Music History Monday

By Robert Greenberg

Speaker, Composer, Author, Professor, Historian

  1. 1.
    Music History Monday: The Riot at the Astor Place Opera House
    16:55
  2. 2.
    Music History Monday: The Word’s the Thing: Betty Comden and Adolph Green
    22:03
  3. 3.
    Music History Monday: Tchaikovsky in America
    18:41
  4. 4.
    Music History Monday: To the memory of an Angel
    21:14
  5. 5.
    Music History Monday: Dr. Burney
    22:32
  6. 6.
    Music History Monday: “Three’s the Charm”
    12:18
  7. 7.
    Music History Monday: Beethoven’s Funeral
    19:32
  8. 8.
    Music History Monday: Stephen Sondheim: The Making of a Theatrical Life, Part One
    23:31

Listen to Music History Monday now.

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The post Music History Monday: When Richard Strauss was “Modernity”: ‘Salome’ and ‘Elektra’ first appeared on Robert Greenberg.

","id":"29JcY779JYdNZWkUkueZXP","images":[{"height":640,"url":"https://i.scdn.co/image/ca3ee9d42f979ae4336d3e0a61cd5465e5ffe3d7","width":640},{"height":300,"url":"https://i.scdn.co/image/eba42efdfe2b79ba5989cbf033de07c74ef4081b","width":300},{"height":64,"url":"https://i.scdn.co/image/6e8d0b5fd7962e9cd2ce2f3f4af21b6c1f0a5505","width":64}],"is_externally_hosted":false,"is_paywall_content":false,"is_playable":true,"language":"en-US","languages":["en-US"],"name":"Music History Monday: When Richard Strauss was “Modernity”: ‘Salome’ and ‘Elektra’","release_date":"2021-01-25","release_date_precision":"day","type":"episode","uri":"spotify:episode:29JcY779JYdNZWkUkueZXP"},{"audio_preview_url":"https://p.scdn.co/mp3-preview/a2f568106a7c36f22ff812561eea665d01d16df4","content_type":"PODCAST_EPISODE","description":"January is usually a concert-heavy month, following, as it does, the holiday-heavy month of December. In a non-COVID environment, theaters thrive in the cold and early darkness of January, as folks look for something to do while they wait out the winter in anticipation of warmer, longer days and baseball season.  January 18th is particularly notable for concerts that have taken place on this date, concerts that with one glaring exception I personally would have been thrilled to attend. Stuck at home as we presently are thanks to you-know-what, let us live vicariously through these January 18 concerts, even as we anticipate – hungrily, hopefully – the soon-enough-to-be attended concerts of January 2022.  We will focus primarily on the first of these concerts – the premiere of Dmitri Shostakovich’s opera, The Nose – after which we’ll do a quick prance through five other January 18-specific concert events of note. The Nose We mark the premiere performance on January 18, 1930 – 91 years ago today – of Dmitri Shostakovich’s first opera, The Nose, which was performed by the Maly Opera Theater in Leningrad (today’s St. Petersburg). Completed in 1928 when Shostakovich was just 22 years old, The Nose is based […] The post Music History Monday: Concerts I Would Like to Have Attended (and One I am Glad to have Missed!) first appeared on Robert Greenberg.","duration_ms":1436210,"explicit":false,"external_urls":{"spotify":"https://open.spotify.com/episode/5puTyZqJ5wvAJHRDfcgiXN"},"href":"https://api.spotify.com/v1/episodes/5puTyZqJ5wvAJHRDfcgiXN","html_description":"

January is usually a concert-heavy month, following, as it does, the holiday-heavy month of December. In a non-COVID environment, theaters thrive in the cold and early darkness of January, as folks look for something to do while they wait out the winter in anticipation of warmer, longer days and baseball season. 

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January 18th is particularly notable for concerts that have taken place on this date, concerts that with one glaring exception I personally would have been thrilled to attend. Stuck at home as we presently are thanks to you-know-what, let us live vicariously through these January 18 concerts, even as we anticipate – hungrily, hopefully – the soon-enough-to-be attended concerts of January 2022. 

