Robert Greenberg

Historian, Composer, Pianist, Speaker, Author

The Robert Greenberg Blog

Exploring the Dissonant C-sharp in Beethoven’s “Eroica”

September 21st, 2018
Patreon patron, Mr. Sullivan, recently asked the following question: “In several of your courses you have also referred to the C# in the Eroica as implying a modulation to G minor. I have never understood that statement. Would you be so kind as to enlighten me about that?” Mr. Sullivan refers to a (dissonant!) C-sharp…

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Robert Greenberg and the Alexander String Quartet at the Apollo Academy Retreat

Further adventures in Paradise

September 20th, 2018
On “stage” with the ASQ Last week I wrote about the Apollo Academy, a wonderful four-day retreat at a facility called “Ratna Ling” located in the coastal mountains of Northern California’s Sonoma County. The Academy – the brainchild of a surgeon and cellist named Bill Moores - focuses on “mind/body synchronization that enhances mental and…

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Beethoven by Hornemann

Dr. Bob Prescribes: Tempo and Metronome Marks

September 18th, 2018
Maelzel Metronome My recommendation last week of John Eliot Gardiner’s complete recording of Beethoven’s symphonies elicited a series of really wonderful comments. When, in the course of responding to those comments I rather offhandedly recommended that Otto Klemperer’s recordings of Beethoven’s symphonies (made circa 1961 for EMI) be allowed to fade into obscurity (or a…

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A Berliner Gramophone

Music History Monday: I Don’t Know About You But I’ve Always Wondered About That

September 17th, 2018
The Savoy Plaza Hotel in 1937 Today we mark a technological event that came and went with hardly a murmur. It was 87 years ago today – on September 17, 1931 – that the RCA Victor Company demonstrated the first long-playing (or “LP”) record to rotate at 33-1/3 rpm (or “rounds per minute”). The demonstration…

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Talking Royalties on the Habeas Humor Podcast

September 13th, 2018
I joined Charone Frankel's “Habeas Humor” podcast to talk about music royalties and licensing from my perspective as a composer and as a content producer for The Great Courses. Listen to the standard version for free, or hear the full, “director's cut”, podcast on her Patreon channel. My own Patreon patrons will also be able…

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John Eliot Gardiner

Dr. Bob Prescribes: John Eliot Gardiner

September 12th, 2018
John Eliot Gardiner In the course of answering a question last week, I invoked my affection for certain period instrument recordings, particularly those of John Eliot Gardiner. I’d like to flesh that answer out and in doing so say why. The debate over “historically informed performances” (HIP) (or “authentic performances” or “period instrument performances”) is…

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Ratna Ling Lodge Exterior

Reporting from the Apollo Academy and Ratna Ling

September 11th, 2018
Ratna Ling Lodge ExteriorLodge InteriorLodge Interior I returned on Sunday, September 9 from a four-day retreat called the “Apollo Academy for Health and Humanism.” It was held at a magnificent facility called “Ratna Ling” in the coastal mountains of northern Sonoma County, about three miles east of the Pacific Ocean.   The following is going…

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Music History Monday: Still Number One in Our Hearts

September 10th, 2018
The Beatles during the Sgt. Pepper’s cover shoot. I was just two years old – and therefore too young to notice or remember – when Elvis Presley made his first appearance on The Ed Sullivan Show on September 9, 1956. More that sixty million people tuned in to watch, a number that dazzles to this…

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Robert Greenberg and Roger Woodward in 2016

Dr. Bob Prescribes: The Well Tempered Clavier and Shostakovich’s Preludes and Fugues

September 4th, 2018
Background Johann Sebastian Bach: Well Tempered Clavier What is referred to as the Well-Tempered Clavier (WTC) is actually two separate sets of compositions, arrayed as Book One and Book Two. Each “book” contains 24 sets of preludes and fugues: one prelude and fugue in each major and minor key. Book One is a mix-and-match collection…

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Music History Monday: One of a Kind!

September 3rd, 2018
The phrase “one of a kind” would seem fairly useless when applied to the arts in general or music specifically. Really, aren’t all great musical artists – by definition - “one of a kind?” Monteverdi, Purcell, Sebastian Bach, Mozart, Beethoven, Wagner, Stravinsky, Springsteen, Weird Al?  Yes: these good folks (and many, many, MANY more) are…

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