Monday, June 11, 2007

Therapy

So, I'm depressed. About the most I expected from my amateur musical "career" was a place to show my mediocre work and the Seattle Symphony stole that from me. My music will never be interesting to any significant orchestra. I am not allowed to merely have fun with it, and there's no way I can expect to be able to take myself as a "serious" composer. so what's the point.
So...here's a funny story that I first read in Barbara Tuchman's "Proud Tower" and am again reminded of in my reading of Norman Lebrecht.
Ricard Strauss was trying to conduct a rehearsal with a difficult singer. The singer, whose name escapes me, (Paula de Ahne, Or something similar) was being very difficult and stormed to her dressing room. Strauss followed her. Soon the other musicians heard tremendous yelling, screaming, bumping and other alarming noises from behind the closed door. They knocked and told Strauss taht if he wanted to fire her, they would be glad to support him in that action. Strauss stuck his head out of the room and informed them that "that would make me very sad, inasmuch as she has just consented to become my wife"
Life, love, irony, violence........see what I mean about the blues?

Another quote I found in Lebrecht's "Anecdotes";
"Busoni would ask;
"What's the difference between Godowsky and a pianola?
Godowsky can play ten times as fast but the pianola has ten times as much feeling.""
I guess you had to be there.
Pianola?
Godowsky?
I am truly sorry that this post is so lame, but I do have an excuse. I'm not sure what it is, but I'm sure I have one.

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4 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi and (for two weeks) Goodbye in Seattle, Doug/Lane.
My next view of your site will probably be next Monday at the Staatsbibliothek in Schwerin, while the "Lovely Librarian" is doing her weekly volunteering at that library.
Yes, it's true that Richard and Pauline (nee: deAhna, a General's daughter,used to commanding) had their jollies by arguing; he enjoyed these "Needles from the Hedgehog" as one friend of theirs observed.
He even wrote an opera about his stormy (therefore for them) "happy" marriage. called "Intermezzo", which I have on (PAL) video in my Schwerin apartment, and you can see it when you visit us there. I also saw it "live" once in Muenchen. It probably won't be done in the US, except, MAYBE, at a university.
About a venue to hear your music: either convince the composers' forum to move to a church or Seattle Central CC (rent would most likely be less than at Benaroya) -- or form your own composers' group and arrange for it to meet in one of those venues -- and use students as the musicians, esp. @ SCCC.
"Nothing ventured, nothing gained" -- me; and "He who doesn't try always loses" -- Regine Hildebrandt.

7:36 PM  
Blogger butch said...

I guess you have the right to feel depressed. We all wonder,"What's it all about, Alfie?" But maybe it will cheer you up that I just found out last week that my attack of phlibitis is considered a "shallow vien thrombosis", and now I have to go through a 3 times a week lab test, and add warfarin to my chronic meds, and Melva has to shoot me in the stomach with lovenox syringes for several more days to get my blood thinner. It appears this means that my road trip this summer will be canceled, and I am as blue as the Pacific, which is actually gray-blue, which is me and my mood as well.

The player piano is a type of piano that plays music automatically without the need for a human pianist. Instead, the keys are struck by mechanical, pneumatic or electrical means. The player piano was most popular in the first half of the 20th century, roughly at the same time as the acoustic phonograph

This musical instrument was not invented by any one person, since its many distinguishing features were developed over a long period of time, principally during the second half of the 19th century. An early example was the Pianista, developed by Henri Fourneaux in 1863, though ultimately the best known was the Pianola, originally created by Edwin Scott Votey in 1895 at his home workshop in Detroit, Michigan. It was Votey's invention that initiated mass production of the instrument, which went finally into production in 1898.[1] John MacTammany, an American Civil War veteran, also claimed much credit in the invention and development of the instrument, having patented several devices that were important to the development of the player piano from 1881 onwards.

Leopold Godowsky, Jr. (May 27, 1900 - February 18, 1983) was an American violinist and chemist, who together with Leopold Mannes created the first practical color transparency film, Kodachrome
Godowsky studied violin at UCLA and became a soloist and first violinist with the Los Angeles and the San Francisco Symphony Orchestras. He also enrolled at UCLA to study physics and chemistry. He performed jointly with his father, Leopold Godowsky, one of the great pianists of the early twentieth century. Godowsky Jr married Frances Gershwin, sister of George and Ira Gershwin, who became a recognized painter and sculptor. Their son, Leopold Godowsky III, is also a concert pianist. By 1922, Godowsky had given up his orchestral jobs in California and moved back to New York City where he and Mannes worked as musicians. They experimented with color photography during their spare time.