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We will focus primarily on the first of these concerts – the premiere of Dmitri Shostakovich’s opera, The Nose – after which we’ll do a quick prance through five other January 18-specific concert events of note.

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The Nose

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\"Dmitri
Dmitri Dmitriyevich Shostakovich (1906-1975) in 1925
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We mark the premiere performance on January 18, 1930 – 91 years ago today – of Dmitri Shostakovich’s first opera, The Nose, which was performed by the Maly Opera Theater in Leningrad (today’s St. Petersburg). Completed in 1928 when Shostakovich was just 22 years old, The Nose is based on a satirical story by the great Russian nationalist writer Nikolai Vasilyevich Gogol (1809-1852). That story, in the smallest of nutshells, goes like this. A bureaucrat is being shaved by his barber. Unbeknownst to both of them, the barber accidentally cuts off the bureaucrat’s nose. It’s only on the following day that the barber discovers the nose (in his bread of all places!) and that the bureaucrat, on awakening, discovers that his nose is missing. And so the subsequent action of the opera: the barber does his darndest to dispose of the nose while the bureaucrat tries to find it. Meanwhile, the nose grows an entirely new body which is ranked higher in the bureaucracy than its original owner! Craziness ensues, with the nose ultimately being “beaten down” into its original form and reunited with its original face. In the end, the story is about – among other things – the idiocy of the Russian bureaucracy and police.

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Shostakovich’s The Nose in a production by the Metropolitan Opera in 2013
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According to the British composer Gerard McBurney (born 1954):

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 “The Nose is one of the young Shostakovich’s greatest masterpieces, an electrifying tour de force of vocal acrobatics, wild instrumental colors and theatrical absurdity, all shot through with a blistering mixture of laughter and rage. The result, in Shostakovich’s ruthlessly irreverent hands, is like an operatic version of Charlie Chaplin or Monty Python.”

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Shostakovich was inordinately proud of this, his first opera, and for the rest of his life he judged people by whether they were “for” or “against” it. That’s because The Nose, inadvertently, became a lightning rod for criticism in those developing days of Soviet artistic oppression. 

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You see, despite the overwhelmingly positive audience response to The Nose, the increasingly politicized critical community slammed the opera for its serious ideological flaws, modernistic style, and rejection of traditional Russian operatic values. One review said The Nose was the result of:

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“The infantile sickness of Leftism.” 

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Shostakovich (1906-1975) was stunned. He had never received criticism like that; he was deeply wounded. But it was nothing personal. By the late 1920s, the previously liberal artistic atmosphere of Leningrad was beginning to suffocate at the hands of Soviet ideologues. Since Vladimir Lenin’s death in 1924, Joseph Stalin (1878-1953) had slowly and irresistibly been consolidating his power. On Stalin’s orders, a cultural revolution swept the Soviet Union between 1928 and 1931: militant party hacks, acting in the name of the “proletariat” (but in fact acting for Comrade Stalin) crushed the various artistic and musical societies that had come into being during the early and mid-1920’s, and replaced them with “unions” – writers unions, cinematographer’s unions, musician’s unions, and so forth, which stressed above all conformity and uniformity with party policies regarding art and expression. 

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Dmitri Shostakovich – the best, youngest, and brightest of the “new” Soviet composers – had managed to walk a fine line between personal self-expression and the increasingly repressive artistic tenets of the Soviet government. But that all changed with the critical abuse heaped upon The Nose. 

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Which begs the question: how did Shostakovich publicly react to the criticism of his opera and the increasingly hostile artistic environment that criticism represented? First, to his great credit, he continued – for the time being, at least – to compose the sort of music he wanted to compose, and the opera Lady MacBeth of Mtsenk (composed between 1930-1932) and his Symphony No. 4 (1934-1936) would be the crowning glories of his so-called “modern period”. But while he might have walked the walk, Shostakovich most certainly did not talk the talk. His need to live and to compose in an increasingly hostile artistic environment turned him into a hypocrite (which, in Shostakovich’s case, is another word for “survivor”). 

