For upcoming presentations, see Upcoming

  • 2014 September 7: Jesus Loves the Little Children

    September 07, 2014 10:30

    George Frederick Root (1820-1895) was born at Sheffield, Massachusetts, and named after the better known George Frederick Handel. Root had real talent for music, and by age 13 he could play 13 different instruments (one a year?). Root left his farming community for Boston at 18, flute in hand, intending to join an orchestra. He worked for a while in Boston as a church organist, and from 1845 taught music at the New York Institute for the Blind, where he met Fanny Crosby, with whom he would compose some sixty popular songs. In 1850 he made a study tour of Europe, staying in Vienna, Paris, and London. He returned to teach music in Boston, Massachusetts, and later Bangor, Maine, where he was director of the Penobscot Musical Association and presided over their convention at Norumbega Hall in 1856. Root would spend most of his career (when not writing, or helping to manage his publishing company) traveling and teaching at Musical Institutes that moved from town to town. (more )

  • 2014 August 31: Labor Day

    August 31, 2014 10:30

    Composed in 1917, Satie's "Bureaucratic Sonatina" is a parody not just of civil servants (dreaming of vacations, promotions, etc.) but also of Clementi's Sonatina in C. Clementi was a contemporary of Mozart, and his sonatinas are standard staple for intermediate piano students (including your intrepid organist as a youngster) who have been laboring at them for a couple centuries now. Satie wrote a number of pieces which include narrations, and he said that the narrations are not supposed to be read out loud during performances. So, then, what? — everyone in the congregation gets a score? And we’re doing the narration in English instead of French! Sacré Bleu! (more )

  • 2014 August 3: Busted!

    August 03, 2014 10:30

    The concert pianist Charles Hallé visited Paris to give a recital, and afterwards went to a reception where he met Gounod. Gounod seized him by both hands and thanked him profusely for the pleasure his recital had given him, humming a passage from a Beethoven Sonata saying "No one — no one, my dear friend, except you, could have interpreted that passage in so masterly a way. Even with my eyes shut, I should have known that Hallé was playing." Immediately after came Madame Gounod, who began by apologizing for her and her husband's absence from the concert owing to a previous engagement. (more )

    Previous    Next