Robert Greenberg

Historian, Composer, Pianist, Speaker, Author

The Robert Greenberg Blog

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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George Thomson

Dr. Bob Prescribes – Beethoven: Arrangements of Irish, Scottish, and Welsh Songs

February 25th, 2020
We return to the birthday boy, Ludwig/Louis/Luigi van Beethoven, who turns 250 years-young this very year of 2020. As promised/threatened back in mid-2019, every month or two through 2020 I will dedicate a Dr. Bob Prescribes post to one or another of Beethoven’s lesser-known works or lesser-known recordings. On July 23, 2019 it was Beethoven’s…

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Claudio Monteverdi

Music History Monday: The Game Changer

February 24th, 2020
We mark the first performance on February 24, 1607 – 413 years ago today – of Claudio Monteverdi’s opera L’Orfeo, in Mantua, Italy. I suppose I should apologize. I have been advised, gently but firmly, to diversify these Music History Monday posts as much as possible: to spread the topics around by focusing on relatively…

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Giacomo Puccini

Dr. Bob Prescribes: Madama Butterfly

February 18th, 2020
Yesterday's Music History Monday post marked the 116th anniversary of the premiere of Giacomo Puccini’s opera Madama Butterfly. The body of that post dealt with the charges of sexism, racism, and cultural appropriation leveled today at the opera, charges that have led many contemporary arbiters to demand that changes be made to the opera or…

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Cover of the first edition of the score of Madama Butterfly, by Leopoldo Metlicovitz

Music History Monday: The Case Against Madama Butterfly

February 17th, 2020
Cover of the first edition of the score of Madama Butterfly, by Leopoldo Metlicovitz We mark the world premiere performance on February 17, 1904 – 116 years ago today – of Giacomo Puccini’s opera Madama Butterfly at the storied opera house of La Scala, in the Italian city of Milan. I would tell you a…

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Pavarotti in 1962 at the age of 27

Dr. Bob Prescribes Luciano Pavarotti

February 11th, 2020
Yesterday’s Music History Monday post celebrated the 14th anniversary of Luciano Pavarotti’s appearance at the opening ceremony of the XX Winter Olympic Games in Torino, Italy. It made sense then, that today’s Dr. Bob Prescribes post should feature a Pavarotti recording. Alas, or in the parlance of Italian opera, Ohime!, what seemed simple turned out…

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Luciano Pavarotti

Music History Monday: It Ain’t Over Until the Fat Man Sings!

February 10th, 2020
We would note two major events on this day from the world of opera. We will mark the first event in a moment; the second event – which constitutes the body and soul of this post – will be observed only after we’ve had a chance to do some prep. Leontyne Price (born 1927) We…

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Giovanni Pierluigi da Palestrina

Dr. Bob Prescribes Palestrina’s Pope Marcellus Mass

February 4th, 2020
Giovanni Pierluigi da Palestrina (1525-1593) Yesterday’s Music History Monday post celebrated the 495th anniversary of the birth of the great Italian composer Giovanni Pierluigi da Palestrina, a birth presumed to have taken place on February 3, 1525.  During the course of that post we observed that unlike virtually every other eminent composer of the so-called…

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Giovanni Pierluigi da Palestrina (1525-1593)

Music History Monday: A Model of Utopian Perfection to this Day!

February 3rd, 2020
Giovanni Pierluigi da Palestrina (1525-1593) We mark the presumed birth on February 3, 1525 – 495 years ago today – of the Rome-based Italian composer Giovanni Pierluigi da Palestrina. Unlike virtually every other great composer of the Renaissance, a list of which includes such formidable names as Josquin des Prez, William Byrd, Giovanni Gabrieli, Guillaume…

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