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Having never had to walk in Shostakovich’s shoes, we are in no position to criticize him, craven though his talk could be. For example, when in 1930 the Russian Association of Proletarian Musicians condemned what they called “light music” (gypsy music and jazz, two genres of music that Shostakovich adored), he put his name behind the campaign to purge the community of musicians guilty of disseminating it. He wrote:

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“Only together with all of Soviet Society, leading widespread educational work on the class essence of the light genre, will we succeed in liquidating it.” 

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Please. And this from a guy who had incorporated an arrangement of Vincent Youman’s and Irving Caesar’s pop song Tea for Two into his ballet The Golden Age that very same year! 

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Some perspective. In 1930, when Shostakovich wrote those words, he was just 24 years old. His whole life was still in front of him, and not in his worst nightmares – or in anyone else’s, for that matter – could he have imagined the horrors of Stalinism that were about to engulf the Soviet Union. So he toed the party line verbally and continued to write the sort of music he wanted to write. 

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Reflecting on the near-death sentence he received in 1936 for having composed the opera Lady Macbeth, we know in retrospect how well that turned out. …

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The post Music History Monday: Concerts I Would Like to Have Attended (and One I am Glad to have Missed!) first appeared on Robert Greenberg.

","id":"5puTyZqJ5wvAJHRDfcgiXN","images":[{"height":640,"url":"https://i.scdn.co/image/ca3ee9d42f979ae4336d3e0a61cd5465e5ffe3d7","width":640},{"height":300,"url":"https://i.scdn.co/image/eba42efdfe2b79ba5989cbf033de07c74ef4081b","width":300},{"height":64,"url":"https://i.scdn.co/image/6e8d0b5fd7962e9cd2ce2f3f4af21b6c1f0a5505","width":64}],"is_externally_hosted":false,"is_paywall_content":false,"is_playable":true,"language":"en-US","languages":["en-US"],"name":"Music History Monday: Concerts I Would Like to Have Attended (and One I am Glad to have Missed!)","release_date":"2021-01-18","release_date_precision":"day","type":"episode","uri":"spotify:episode:5puTyZqJ5wvAJHRDfcgiXN"},{"audio_preview_url":"https://p.scdn.co/mp3-preview/e5245f6be7c6e457a5c010895758ab0963fce79e","content_type":"PODCAST_EPISODE","description":"We mark the first performance of Sergei Prokofiev’s ballet Romeo and Juliet on January 11, 1940 – 81 years ago today – by the Kirov Ballet in Leningrad, what today is St. Petersburg. Prokofiev was born on April 23, 1891 in Ukraine. He attended the St. Petersburg Conservatory as both a pianist and composer and graduated in 1914, first in his class. His rise to fame as both a pianist and composer was meteoric, and by 1917, the 26-year-old Prokofiev had come to be considered among Russia’s very best and brightest. Unfortunately, that’s also when current events had their way him. By 1917, World War One had been raging for three years. As the only son of a widow, Prokofiev had not been called up into the Russian army; a good thing, considering that four million Russians died in combat between 1914 and 1917. Violent frustration over the Russian war effort led Czar Nicholas II to abdicate on March 2, 1917. An armed insurrection brought Vladimir Lenin’s Bolshevik Party to power in November of 1917, and the Russian Civil War began. The Civil War would last for five horrific years and kill an additional 9 million Russians. In 1918, deciding […] The post Music History Monday: Prokofiev, Romeo and Juliet, and the B***h Goddess first appeared on Robert Greenberg.","duration_ms":1180686,"explicit":true,"external_urls":{"spotify":"https://open.spotify.com/episode/4UUnJN0ql7wvz0XVyyAYfI"},"href":"https://api.spotify.com/v1/episodes/4UUnJN0ql7wvz0XVyyAYfI","html_description":"
\"Sergei
Sergei Sergeyevich Prokofiev (1891-1953), circa 1940
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We mark the first performance of Sergei Prokofiev’s ballet Romeo and Juliet on January 11, 1940 – 81 years ago today – by the Kirov Ballet in Leningrad, what today is St. Petersburg.