Leopold Godowsky (Leopold Godowski) (February 13, 1870–November 21, 1938), was a famed Polish-American pianist, composer, and teacher. He has been described as the "Pianist of Pianists".

He became a naturalised American, but was born to Jewish parents in Sozły, near Vilna, in what was then Russian territory but is now part of Lithuania. He considered himself of Polish heritage.


Photograph of Leopold GodowskyAs a child, he received some lessons in basic piano playing and music theory; at age fourteen, he entered the Königliche Hochschule für Musik in Berlin, where he studied under Ernst Rudorff, but left after three months. Otherwise, he was self-taught.

His career as a concert pianist, which eventually would take him to every inhabited continent except Australia, began at age ten. In 1886, after a tour of North America, he returned to Europe, intending to study with Franz Liszt in Weimar. Upon learning of Liszt's death shortly after his return, he traveled instead to Paris, where he was befriended by the composer and pianist Camille Saint-Saëns, who enabled him to make the acquaintance of many leading French musicians. Saint-Saëns even proposed to adopt Godowsky if he would take his surname, an offer which Godowsky declined, much to the older man's displeasure.

Godowsky's pedagogical activity began in 1890 at the New York College of Music. While in New York, he married Frieda Saxe and the next day became an American citizen. In 1894 he moved to the Broad Street Conservatory in Philadelphia, and again in 1895 to the Chicago Conservatory, where he headed the piano department. A successful European concert tour in 1900 landed him once again in Berlin, where he divided his time between performing and teaching. From 1909 to 1914 he taught master classes at the Vienna Academy of Music (Konservatorium Wien). The outbreak of World War I drove him back to New York, where his home was frequented by many distinguished performers and celebrities of that day. Sergei Rachmaninoff, a particular friend, dedicated his Polka de W. R. to him.

Godowsky was also a close friend of Einstein. Some anecdotes about this as well as humorous anecdotes on his life can be found at [1].

Leopold Godowsky (Leopold Godowski) (February 13, 1870–November 21, 1938), was a famed Polish-American pianist, composer, and teacher. He has been described as the "Pianist of Pianists".

He became a naturalised American, but was born to Jewish parents in Sozły, near Vilna, in what was then Russian territory but is now part of Lithuania. He considered himself of Polish heritage.


Photograph of Leopold GodowskyAs a child, he received some lessons in basic piano playing and music theory; at age fourteen, he entered the Königliche Hochschule für Musik in Berlin, where he studied under Ernst Rudorff, but left after three months. Otherwise, he was self-taught.

His career as a concert pianist, which eventually would take him to every inhabited continent except Australia, began at age ten. In 1886, after a tour of North America, he returned to Europe, intending to study with Franz Liszt in Weimar. Upon learning of Liszt's death shortly after his return, he traveled instead to Paris, where he was befriended by the composer and pianist Camille Saint-Saëns, who enabled him to make the acquaintance of many leading French musicians. Saint-Saëns even proposed to adopt Godowsky if he would take his surname, an offer which Godowsky declined, much to the older man's displeasure.

Godowsky's pedagogical activity began in 1890 at the New York College of Music. While in New York, he married Frieda Saxe and the next day became an American citizen. In 1894 he moved to the Broad Street Conservatory in Philadelphia, and again in 1895 to the Chicago Conservatory, where he headed the piano department. A successful European concert tour in 1900 landed him once again in Berlin, where he divided his time between performing and teaching. From 1909 to 1914 he taught master classes at the Vienna Academy of Music (Konservatorium Wien). The outbreak of World War I drove him back to New York, where his home was frequented by many distinguished performers and celebrities of that day. Sergei Rachmaninoff, a particular friend, dedicated his Polka de W. R. to him.

Godowsky was also a close friend of Einstein. Some anecdotes about this as well as humorous anecdotes on his life can be found at [1].

Leopold Godowsky (Leopold Godowski) (February 13, 1870–November 21, 1938), was a famed Polish-American pianist, composer, and teacher. He has been described as the "Pianist of Pianists".

He became a naturalised American, but was born to Jewish parents in Sozły, near Vilna, in what was then Russian territory but is now part of Lithuania. He considered himself of Polish heritage.


Photograph of Leopold GodowskyAs a child, he received some lessons in basic piano playing and music theory; at age fourteen, he entered the Königliche Hochschule für Musik in Berlin, where he studied under Ernst Rudorff, but left after three months. Otherwise, he was self-taught.

