Saturday, May 18, 2019

Bravo Maestro Zubin Mehta - Conductor of The Israel Philharmonic Orchestra

This repeat post [RE: Zubin Mehta's upcoming retirement from the Israeli Philharmonic Orchestra in October of this year, 2019] was first published in "The Tales" on Dec. 31, 2016. It now includes an update [*]  from my twitter friend Max, @Sky_Max .

This announcement from Haaretz on December 26, 2016: "Legendary Maestro Zubin Mehta Announces Retirement From Israel Philharmonic Orchestra" - "After over three decades at its helm, the Indian-born conductor will leave in October 2019".

From the Zubin Mehta website page:  "This morning, legendary conductor of the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra, Maestro Zubin Mehta, emotionally announced that he will retire as musical director in October 2019.  At his retirement, Mehta will have served as the musical director of the Israel Philharmonic for 50 years.  He first came to the Israel Philharmonic in 1961, as a replacement for legendary conductor Eugene Ormandy. The Israel Philharmonic Orchestra appointed Mehta as musical advisor in 1969 and as musical conductor in 1977.  In 1981, it extended his term for life. Maestro Mehta has conducted the Israel Philharmonic in thousands of concerts, recordings, and tours on five continents."

Bravo Zubin Mehta [born April 29, 1936 in Bombay, India]

This from the Zubin Mehta biography page:  "Zubin Mehta was born in 1936 in Bombay [India] and received his first musical education under his father’s Mehli Mehta’s guidance who was a noted concert violinist and the founder of the Bombay Symphony Orchestra."

"By 1961 he had already conducted the Vienna, Berlin and Israel Philharmonic Orchestras and has recently celebrated 50 years of musical collaboration with all three ensembles."

"Zubin Mehta continues to support the discovery and furtherance of musical talents all over the world. Together with his brother Zarin he is a co-chairman of the Mehli Mehta Music Foundation in Bombay where more than 200 children are educated in Western Classical Music. The Buchmann-Mehta School of Music in Tel Aviv develops young talent in Israel and is closely related to the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra, as is a new project of teaching young Arab Israelis in the cities of Shwaram and Nazareth with local teachers and members of the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra."

The Tales wishes Maestro Mehta congratulations for his upcoming retirement in October of 2019, and I wish him and his family all the best blessings

* Thank you @Sky_Max for sending me this message and following You Tube video: "I watched Khatia Buniatishvili play the Tchaikovsky’s piano Concerto [#1 in B flat minor] on the occasion of Zubin Mehta’s 80th Birthday with the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra. I was speechless. Dumfounded. Amazed. etc.  This performance was the best thing I’ve ever watched and heard.  Khatia’s playing was powerful, soft, exquisite, flawless, and just magnificent.  What a great artist she is."  ...  "Truly amazing!  She was just 29 years old when this concert was given."

Here is that video from Max from the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra You Tube site that will contain a surprise birthday celebration for Maestro Mehta on his 80th birthday at the end of the Tchaikovsky Concerto #1 and encore:

On 24th December 2011, the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra, celebrated its 75th Anniversary with a concert conducted by Zubin Mehta in Tel Aviv.  Here is Maestro Mehta leading the orchestra in Chopin's beautiful piano concerto #1, with virtuoso pianist, Israeli-Russian, Evgeny Kissin as the soloist.

Frederic Chopin: Piano Concerto #1 in E minor:

Listen to this wonderful interpretation of the final movement of Beethoven's mesmerizing "Pastoral" 6th Symphony by Zubin Mehta as he leads the Israeli Philharmonic in one of my favorite symphonies.

L.V. Beethoven: Symphony #6 in F Major, "Pastoral", Movement 5, Allegretto:  

Now here is Maestro Zubin Mehta leading the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra in Tel Aviv in 2004 in Beethoven's pensive Piano Concerto #4 with pianist supreme, Mitsuko Uchida, the soloist. 

note: Mitsuko Uchida also plays an encore - Mozart's piano sonata in C Major, "semplice", Andante movement in the following video.

L.V. Beethoven: Piano Concerto #4 in G Major: 

In this final video tribute to Maestro Mehta, please turn up the volume and enjoy this live recording from 1988 in Tel Aviv at the 40 year celebration of the state of Israel, where Zubin Mehta leads the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra in Israel's National Anthem, Hatikva, the 'Hope'.