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Prokofiev was born on April 23, 1891 in Ukraine. He attended the St. Petersburg Conservatory as both a pianist and composer and graduated in 1914, first in his class. His rise to fame as both a pianist and composer was meteoric, and by 1917, the 26-year-old Prokofiev had come to be considered among Russia’s very best and brightest. Unfortunately, that’s also when current events had their way him.

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By 1917, World War One had been raging for three years. As the only son of a widow, Prokofiev had not been called up into the Russian army; a good thing, considering that four million Russians died in combat between 1914 and 1917. Violent frustration over the Russian war effort led Czar Nicholas II to abdicate on March 2, 1917. An armed insurrection brought Vladimir Lenin’s Bolshevik Party to power in November of 1917, and the Russian Civil War began. The Civil War would last for five horrific years and kill an additional 9 million Russians.

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Prokofiev in New York, 1918
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In 1918, deciding that things were becoming a bit dicey there in Russia, Prokofiev decided that the time was right for a brief trip abroad. He later wrote:

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“On May 7, 1918, I started my journey, which was to take me abroad for only a few months . . . or so I thought.”

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In reality, it would be eighteen years before Prokofiev permanently returned home.

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His first stop – in 1918 – was the United States. In 1923 he decamped to Paris, which remained his “home base” until 1936. Prokofiev experienced genuine success during these years as both a pianist and composer, but he never felt fully appreciated or at home in the West.

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So when he was invited to return permanently to the Soviet Union in 1936, he jumped at what he considered to be a great opportunity. It was, in fact, the single biggest mistake he ever made, a mistake he shared with Napoleon and Hitler, who also believed they could march through Russia in victorious triumph.…

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Continue reading, only on Patreon

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The post Music History Monday: Prokofiev, Romeo and Juliet, and the B***h Goddess first appeared on Robert Greenberg.

","id":"4UUnJN0ql7wvz0XVyyAYfI","images":[{"height":640,"url":"https://i.scdn.co/image/ca3ee9d42f979ae4336d3e0a61cd5465e5ffe3d7","width":640},{"height":300,"url":"https://i.scdn.co/image/eba42efdfe2b79ba5989cbf033de07c74ef4081b","width":300},{"height":64,"url":"https://i.scdn.co/image/6e8d0b5fd7962e9cd2ce2f3f4af21b6c1f0a5505","width":64}],"is_externally_hosted":false,"is_paywall_content":false,"is_playable":true,"language":"en-US","languages":["en-US"],"name":"Music History Monday: Prokofiev, Romeo and Juliet, and the B***h Goddess","release_date":"2021-01-11","release_date_precision":"day","type":"episode","uri":"spotify:episode:4UUnJN0ql7wvz0XVyyAYfI"},{"audio_preview_url":"https://p.scdn.co/mp3-preview/a79811aab9229b7f1093f23c0beefd209f2e5e0b","content_type":"PODCAST_EPISODE","description":"What July 4th is for Americans; what Bastille Day on July 14th is for the French; what St. Patrick’s Day on March 17th is for the Irish, and what the Black-Necked Crane Festival on November 11th is for the Bhutanese, so January 4th is for fans of rock ‘n’ roll: a day when so much stuff happened as to enshrine it as a major, rock ‘n’ roll holiday! What, pray tell, happened on this day? Thank you for asking. Elvis Presley and Sam Philips It was on January 4, 1954 – 67 years ago today – that Elvis Presley, four days short of his 20th birthday (on January 8), came to the attention of the record producer and founder of Sun Records, Sam Phillips (1923-2003). It was the singular event that vaulted Elvis to stardom. Here’s what happened. On this day in 1954, Elvis made his second visit to the studios of the Memphis Recording Studio, which shared an office with Sun Records. On his first visit – six months before, on July 18, 1953 – Presley had recorded two songs (at his expense) on a two-sided, 10-inch acetate disc, claiming that the recording was a “gift for his mother.” […] The post Music History Monday: A Rockin’ Day first appeared on Robert Greenberg.","duration_ms":1354443,"explicit":false,"external_urls":{"spotify":"https://open.spotify.com/episode/70u20gbYppBejtHI2mzpmi"},"href":"https://api.spotify.com/v1/episodes/70u20gbYppBejtHI2mzpmi","html_description":"

What July 4th is for Americans; what Bastille Day on July 14th is for the French; what St. Patrick’s Day on March 17th is for the Irish, and what the Black-Necked Crane Festival on November 11th is for the Bhutanese, so January 4th is for fans of rock ‘n’ roll: a day when so much stuff happened as to enshrine it as a major, rock ‘n’ roll holiday!

