Wednesday, April 12, 2017


I'm trying a new format with my piano music tapes, which is SoundCloud rather than YouTube. Since I've never done this before - and have no idea exactly what I'm doing - I can only hope that it works.

One problem: I don't know where the hell to adjust the volume... 
make sure your computer volume is turned down

This is my piano transcription of the Prelude to Act III and Bridal Chorus from the opera Lohengrin by Richard Wagner.

When I was a pianist in California I spent a great amount of time as an accompanist (for singers and instrumentalists) and also occasionally as a rehearsal pianist for ballet and opera productions.

This particular tape was made during an operatic rehearsal of Lohengrin at USC.
At the time of this recording, I didn't have a piano score of the opera. I played this at sight from the original orchestral score - - which is an extremely (and I mean extremely) difficult thing to do.

My right hand was nearly ravaged from playing those endless repeated notes (which are originally written for the strings). If you listen very carefully, you might be able to hear me turning the pages of the score as I played.

It's nearly six minutes long - which hopefully won't be too boring (or excruciating).

the Knight of the Swan

 The orchestral score from Act III of Lohengrin

a link to my other blog:  


  1. Hi Jon - this was a musical delight and the volume was just right at my end. You are such a talented pianist ! If you never mentioned turning pages, one wouldn't even hear it. I just caught up on your previous posts ( I've been sequestered, jury duty ) and I'm so sorry your back is causing you such pain. Take care ...

  2. You are the first brave person to leave a comment - and I'm delighted that it's a positive one. Curiously enough, my posts with piano music usually get the least amount of comments. I'm sure that I render people speechless (*smile*).

    I had wondered where you were and was hoping you weren't sick. I've never yet had jury duty. I was selected for it once when I lived in Texas. I told them that I was caring for my elderly mother (which was the truth) and I never heard from them again.

  3. Hi Jon. I don't usually leave comments on your musical posts because I don't know how to sound as if I know what I am talking about! I did recognise the Wedding March in that piece, so besides your obvious fluency in the piece, it caused a big emotional response.....recalling cherished times. Thank you. MaggieB

    1. Maggie - believe it or not, there are many times when I don't leave comments on other blogs simply because I don't know what to say. Obviously I'm never at a loss for words on my own blog.

      I always appreciate your input - and I'm glad that Wagner's wedding march evoked fond memories.

  4. I'll be the second brave person to comment.
    Your ability to be 'scopey' when transcribing from sight is amazing. Other than that, pure SCHMALTZ. :)

    1. Jimmy, your comment was indeed the second one - but when I posted it, for some reason it came up third. Anyway, I appreciate your bravery.

      "Pure SCHMALTZ" is a very apt way to describe Wagner......

  5. I appreciated the music but missed the video part you usually have. otherwise it seems like a good format for you.

    1. Well - I wrote a reply to your comment, pressed the wrong "button", and it disappeared! Let's try again:

      I'm glad you mentioned that you missed the video part, because I thought people might be getting bored with it.
      Ironically, I DID make a video for this music but haven't yet posted it on YouTube because I thought it was uninteresting. It contains paintings of Lohengrin and some scenes from the opera. Your positive input about the videos has buoyed my enthusiasm.

      I never heard of SoundCloud until a few days ago. It's a quick and easy (or fairly easy) way to put audio files on blogs or other sites. Making videos is often tedious work.

  6. What can I say, but BRAVA. Seriously great, Jon. Thank you for sharing!

    1. Congratulations! You are now an official Lohengrin survivor!

  7. I never anticipated "Here Comes The Bride" reopening the connection between Wagner and our old friend King Ludwig II, but by golly there it is. I sit here in the night contemplating genius and political subterfuge. That's the power of music, Jon, and I am appreciating your talent and skill as I head for the wine cupboard. Great post!

  8. I was never particularly fond of the Bridal Chorus, but must admit that it sounds much better in an operatic setting than in one of those drive-through marriage chapels in Las Vegas.
    The power of music has the ability to make me forget politics - - which isn't a bad idea.
    Drink some wine for me, Geo, and be thankful that you don't live in a "dry" county.

  9. Wow, what a lively and fiery performance! Love it! I don't care at all for Wagner's music when played on an orchestra, but it's utterly transformed on the piano. I can believe it's difficult, and even more so to sight read. You should take up playing the piano again. I think I have said that before, and so have others.

  10. It took me a long time before I was able to "warm up" to Wagner's music. I have since learned to love it - - although his operas can often be more of a tribulation than a pleasure (I am a fierce, undaunted opera lover).

    I will eventually start playing the piano again. I was delighted to find many of my old piano recordings and I enjoy listening to them (although I've always been my own harshest critic).
    Thanks for your input, Jenny!


I love comments. Go ahead and leave one - I won't bite. But make sure you have a rabies shot just in case.