Robert Greenberg

Historian, Composer, Pianist, Speaker, Author

The Robert Greenberg Blog

Beethoven’s so-called “Immortal Beloved” letter

Dr. Bob Prescribes Beethoven: An die ferne Geliebte

March 31st, 2020
Covid-19 be damned, it’s still Beethoven’s 250th birth year and that celebration stops for nothing and no one, certainly not here on the pages of Dr. Bob Prescribes. Let us then continue to revel in some of Beethoven’s lesser-known works and lesser-known performances. Today’s Dr. Bob Prescribes is the third and final post to be…

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Cheetos Commercial with MC Hammer

Music History Monday: Be Nice to the People You Meet On the Way Up, ‘Cause You’re Going to Meet Them Again on the Way Back Down

March 30th, 2020
March 30 is a good day for birthdays in the world of pop and rock. Let’s acknowledge three of them before moving on to the fourth of our birthday babies, someone whose fascinating life and even more fascinating financial foibles will make up the bulk of today’s post. Eric Clapton (born 1945) We gratefully mark…

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Binaural Hearing Diagram

Dr. Bob Prescribes: Wagner – The Ring of the Nibelung

March 24th, 2020
Nothing is perfect, not even evolution. Speaking for myself, I wish evolution had done a better job with human knees and rotator cuffs, though given that evolution engineered the human body to last only some 35 or 40 years, I suppose the breakdown of my knees and shoulders – which are presently long past their…

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Ignaz Schuppanzigh

Music History Monday: A Bevy of Firsts and Number Ones!

March 23rd, 2020
Ignaz Schuppanzigh (1776-1830) Before moving on to our “firsts” and “number ones”, we would acknowledge an event that picks up on the Music History Monday post of March 2, 2020. That postmarked the death in 1830 of the violinist and conductor Ignaz Schuppanzigh. Schuppanzigh was a loyal friend and supporter of Beethoven and his music,…

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Woody Guthrie in 1943; the sticker on his guitar says “This Machine Kills Fascists”

Dr. Bob Prescribes: The Folk Revival

March 17th, 2020
Today’s Dr. Bob Prescribes post is different from previous posts in two ways. Woody Guthrie (1912-1967) in 1943; the sticker on his guitar says “This Machine Kills Fascists” First, only once before has this post prescribed more than one recording; today’s post prescribes four. My thinking is as follows: as Amazon is still delivering, and…

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Peter (Yarrow; right), Paul (Stookey; left) & Mary (Travers; center) in 1965

Music History Monday: Puff the Magic Dragon

March 16th, 2020
Before getting to the Puffster, I’d like us to recognize three other noteworthy musical events that have fallen on this date. Giovanni Battista Pergolesi (1710-1726) On March 16, 1736 – 284 years ago today – the Italian composer Giovanni Pergolesi died in Pozzuoli Italy, a city that today is part of metropolitan Naples. Pergolesi passed…

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Giuseppe Verdi in 1873

Dr. Bob Prescribes: Verdi String Quartets

March 10th, 2020
Giuseppe Verdi (1813-1901) in 1873; this portrait was painted in Naples at exactly the time Verdi composed his String Quartet in E minor Yesterday's Music History Monday post observed the premiere of Giuseppe Verdi’s opera Nabucco on March 9, 1842. Staying with Verdi, today's Dr. Bob Prescribes post deals with Verdi’s least-known masterwork: his String…

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Giuseppe Verdi in 1842, age 29

Music History Monday: Unspeakable Catastrophe and Unqualified Triumph!

March 9th, 2020
Giuseppe Verdi (1813-1901) in 1842, age 29 We mark the first performance on March 9, 1842 – 178 years ago today – of Giuseppe Verdi’s third opera and first operatic masterwork, Nabucco, at the Teatro alla Scala in Milan. Giuseppe Fortunino Francesco Verdi (1813-1901) was born on either the ninth or tenth of October 1813,…

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Roger Kellaway

Dr. Bob Prescribes A Jazz Duo

March 3rd, 2020
To an overwhelming degree, musicians are “defined” – personally, even spiritually – by the instruments they play and the music they play on those instruments. Put a flute player, a trumpet player, and a pianist in a room, and they might talk about the weather, or where they went to school, or were they are…

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Ignaz Schuppanzigh (1776-1830)

Music History Monday: M’Lord Falstaff

March 2nd, 2020
Ignaz Schuppanzigh (1776-1830) We mark the death, in Vienna, on March 2, 1830 – 190 years ago today – of the violinist and conductor Ignaz Schuppanzigh. Born in Vienna on November 20, 1776, he was 53 at the time of his death, reportedly of “paralysis”, whatever that’s supposed to mean. Speaking generally but accurately, a…

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