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What, pray tell, happened on this day? Thank you for asking.

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Left-to-right: Sam Phillips (1923-2003), Elvis Presley (1935-1977), and Marion Keisker (1917-1989), Sept. 23, 1956
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Elvis Presley and Sam Philips

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It was on January 4, 1954 – 67 years ago today – that Elvis Presley, four days short of his 20th birthday (on January 8), came to the attention of the record producer and founder of Sun Records, Sam Phillips (1923-2003). It was the singular event that vaulted Elvis to stardom. Here’s what happened.

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On this day in 1954, Elvis made his second visit to the studios of the Memphis Recording Studio, which shared an office with Sun Records. On his first visit – six months before, on July 18, 1953 – Presley had recorded two songs (at his expense) on a two-sided, 10-inch acetate disc, claiming that the recording was a “gift for his mother.” (That session cost Elvis the king’s-ransom amount of $3.25. The receptionist Marion Keisker recalled talking to Elvis:

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“I said, ‘What kind of singer are you?’ He said, ‘I sing all kinds.’ I said, ‘Who do you sound like?’ He said, ‘I don’t sound like nobody.’”)

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A gift for his mother? Nah: the truth is, Elvis wanted to be “discovered”. Discovered he was not, so he went back to the Memphis Recording Studio on January 4, 1954 and made another two-sided acetate, recording the songs Casual Love Affair and I’ll Never Stand in Your Way.

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This time around, Sam Phillips heard what was going on in the studio and asked Marion Keisker to get Elvis’ phone number. Little did Presley know that he had indeed just been “discovered”.

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That “discovery” took some time to play out. In the meantime, the now 20-year-old Elvis auditioned for a vocal quartet called the “Songfellows”. He failed the audition, later telling his father that: “they told me I couldn’t sing.” Then the rockabilly singer and bandleader Eddie Bond (1933-2013) had an opening for a vocalist in his band. Elvis auditioned and was told by Bond to stick to truck driving “because you’re never going to make it as a singer.”

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Back to Sam Phillips. Rhythm and Blues, as performed by black musicians and recorded on these new-fangled 45-rpm discs, was becoming increasingly popular with white American teenagers. Phillips was constantly on the lookout for a white R&B singer with the black “sound”, someone who could widen the audience for R&B, what soon enough would come to be called “rock ‘n’ roll.” The receptionist Marion Keisker recalled: “Over and over I remember Sam saying, ‘if I could find a white man who had the Negro sound and the Negro feel, I could make a billion dollars.’”

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And then Phillips thought of that Presley guy. He brought Elvis back to the Sun Records studio on July 5, 1954. Deep into that session, almost on a lark, Elvis performed/recorded Arthur Crudup’s 1946 blues song That’s All Right. Bingo. That was the sound that Phillips was looking for, and just like that, the Elvis revolution was poised to begin.

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The Beatles, circa 1961; left-to-right: John Lennon (1940-1980), George Harrison (1943-2001), Paul McCartney (born 1942), Pete Best” (born 1941)
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Their First “Number One”

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On July 6, 1961, a brand-new music periodical hit the newsstands in Liverpool, England. Called Mersey Beat, the avowed mission of the paper was to feature news about the local bands there in Liverpool and established bands that came to Liverpool to perform. The former – local bands – might not sound like a big deal, but in fact the Merseyside area of Liverpool had some 500 different bands, of which some 350 were regularly gigging.

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That’s a lot of bands.

