, composer, and cuckold, Hans Guido von Bülow.  Born in the Saxon capital of Dresden, he died in a hotel in Cairo, Egypt, on February 12, 1894, at the age of 64.  Poor Hans von Bülow.  He was one of the top pianists and conductors of his time.  His career was closely associated with some of the greatest composers of all time, including Richard Wagner, Johannes Brahms, and Pyotr Tchaikovsky.  Famous for his devastating wit and abilit ..read more
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Music History Monday: Shostakovich Symphony No. 13
Music History Monday
by Robert Greenberg
2M ago
On December 18, 1962 – 61 years ago today – Dmitri Shostakovich’s Symphony No. 13 received its premiere in Moscow.  The symphony stirred up a proverbial hornet’s nest of controversy, and we’re not talking here about your everyday hornet, but rather, those gnarly ‘n’ gnasty Asian Giant Hornets! Dmitri Dmitriyevich Shostakovich (1906-1975) in 1962 It was a symphonic premiere that almost didn’t take place, though, in the end, the show did go on.  Nevertheless, the authorities (the Soviet authorities, notable for their heavy blue serge suits, vodka breaths, and deficient senses of humor ..read more
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Music History Monday: The “Amusa”
Music History Monday
by Robert Greenberg
2M ago
Friederica Henrietta of Anhalt-Bernburg (1702-1723), the “Amusa” On December 11, 1721 – 302 years ago today – Johann Sebastian Bach’s employer, the 27-year-old Prince Leopold of Anhalt-Cöthen (1694-1728), married the 19-year-old Friederica Henrietta of Anhalt-Bernburg (1702-1723).  She was the fourth daughter (and youngest child) of Charles Frederick, Prince of Anhalt-Bernburg (1668-1721) and his first wife, Sophie Albertine of Solms-Sonnenwalde (1672-1708). We can only hope that the kids enjoyed their wedding, because, sadly, their marriage was not fated to last for very long. (Allow me ..read more
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