Dr. Fuddle's IQ Musical Test 57


a.   Ralph Vaughan Williams
d.   Franz Joseph Haydn
b.   Christoph Willibald Gluck
b.   Play at written pitch
c.   The director of  music for a church or royalty

Preview of Angela Brown's show "Opera...from a Sistah's Point of View"

(as featured on CNN) includes arias, art songs and spirituals. She dispels the myth that opera is only for elite audiences and helps audiences see all cultures and peoples through opera plots. And, it's definitely from her witty and sassy point of view! Cliff Jackson at the piano; Steve Ivey as producer from a SRO live show at the Indiana University Jacobs School of Music Musical Arts Center.  www.jejartists.com

Lang Lang On Beethoven

The superstar pianist talks about why Beethoven is his musical god and the daunting task of performing all five of his Piano Concertos over three nights at the Royal Albert Hall

Pianist Lang Lang may have played to thousands at the Hollywood Bowl and been under the scrutiny of millions during the televised Last Night of the Proms, but it’s a Beethoven Concerto Cycle with conductor Esa-Pekka Salonen and the Philharmonia Orchestra that he regards as a real milestone. 

You’re playing all five Beethoven Piano Concertos over the course of three concerts at the Royal Albert Hall next March. What are you looking forward to about the series?
The Royal Albert Hall is one of my favourite halls to perform in anywhere in the world. And to do a Beethoven cycle with Esa-Pekka Salonen and the Philharmonia is going to be a very important milestone for me. Over the years I’ve worked on the Beethoven Piano Concertos with many great musicians, including Daniel Barenboim, Christoph Eschenbach, Nikolaus Harnoncourt, Mariss Jansons and James Levine, and everyone seems to have a strong opinion about Beethoven. His music is dynamic but so precise at the same time and he really demands a lot in the scores. When I was in Bonn in the Beethoven museum, I had the great privilege to see some of his hand-written scripts and when you see those original Urtext editions you realise his personality is totally in control of the music he’s creating.

Why are these Concertos so important to you?

Beethoven Piano Concertos are the most recognisable works for a pianist to learn and working on them over 10 years really helped me to understand not only Beethoven’s work but also other Classical and Romantic period piano concertos. The First of his Concertos is actually quite classical and then after the Third he switched to a more Romantic style. And the times changed too. So learning these great works helps me understand musical history better.

Do you have a favourite among the Concertos?

At the beginning of my career I really thought that No. 4 was my favourite, because I played it a lot at that time. And then gradually I started to think No. 3 was my favourite and when I was a kid No. 5 was my favourite. Then when I hear the great performers play No. 2 then No. 2 becomes my favourite. And then I had an amazing performance with Mariss Jansons of the Piano Concerto No. 1 at Carnegie Hall three years ago and I thought ‘Oh my gosh, this is my absolute favourite.’ So my favourite changes a lot. It’s like when you listen to Beethoven’s Ninth, Fifth or Seventh Symphonies and you’re trying to say which one is your favourite – maybe in a different time of your life or your career you might think differently. But at the moment the Piano Concerto No. 3 is my favourite.

Which is the most challenging to perform?

They are all very challenging to perform, particularly if you put them together! I thank God I have one day off in between – Thursday – so I think I’ll spend it in a spa to rest before the last concert on the Friday.

Whose music do you feel most at home playing?

It’s hard to say. It used to be Chopin when I was younger, now it’s harder to say because there are few composers I feel very comfortable with – I’m still trying to improve a lot of things. For me Beethoven was always very difficult and it’s only recently that I have had the confidence to play his music. Beethoven is a real musical god for me because his music is so deep.

You’ve already played in many of the top concert halls around the world and with some of the best orchestras. What do you still want to achieve?

Well to play at the Last Night of the Proms was great – but it would be nice to play another time. There are a lot of great things that I’ve done once and I’d like to do twice, three times, four times, five times. That’s my dream: to keep going.

 Interview by Elizabeth Davis for http://www.classical-music.com

Daniil Trifonov recent winner of the Tchaikovsky Competition

At just 21 years old, Russian pianist Daniil Trifonov, the most recent winner of the Tchaikovsky Competition, is zooming into the classical music stratosphere — and with his new album he's out to prove he's here to stay.

 Russian pianist Daniil Trifonov — a once-in-a-generation artist at just 21?

 Roger Mastroianni /courtesy of the artist Russian pianist Daniil Trifonov — a once-in-a-generation artist at just 21?

... Tchaikovsky Competition chairman Valery Gergiev has become a real mentor to and champion of Trifonov; it's very much worth noting that the last pianist Gergiev took under his wing, was one Evgeny Kissin, back in the mid-1980s. When Trifonov came to New York last October to play at Carnegie Hall with the Mariinsky orchestra and Gergiev, it was a stunning success. The pianist delivered the Tchaikovsky First Piano Concerto — the piece that has become his international calling card — with fierce power and precision, coupled with a really intense musicality. And Gergiev isn't the only celebrity enamored of Trifonov's playing: In an interview Martha Argerich gave last year, she said, "He has everything and more."

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Reader's Review: This is a True Literary Delight.