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On this date in 1962 – 59 years ago today – the thirteenth issue of Mersey Beat published its first Liverpool band popularity poll. Coming in at number one was The Beatles (still with Pete Best on drums; Ringo Starr would replace him only later that year). It was the band’s first such “number one.” For our information, coming in second was Gerry and the Pacemakers (“pacemaker” as in “taking the lead or setting standards of achievement for others”, and not as in “artificial cardiac pacemaker” for regulating the heart.) A moment of silence please, for the band’s front man Gerry Marsden, who died yesterday, on January 3, 2021, age 78.…

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The post Music History Monday: A Rockin’ Day first appeared on Robert Greenberg.

","id":"70u20gbYppBejtHI2mzpmi","images":[{"height":640,"url":"https://i.scdn.co/image/ca3ee9d42f979ae4336d3e0a61cd5465e5ffe3d7","width":640},{"height":300,"url":"https://i.scdn.co/image/eba42efdfe2b79ba5989cbf033de07c74ef4081b","width":300},{"height":64,"url":"https://i.scdn.co/image/6e8d0b5fd7962e9cd2ce2f3f4af21b6c1f0a5505","width":64}],"is_externally_hosted":false,"is_paywall_content":false,"is_playable":true,"language":"en-US","languages":["en-US"],"name":"Music History Monday: A Rockin’ Day","release_date":"2021-01-04","release_date_precision":"day","type":"episode","uri":"spotify:episode:70u20gbYppBejtHI2mzpmi"},{"audio_preview_url":"https://p.scdn.co/mp3-preview/1056867ad3a202eca2efe7236df4d692acde4f0e","content_type":"PODCAST_EPISODE","description":"We mark the death on December 28, 1937 – 83 years ago today – of the French composer and pianist Maurice Ravel, in Paris, at the age of 62. We will get to the magnifique and formidable Monsieur Ravel in a moment, but first, we’ve a birthday to acknowledge. We mark the birth on December 28, 1896 – 124 years ago today – of the American composer and teacher Roger Huntingdon Sessions, in Brooklyn New York. He died, at the age of 88, on March 16, 1985, in Princeton, New Jersey. I myself never studied with Roger Sessions; he had retired from the Princeton faculty in 1965, while I was in attendance from 1972 to 1976. Nevertheless, the “old man” cut a wide swath on campus. And why the heck not? A multiple Pulitzer Prize winner; friend of Arnold Schoenberg, Aaron Copland, and Thomas Mann; Norton Fellow at Harvard: there was hardly an American musical event that took place during the twentieth century that Sessions wasn’t in some way involved with. While I never studied with Sessions, I did indeed study with his protégé Andrew Welsh Imbrie (1921-2007) when I was a graduate student at the University of California Berkeley; […] The post Music History Monday: Maurice Ravel first appeared on Robert Greenberg.","duration_ms":1297501,"explicit":false,"external_urls":{"spotify":"https://open.spotify.com/episode/0OSRAiYjHan56U8SU99kNr"},"href":"https://api.spotify.com/v1/episodes/0OSRAiYjHan56U8SU99kNr","html_description":"","id":"0OSRAiYjHan56U8SU99kNr","images":[{"height":640,"url":"https://i.scdn.co/image/ca3ee9d42f979ae4336d3e0a61cd5465e5ffe3d7","width":640},{"height":300,"url":"https://i.scdn.co/image/eba42efdfe2b79ba5989cbf033de07c74ef4081b","width":300},{"height":64,"url":"https://i.scdn.co/image/6e8d0b5fd7962e9cd2ce2f3f4af21b6c1f0a5505","width":64}],"is_externally_hosted":false,"is_paywall_content":false,"is_playable":true,"language":"en-US","languages":["en-US"],"name":"Music History Monday: Maurice Ravel","release_date":"2020-12-28","release_date_precision":"day","type":"episode","uri":"spotify:episode:0OSRAiYjHan56U8SU99kNr"},{"audio_preview_url":"https://p.scdn.co/mp3-preview/e5f8404646aa652269564bfa92f5f60fd484a948","content_type":"PODCAST_EPISODE","description":"We