Robert Greenberg

Historian, Composer, Pianist, Speaker, Author

The Robert Greenberg Blog

Looking back on the first edition of “How To Listen to and Understand Great Music”

August 15th, 2018

Now available in the 3rd Edition I have managed to dig up and digitize a television advertisement for the first edition of my Teaching Company/The Great Courses survey “How to Listen to and Understand Great Music” from 1993. It’s a bit painful for me to watch: I weighed 30 pounds less than I do now;… 

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Franz Schubert: One Too Many Nights Out

Dr. Bob Prescribes: Schubert’s Sonata in B-flat Major D960

August 14th, 2018

Earlier this week, my patron Renato inquired: “So, what is Dr. Bob’s prescription for Schubert’s Sonata in B-flat Major D960 (I listen to Richter’s in Praga 1972) and for Debussy’s Prelude Book I (Michelangeli DG is my choice)? Thanks a lot. Cheers.” These works were featured in my absurdly entitled but well-intentioned Great Courses survey… 

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Sir George Grove

Music History Monday: My Favorite Things!

August 13th, 2018

A little inside information about me. Since I was a kid, I have loved architecture and home design magazines: house porn, to be honest. The one constant in my reading has been Architectural Digest, to which I’ve been addicted since I was a teenager. Other mags have floated in and out of my consciousness over… 

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Coming Next on Patreon

August 10th, 2018

It has been a week since my roll out at Patreon, and I have been awed and no small bit humbled by the response.  I thank each and every one of you who have signed on.  As per my listed Patreon benefits I would take this opportunity to list my “Principal” patrons and “Deities”: Principals:… 

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Brahms in 1853

Dr. Bob Prescribes

August 7th, 2018

Welcome to my new series, “Dr. Bob Prescribes”, in which I will “prescribe” recordings, books, events, videos, websites, etc. on a weekly basis, with the intention of improving our musical health and thus raising our spirits and making happier our souls. Brahms in 1853 In conversation with my Patreon patrons Jane Varkonyi and Frank Schmidt,… 

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Chubby Checker in 2017

Music History Monday: Chubby Checker, Dick Clark, and the Power of the Tube!

August 6th, 2018

On this day 58 years ago – August 6, 1960 – the 18 year-old singer and dancer Chubby Checker performed The Twist on American TV for the first time on the rock ‘n’ roll variety show American Bandstand. Dick Clark in 1961, looking young For reasons we will discuss, American Bandstand was, both artistically and… 

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Nannerl Mozart in 1763, at age 12, by Pietro Antonio Lorenzoni

Music History Monday: The Other Mozart Kid

July 30th, 2018

Today we mark the birth – 267 years ago, on July 30, 1751 – of the “other” surviving Mozart child. Four-and-a-half years older than her brother Wolfgang, her full name was Maria Anna Walburga Ignatia Mozart; she was known as “Marianne” and went by the nickname of “Nannerl.” Nannerl was something of a musical prodigy… 

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Domenico Scarlatti in 1739 by Domingo Antonio Velasco

Music History Monday: Domenico Scarlatti

July 23rd, 2018

We mark the death of the composer Domenico Scarlatti 261 years ago today, on July 23, 1757 in the Spanish capital of Madrid. The year 1685 was something of an annus mirabilis – a “miraculous year” – in the history of Western music as it saw the births of three of the greatest composers ever… 

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Fritz Mahler

Music History Monday: Émigrés

July 16th, 2018

We mark the birth – on July 16, 1901, 117 years ago today – of the Austrian composer and conductor Fritz Mahler. While we might not recognize his first name, we surely recognize his surname, and Fritz’ father was indeed a cousin of the great composer and conductor Gustav Mahler. His present obscurity aside, Fritz… 

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Ottorino Respighi

Music History Monday: A Decidedly Politically-Incorrect Rant

July 9th, 2018

As events in music history go, July 9 is definitely on the lighter side. (Although, for me – personally – it is an important day, and I would use this opportunity to wish the happiest of birthdays to my beautiful daughter Rachel Amy, who was born in Berkeley, California 32 years ago today!) But back… 

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