Bravo and best wishes, Maestro Zubin Mehta!

Thursday, May 16, 2019

From The New World

Antonin Dvorak  [Sept. 8, 1841-May 1, 1904]
Antonin Dvorak was a great Czech composer in the Romantic era of music.  He is one of my favorite composers with his so many melodic compositions.  His dramatic ninth symphony, "From The New World", is no different with its multitude of wonderful melodies.

Paraphrasing information from Wikipedia re: symphony #9 by DvorakThis popular symphony was composed  in 1893 while he was visiting America and was the director of the New York Conservatory.  Dvorak was very interested in and  influenced by the old "Negro spirituals" and Native American melodies. This ninth symphony, commissioned by the New York Philharmonic, is filled with melodies Dvorak studied from those original spirituals and melodies. 

Yes this European gave a great melodic story of this beloved "New World" with his wonderful ninth symphony.  When I first heard the first movement of this symphony it was actually like listening to a beautiful story.  A story from America, told in melodies instead of words.

Also, from the Wikipedia on Dvorak's 9th symphony: "In 1893, a newspaper interview quoted Dvořák as saying "I found that the music of the Negroes [sic] and of the Indians was practically identical", and that "the music of the two races bore a remarkable similarity to the music of Scotland".  Most historians agree that Dvořák is referring to the pentatonic scale, which is typical of each of these musical traditions."

Dvorak, it is reported, stated: "I am convinced that the future music of this country must be founded on what are called Negro melodies. These can be the foundation of a serious and original school of composition, to be developed in the United States. These beautiful and varied themes are the product of the soil. They are the folk songs of America and your composers must turn to them."

On a personal note, I first remember hearing the beginning of this final movement played many years ago on the broadcast every night of the Bobby Fischer/Boris Spasky chess championship they had on PBS.  At that time I knew nothing of classical music, but I knew I loved that exciting music and had to find out where it came from.  Many years later when I finally became deeply interested in classical music I found out it came from the great Antonin Dvorak and his Symphony "From The New World."

This very popular symphony is in E-minor with four movements: 1.Adagio - Allegro  2. Largo  3. Scherzo  4. Allegro con fuoco.

Please turn up the volume and enjoy this great Bohemian's musical description from the New Word. The beautiful second movement begins at 10:13, the third movement scherzo begins at 22:24 and then with the slightest of breaks, the very exciting final movement begins at 30:06 [with it's anticipated buildup of a boisterous climax that has a sudden surprising soft ending].

Antonin Dvorak: Symphony # 9 in E-minor, "From The New World":

Wednesday, May 15, 2019

How Many Of These Trivia Questions Can You Answer?

Hat tip:  A great patriotic American, my skin doc brother, Brad.

Tales has been told this will be the new critical exam that high school seniors must pass in order to graduate; Tales has also been told by its esteemed law firm of Dewey, Cheatem and Howe, that seniors will only need  to answer 4 out of the 10 answers correctly to pass-can you believe that?   

No wonder our education system is in a mess..............or maybe not.

Let's see if can you pass this exam?  Remember you only need 4 out of 10 to pass:

1)  How long did the Hundred Years' War last?
2)  Which country makes Panama hats?
3)  From which animal do we get cat gut?
4)  In which month do Russians celebrate the October Revolution?
5)  What is a camel's hair brush made of?
6)  The Canary Islands in the Pacific are named after what animal?
7)  What was King George VI's first name?
8)  What color is a purple finch?
9)  Where are Chinese gooseberries from? 
10) What is the color of the black box in a commercial airplane?


1)   How long did the Hundred Years War last? 116 years 
2)  Which country makes Panama hats? Ecuador 
3)  From which animal do we get cat gut? Sheep and Horses 
4)  In which month do Russians celebrate the October Revolution? November 
5)  What is a camel's hair brush made of? Squirrel fur 
6)  The Canary Islands in the Pacific are named after what animal? Dogs 
7)  What was King George VI's first name? Albert
8)  What color is a purple finch? Crimson
9)  Where are Chinese gooseberries from? New Zealand 
10) What is the color of the black box in a commercial airplane? Orange 

What, you failed?  No graduation ceremony for you.

Tuesday, May 14, 2019

Now This Is A Cool Illusion

Hat Tip:   My Facebook friend Shelli!

This is really a cool illusion.....try it out as it says...put your finger over the middle line and then see what the pic [colors] looks like.

Now wasn't that cool?