mark and celebrate two composers born on this date. Zdeněk Fibich was born on December 21, 1850; 170 years ago today. Frank Zappa was born on December 21, 1940, 80 years ago today. The two had more in common with each other than just a name that started with the letter “z”. They were both eclectic composers, who brought to bear in their music a wide variety of influences, influences that were deemed “incompatible” by their critics. Oh yes, their “critics”: as composers, both Fibich and Zappa were controversial. They both suffered from poor health and they both died young: Fibich at 49 and Zappa at 52. Frank Vincent Zappa was born on this date in 1940 in Baltimore, Maryland, the eldest of four children in an Italian-American family. Zappa’s father Francis was a defense-industry scientist, and as such the family lived a peripatetic existence: Baltimore, then to Florida; back to Maryland; then to Monterey, California; Claremont, California; El Cajon, California; San Diego, California; and finally, in 1956 (when Zappa was sixteen) to Lancaster, California, an aerospace and farming community in the Antelope Valley, in the Mojave Desert, near Edwards Airforce Base. The young Frank Zappa was chronically ill; […] The post Music History Monday: The Top “ZZ’s” – Frank Zappa and Zdeněk Fibich first appeared on Robert Greenberg.","duration_ms":1084035,"explicit":false,"external_urls":{"spotify":"https://open.spotify.com/episode/2XYAbYzHUH3vYetvAzkXw7"},"href":"https://api.spotify.com/v1/episodes/2XYAbYzHUH3vYetvAzkXw7","html_description":"","id":"2XYAbYzHUH3vYetvAzkXw7","images":[{"height":640,"url":"https://i.scdn.co/image/ca3ee9d42f979ae4336d3e0a61cd5465e5ffe3d7","width":640},{"height":300,"url":"https://i.scdn.co/image/eba42efdfe2b79ba5989cbf033de07c74ef4081b","width":300},{"height":64,"url":"https://i.scdn.co/image/6e8d0b5fd7962e9cd2ce2f3f4af21b6c1f0a5505","width":64}],"is_externally_hosted":false,"is_paywall_content":false,"is_playable":true,"language":"en-US","languages":["en-US"],"name":"Music History Monday: The Top “ZZ’s” – Frank Zappa and Zdeněk Fibich","release_date":"2020-12-21","release_date_precision":"day","type":"episode","uri":"spotify:episode:2XYAbYzHUH3vYetvAzkXw7"},{"audio_preview_url":"https://p.scdn.co/mp3-preview/14b523f68990b8204f7f535d3d8bca51dd354d85","content_type":"PODCAST_EPISODE","description":"We mark the premiere performance on December 14, 1925 – 95 years ago today – of Alban Berg’s opera Wozzeck in Berlin, conducted by Erich Kleiber. That premiere performance was preceded by 137 rehearsals. Wozzeck was, and remains, one of the great masterworks of the twentieth century. Johann Franz Wozzeck, the title character of Berg’s opera, is described as being: “Thirty years and seven months old, militia man and fusilier in the second regiment, second battalion, fourth company; uneducated, uncomprehending.” Wozzeck is slowly being driven insane by those around him, something we become aware of early in the first act. Composed in greatest part during and immediately after World War One, Johann Franz Wozzeck’s incipient madness reflects not just the eroding mind of a doomed soldier but a doomed generation as well. According to the musicology Professor Glenn Watkins of the University of Michigan: “Wozzeck’s growing madness is as vivid a projection of impending world doom as any to come out of the Great War.” Berg’s opera is based on a play based on a real-life person: a confessed murderer named Johann Christian Woyzeck (W-o-y-z-e-c-k). This Woyzeck was a Leipzig-born wigmaker and barber who later enlisted in the army. In […] The post Music History Monday: Wozzeck first appeared on Robert