By Bob Callaci

 A breathtaking read that takes the mind and heart to a special place in the far away pagan lands of heaven. I pray and hope that this beautifully written work turns viral so that Dr Fuddle and his young musical compatriots become household names. This is truly a book for children of all ages as well as those old dried up adults who forgot the magic that music brings. Lift up your finger and press buy and let the adventure begin....that "Puccini Pudding " is quite delicious.

This work will be around for the ages -Dr Woodruff is the "Beethoven" of the Literary World. His symphony of words will forever ring gently in your ears...A Masterwork....

Dr. Fuddle's Musical IQ Test 55


b.     Franz Schubert
a.     Ludwig van Beethoven
d.     Ludwig van Beethoven
a.     Hold the note beyond its normal length
b.     Octave

The Power In Immersing Adolescents In Classical Music

ATLANTA, Sept.11, 2012 /NEWS.GNOM.ES-iReach/ — Distinguished music teacher and arts advocate, Dr. Warren L. Woodruff has released what many are hoping launches a new generation of adolescent adventure and fantasy novels.

With an underlying focus on classical music, Dr. Fuddle and the Gold Baton, takes an entirely unique approach to engaging kids’ imaginations while opening their eyes to the values inherent in music, personal excellence, and self-mastery.

In Dr. Fuddle and the Gold Baton the dark musician Jedermann and his fierce Seirens of Dis gain control of the legendary Gold Baton, and Tyler, his sister Christina, and their friends are drawn into a perilous adventure foretold by an ancient prophecy.

Guided by the mythical Dr. Fuddle, the explorers must leave earth and journey to Orphea. Will the Messengers of Music be able to save the world of the immortal composers from chaos and destruction? For them to have even a chance at victory, they must master the most difficult instruments of all–themselves.

“As an author, I enjoy writing inspirational books. Of course, I also love reading them. I was so impressed with Dr. Woodruff’s book, Dr. Fuddle and the Gold Baton…For many years, I was a youth advocate. I was constantly looking for a book that would inspire young adults to better themselves and the world around them. I wish Dr. Woodruff’s book would have been available at that time. I highly recommend Dr. Fuddle and the Gold Baton to young and old alike! I look very forward to seeing this book as a film! Bravo!!!”

 ~ Freda M. Chaney

The Greatest Living Legend in the World of Classical Music

by Warren L. Woodruff

I am a servant of the Fine Arts. I have no job, but I do have a career and a mission:  to illuminate the greatness of the living art of classical music to young people.

One time after returning to Atlanta from New York City and I found myself completely undone. My visit to the Big Apple was to indulge my borderline insane fanaticism for the great pianist Martha Argerich, who is, to me, the greatest living legend in the world of classical music.

I must confess to having little interest in pop culture, but do admit to being the worst culprit of all when it comes to possessing a pop culture-like hero-worshipping fetish for Martha—I’m a true disciple. While a doctoral student under the great pianist Ivan Davis, he proudly claimed her as his lifetime best friend and asked me if I knew who she was. When I said I did not, he proclaimed "she is the ultimate pianist’s pianist. It’s time you know that.”

I immediately purchased her legendary rendition of Tchaikovsky's First Piano Concerto and from that point forward, I’ve been bowing to this high priestess of classical music. Since the opportunity had availed itself to see my heroine, I arrived in New York with enormous anticipation and was greeted with sensational news from my friend with inner connections:  she had obtained tickets to a private rehearsal at Avery Fisher Hall to watch Martha, conductor Charles Dutoit and the UBS Verbier Festival Orchestra rehearse.

At exactly 3:12 PM on that Thursday afternoon, my heroine came out of a left stage door and I found myself instantly overcome with tears. There she was. In full flesh and blood, the pianist of all pianists walking casually onto the stage, exchanging amusing faces with Maestro Dutoit, and then flashing a glimpse of her staggering right hand technique. I nearly passed out. The musicians proceeded to perform Prokofiev's dizzying Third Piano Concerto and I had the privilege of hearing my favorite parts of this work not just once, but over and over as she shouted directions to various instrumentals, like “the flute is a bit too loud” or “a bit more crescendo for the tympani!” It took many minutes to regain any sense of composure, but finally I managed. I had a bird's eye view of her hands.

The night of the concert proved to be one the greatest experiences of my lifetime. There I sat on the front row to the right of the piano, able to witness Martha's face directly and watch her hands from the reflection off the shiny piano lid.  She performed this demonically exciting concerto with the powers of an Olympian goddess. Nothing fazed her as she triumphed her way through endless devilish passages and created the most intense, unforgettable music imaginable.

After the masterwork had been completed, I stood and cheered with thousands of others, all screaming “Martha! Martha!” as though she was a rock star. I, nearly eaten alive with the sheer electricity of that unfathomable performance, can’t remember ever sitting back down. And once again, thanks to my friend, after the concert I had the privilege of meeting Martha personally in the “Green Room.” I have to confess the magnitude of shaking the hand of THE Martha Argerich was almost more than I could withstand, and thankfully I had the wits to retrieve her autograph and the sacred pen as a keepsake. Sleeping later that night was not an option. The combined power of Martha Argerich, Maestro Dutoit, UBS Verbier Festival Orchestra, Prokofiev’s Third followed by Berlioz’s Symphonie Fantastique thundered through my veins until daybreak.