His career as a concert pianist, which eventually would take him to every inhabited continent except Australia, began at age ten. In 1886, after a tour of North America, he returned to Europe, intending to study with Franz Liszt in Weimar. Upon learning of Liszt's death shortly after his return, he traveled instead to Paris, where he was befriended by the composer and pianist Camille Saint-Saëns, who enabled him to make the acquaintance of many leading French musicians. Saint-Saëns even proposed to adopt Godowsky if he would take his surname, an offer which Godowsky declined, much to the older man's displeasure.

Godowsky's pedagogical activity began in 1890 at the New York College of Music. While in New York, he married Frieda Saxe and the next day became an American citizen. In 1894 he moved to the Broad Street Conservatory in Philadelphia, and again in 1895 to the Chicago Conservatory, where he headed the piano department. A successful European concert tour in 1900 landed him once again in Berlin, where he divided his time between performing and teaching. From 1909 to 1914 he taught master classes at the Vienna Academy of Music (Konservatorium Wien). The outbreak of World War I drove him back to New York, where his home was frequented by many distinguished performers and celebrities of that day. Sergei Rachmaninoff, a particular friend, dedicated his Polka de W. R. to him.

Godowsky was also a close friend of Einstein. Some anecdotes about this as well as humorous anecdotes on his life can be found at [1].

"The diplomatic origins, so-called, of the War are only the fever chart of the patient; they do not tell us what caused the fever. To probe for underlying causes and deeper forces one must operate within the framework of a whole society and try to discover what moved the people in it."
--Barbara W. Tuchman
The fateful quarter-century leading up to the World War I was a time when the world of Privilege still existed in Olympian luxury and the world of Protest was heaving in its pain, its power, and its hate. The age was the climax of a century of the most accelerated rate of change in history, a cataclysmic shaping of destiny.
In The Proud Tower, Barbara Tuchman concentrates on society rather than the state. With an artist's selectivity, Tuchman bings to vivid life the people, places, and events that shaped the years leading up to the Great War: the Edwardian aristocracy and the end of their reign; the Anarchists of Europe and America, who voiced the protest of the oppressed; Germany, as portrayed through the figure of the self-depicted Hero, Richard Strauss; the sudden gorgeous blaze of Diaghilev's Russian Ballet and Stravinsky's music; the Dreyfus Affair; the two Peace Conferences at the Hague; and, finally, the youth, ideals, enthusiasm, and tragedy of Socialism, epitomized in the moment when the heroic Jean Jaurès was shot to death on the night the War began and an epoch ended.
"Tuchman [was] a distinguished historian who [wrote] her books with a rare combination of impeccable scholarship and literary polish. . . . It would be impossible to read The Proud Tower without pleasure and admiration."
--The New York Times
"Tuchman proved in The Guns of August that she could write better military history than most men. In this sequel, she tells her story with cool wit and warm understanding, eschewing both the sweeping generalizations of a Toynbee and the minute-by-minute simplicisms of a Walter Lord."

Richard Strauss (June 11, 1864 – September 8, 1949) was a German composer of the late Romantic era and early modern era, particularly noted for his tone poems and operas. He was also a noted conductor.

Richard Strauss married soprano Pauline de Ahna on September 10, 1894. She was famous for being bossy, ill-tempered, eccentric, and outspoken, but the marriage was happy, and she was a great source of inspiration to him. Throughout his life, from his earliest songs to the final Four Last Songs of 1948, he would prefer the soprano voice to all others. Indeed, nearly every major operatic role that Strauss wrote is for a soprano.

I am sorry that my comments responding to your post are so lame. I guess my excuses are medical.

Glenn

7:06 AM  
Blogger butch said...

Christ, my fingers are lame as well. My comments on Godowsky Sr. repeat themselves. Oh well, now you will be twice as smart, having read it twice, right?

I hope you had a great time visiting with Anonomann, now that he is winging his way back to Deutschland. He gives good advice, and he seems to be a Savant supporter of the First Order. Are there not other Composer's groups around? Like connected with the UofW or other schools, or just get on the internet and punch up Northwest Composer Groups or something? Lot of luck, and keep after it. There is a great honor in creating music, even whacky tunes or Savant sonatas.

Glenn

7:14 AM  
Blogger Lane Savant said...

Your additional sufferings do not make me happy, Butch, but they do serve as a reality check, reminding me that what I am whining about is really insignificant.

9:40 AM  

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