Greenberg.","duration_ms":892263,"explicit":false,"external_urls":{"spotify":"https://open.spotify.com/episode/6HBHeg87PTHG7HtnGpybBE"},"href":"https://api.spotify.com/v1/episodes/6HBHeg87PTHG7HtnGpybBE","html_description":"","id":"6HBHeg87PTHG7HtnGpybBE","images":[{"height":640,"url":"https://i.scdn.co/image/ca3ee9d42f979ae4336d3e0a61cd5465e5ffe3d7","width":640},{"height":300,"url":"https://i.scdn.co/image/eba42efdfe2b79ba5989cbf033de07c74ef4081b","width":300},{"height":64,"url":"https://i.scdn.co/image/6e8d0b5fd7962e9cd2ce2f3f4af21b6c1f0a5505","width":64}],"is_externally_hosted":false,"is_paywall_content":false,"is_playable":true,"language":"en-US","languages":["en-US"],"name":"Music History Monday: Wozzeck","release_date":"2020-12-14","release_date_precision":"day","type":"episode","uri":"spotify:episode:6HBHeg87PTHG7HtnGpybBE"},{"audio_preview_url":"https://p.scdn.co/mp3-preview/768a9cfa10fc8d2c2395a07ceacd15249a73cefd","content_type":"PODCAST_EPISODE","description":"Prince Josef Lobkowitz and Some Number One Songs That Will Live in Infamy! We have three items on our calendar-driven agenda today, which also happens to be the 79th anniversary of the Japanese surprise attack at Pearl Harbor, on the Hawaiian island of Oahu. One of these items is a birth; one of them is a recording session; and one of them notes some songs that will live in infamy! We begin with the recording session.  On December 7, 1967 – 53 years ago today – Otis Ray Redding, Jr. (1941-1967) entered the recording studio of Stax Records in Memphis Tennessee and recorded (Sittin’ On) The Dock of The Bay. Redding had written the first verse of the song while staying on a houseboat at Waldo Point, in the San Francisco Bay Area town of Sausalito (which I am presently looking at as I write this from across the Bay in Oakland).  The song went on to become his greatest hit, something – tragically – the 26-year-old Redding never lived to see; he was killed in an airplane crash just three days after the recording date, on December 10, 1967. Redding’s whistling at the conclusion of the song, just before […] The post Music History Monday: The Worthy and Unworthy, from High Taste to Low first appeared on Robert Greenberg.","duration_ms":852674,"explicit":false,"external_urls":{"spotify":"https://open.spotify.com/episode/50owXRHo3eYNcUJqZut50h"},"href":"https://api.spotify.com/v1/episodes/50owXRHo3eYNcUJqZut50h","html_description":"","id":"50owXRHo3eYNcUJqZut50h","images":[{"height":640,"url":"https://i.scdn.co/image/ca3ee9d42f979ae4336d3e0a61cd5465e5ffe3d7","width":640},{"height":300,"url":"https://i.scdn.co/image/eba42efdfe2b79ba5989cbf033de07c74ef4081b","width":300},{"height":64,"url":"https://i.scdn.co/image/6e8d0b5fd7962e9cd2ce2f3f4af21b6c1f0a5505","width":64}],"is_externally_hosted":false,"is_paywall_content":false,"is_playable":true,"language":"en-US","languages":["en-US"],"name":"Music History Monday: The Worthy and Unworthy, from High Taste to Low","release_date":"2020-12-07","release_date_precision":"day","type":"episode","uri":"spotify:episode:50owXRHo3eYNcUJqZut50h"}],"limit":50,"next":null,"offset":0,"previous":null,"total":23},"explicit":false,"external_urls":{"spotify":"https://open.spotify.com/show/2aAoRB1xnOGNEnGc5I85EE"},"href":"https://api.spotify.com/v1/shows/2aAoRB1xnOGNEnGc5I85EE","html_description":"","id":"2aAoRB1xnOGNEnGc5I85EE","images":[{"height":640,"url":"https://i.scdn.co/image/ca3ee9d42f979ae4336d3e0a61cd5465e5ffe3d7","width":640},{"height":300,"url":"https://i.scdn.co/image/eba42efdfe2b79ba5989cbf033de07c74ef4081b","width":300},{"height":64,"url":"https://i.scdn.co/image/6e8d0b5fd7962e9cd2ce2f3f4af21b6c1f0a5505","width":64}],"is_externally_hosted":false,"languages":["en"],"media_type":"audio","name":"Music History Monday","publisher":"Robert Greenberg","total_episodes":23,"type":"show","uri":"spotify:show:2aAoRB1xnOGNEnGc5I85EE"};