When I wrote my young middle grade fantasy novel, Dr. Fuddle and the Gold Baton, I imagined the power of Martha’s performance in the sixteenth chapter, when I described the Messengers of Music witnessing the inspirational power of the virtuoso Franz Liszt in action, right before their climactic battle to retrieve the sacred instruments and the Gold Baton.

I dream of the day when millions of young people will cheer for great legends like Martha Argerich, filling newly built concert halls to overflowing. May the immense power of classical music long live!

Amazing Singing Plants Phenomenon

singing plants - Music of the plants is beautiful and relaxing.

Plants are very much alive. Not only do they dislike human noise but they also posses the capacity to learn and communicate. 

Perhaps even more astonishing is that plants can also make music. 

Have you ever heard the incredible music of the plants? Plants can actually sing and compose music and listening to it is truly beautiful and relaxing! 

Ever since 1975, researchers at Damanhur, in northern Italy have been experimenting with plants, trying to lean more about their unique properties. 

Researchers use devices which they have created to measure the re-activity of the plants to their environment. The devices judge the plants' capacity to learn and communicate. 

Using a simple principle, the researchers used a variation of the Wheatstone bridge, an electrical circuit used to measure an unknown electrical resistance by balancing two legs of a bridge circuit, one leg of which includes the unknown component. 

...  The experiments have shown that plants definitely appear to enjoy learning to use musical scales and also making their own music with the use of a synthesizer.

Although there is currently little scientific research conducted on this subject, one cannot deny that listening to these beautiful plants is a joy for the soul.

Que up to 2:10 minutes to where the music starts.

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Dr Fuddle's Musical IQ Test 54

Answers to Musical IQ Test 53

1,  b.    George Frideric Handel
2.  c.     Franz Liszt
3.  a.     Moved, lively
4.  c.     Franz Schubert
5.  a.     Franz Liszt

Reader's Review: Dr. Fuddle and the Gold Baton is an entertaining new children's fantasy novel.

By Donna Burtch

It follows five contemporary, middle-school aged American kids on a journey that sets them against a backdrop (a magical land called Orphea) that is part 18th century European high-society and part classical Greek mythology. The result is unlike anything else around; it is innovative, intelligent, and extremely charming. 

It is a must-read for anyone who loves music and/or an imaginative, other-worldly adventure. This delightful book rescues classical music from the long-abandoned trunk in Grandma's attic, packed with moth balls amid other `relics' such corsets and petticoats, and dusts it off for the 21st Century. It presents classical music as fresh, relevant, high-tech, and most importantly to teens, cool. One of Dr. Woodruff's stated goals is to instill a love for classical music in generations to come. This story (all while entertaining and provoking thought) will surely succeed in that respect.

JonathanRyan Howells Rhapsody

Jonathan Ryan winner of the prestigious Jordan II International Organ Competition.  

Lauded for his strong communicative skills in a variety of styles, exceptional use of the instrument's capabilities, and creative programming, he has emerged as one of North America’s premier young concert artists.  With a repertoire spanning the 16th- to 21st-centuries, he ranks among the few organists ever distinguished with six First Prize awards at major international and national competitions.

Israeli pianist Inon Barnatan sees strength in numbers


Story Image 

Today’s classical music world probably boasts more top-drawer piano soloists than ever before, but Inon Barnatan does not fear the competition. In fact, he doesn’t see it as competition at all.

 “As I pianist, I feel we’re all so different,” the Israeli-born virtuoso said. “I never believed that if somebody is getting a concert, they’re getting a concert that could have been mine. Or vice versa. feel like if you do what you believe in and if you’re good enough, there will be a spot for you.”

Barnatan, 33, who returns Aug. 26 to the Ravinia Festival for a recital and appears Oct. 28 as part of the Symphony Center Presents Chamber Series, believes it is harmful for artists to look over their shoulders and worry about their counterparts’ success.

“I look at my friends and people who are doing well [in the field], and we are friendly with each other,” he said. “We feel like we actually get more out of learning from one another and collaborating than from cutting each other’s throats.”

Competition or not, the fast-rising soloist has little to fret. He has carved out a niche for himself with consistently intelligent, insightful playing and an uncommon appetite for new and unconventional works, often imaginatively interspersed on his programs with older classics.

This interplay of the old and new is evident on his latest album, “Darknesse Visible” (Avie Records). It mixes contemporary and classic French and English works that were all inspired by literary or other musical compositions and all display elements of both lightness and darkness. 

In addition to works by Maurice Ravel and Claude Debussy, it includes Ronald Stevenson’s Fantasy on Benjamin Britten’s opera, “Peter Grimes,” and Thomas Ades’ 1992 piano adaptation of John Dowland’s 1610 song, “In Darkness Let Me Dwell.”

“I found it very interesting,” Barnatan said of the Ades piece, “how he can make something modern and fresh-sounding without changing a single note or rhythm from a song that was written 400 years ago.”

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