Robert Greenberg

Historian, Composer, Pianist, Speaker, Author

Archive for Hi-Fi

Music History Monday: Listening to the Thundah from Down Undah

We mark the birth on November 7, 1926 – 96 years ago today – of the dramatic coloratura soprano Dame Joan Alston Sutherland, in Sydney, Australia.  She died on October 10, 2010, in Montreux, Switzerland at the age of 83.   I want you all to know upfront that Joan Sutherland was the first singer on whom I had a major crush, both because of her stupendous voice (hey: she wasn’t called “La Stupenda!” for nothing) and for reasons to be described below. In this post I will be using the occasion of Ms. Sutherland’s birth to not just talk about her extraordinary talent, but to wax nostalgic, for which I trust you’ll indulge me.  While that nostalgia might dominate this post, be assured that tomorrow’s Dr. Bob Prescribes post will be dedicated entirely to Joan Sutherland’s artistry and recordings.   Records and Record Players  I’m going to talk about “sound reproducing equipment” for a bit.  Please: though it might, momentarily, appear that I am geeking out here, I am – in fact – not.  Because for people of a certain age, our records and the gear on which we played our records were for our younger selves (and perhaps […]

Continue Reading

Dr. Bob Prescribes: Adventures in Geekdom

I am, uncharacteristically, presently screaming with joy; alternately dancing and weeping and generally making a scene in the thankful privacy of my home office/studio. What – pray tell – should have inspired such a broad and sustained outburst of emotion? Have I won the Lottery? Been the recipient of a MacArthur Foundation Grant? Finally binge-watched “The Complete Gilligan’s Island” DVDs (complete with secretly filmed NC-17 outtakes of the Professor and Mary Ann playing doctor)? As you have no doubt guessed, my present euphoria cannot – sadly – be attributed to any of the above (boy, I’d love to see those outtakes). Rather, it has been caused by a new (and incredibly inexpensive) music playback system I installed on my computer last month, a system that has already changed my life. Before I spill the beans and tell you about this miracle app, I would reveal some unbelievably geeky autobiographical info. A thousand apologies if I bore the living daylights out of you, but it’s important that you get a sense of my hi-fi bona fides before I offer up this week’s prescription. I would confess that from a young age I have had pretentions to audiophilia. (No; that is not […]

Continue Reading