Robert Greenberg

Historian, Composer, Pianist, Speaker, Author

The Robert Greenberg Blog

Sergei Nakariakov (born 1977), circa 2018

Dr. Bob Prescribes Sergei Nakariakov

February 20th, 2024
Yesterday’s Music History Monday focused on the crime of passion that was the murder of the be-bop trumpet player Lee Morgan (1938-1972), a crime committed on February 19, 1972, by his common-law wife, Helen Moore. Morgan was an extraordinary player, someone who recorded prodigiously and who – being only 33 years old when he was…

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The Leighton Brothers, Frank (on the left, 1880-1927) and Bert (1877-1964)

Music History Monday: Frankie and Johnny, and Helen and Lee

February 19th, 2024
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…

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Portrait of Haydn by Ludwig Guttenbrunn, painted in 1791, based on an earlier portrait depicting Haydn circa 1770

Dr. Bob Prescribes: Joseph Haydn: Six String Quartets, Op. 76

February 13th, 2024
Wax sculpture of Joseph Haydn (1732-1809) by Franz Thaler, circa 1800 Haydn’s six string quartets published in 1799 as Opus 76 are his supreme works of chamber music, works that show him at the very peak of his craft and imagination. The quartets were composed between 1796-1797, soon after Haydn’s return from his second residency…

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Joseph Haydn (1732-1809) in 1792, by John Hoppner and commissioned in 1791 by the future British King George IV when he was the Prince of Wales

Music History Monday: Unauthorized Use

February 12th, 2024
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…

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Barbara Cook as Ado Annie in the 1953 Broadway revival of Oklahoma!, age 26

Dr. Bob Prescribes Barbara Cook

February 6th, 2024
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…

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Music History Monday: Getting Back to Work!

February 5th, 2024
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 –…

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Luciano Pavarotti, Ileana Cotrubas, Hildegard Behrens, Frederica von Stade, John Alexander; The Metropolitan Opera Orchestra and chorus, conducted by James Levine

Dr. Bob Prescribes Wolfang Mozart: Idomeneo

January 31st, 2024
Today's Prescribed Performance Mozart’s Operas Wolfgang Mozart (1756-1791) composed 21 operas (three of them left incomplete) across the span of his all-too-brief life, from the modest Apollo et Hyacinthus (Apollo and Hyacinth, composed in 1767 when he was 11 years old) to La Clemenza di Tito (The Mercy of Titus, completed in August of 1791,…

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The complete Mozart family portrait painted by Johann Nepomuk della Croce in 1780. Wolfgang is at the center; his sister Maria Anna (known as Nannerl) is on the left and his father Leopold on the right. The painting on the wall at center depicts Wolfgang’s mother, Anna Maria, who died in Paris in 1778.

Music History Monday: Idomeneo

January 29th, 2024
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…

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Johannes Brahms (1833-1897, seated) and Joseph Joachim (1831-1907) in 1867

Dr. Bob Prescribes: Johannes Brahms, Piano Concerto No. 1 in D minor

January 23rd, 2024
Yesterday’s Music History Monday post marked the premiere of Johannes Brahms’ Piano Concerto No. 1 in D minor. Nearly five years in the writing, the concerto received its premiere on January 22, 1859, in the German city of Hanover. Brahms himself was the soloist, supported by the Hanover Court Orchestra and conducted by Brahms’ great…

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Johannes Brahms (1833-1897) in 1858

Music History Monday: Johannes Brahms, Piano Concerto No. 1

January 22nd, 2024
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…

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