Before My Time is about the ancestry and extended family of my four grandparents: John Samuel Krentz (Indiana/North Dakota), Margreta Tjode Hedwig (Gertie) Buss (North Dakota), Rosmer Pettis Kerr (Pennsylvania/Michigan), and Evelyn Elvina Hauer (Michigan), and other topics in genealogy and family history.

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Tuesday, December 22, 2015

A Concert for Amy

Amy Cohen, who writes Brotmanblog: A Family Journey, recently wrote a post entitled My Grandfather's Notebook: More than Names, Dates, and Addresses. Having posted a few of my grandmother's notebooks here at Before My Time, I found her post particularly interesting. One page that caught my attention was a list of musical pieces which seemingly were particular favorites of her grandfather.

I staged a few YouTube concerts here awhile back based on some newspaper articles I'd researched. The concerts were great fun to do and added considerable interest to my research, so I've decided to surprise Amy with a concert of her grandfather's favorites.

First up is a piece called Dolly's Dream, by Berliner Theodore Oesten. It appears to be a teaching piece.

Second on the list is Brahms' Hungarian Dance. Amy's grandfather didn't indicate which one he meant. I think we'll go with No. 5 here, which is easily recognized even if you're not a classical music buff:

German composer Heinrich Lichner is best known for his teaching pieces. His Opus 169, Die vier Jahreszeiten (The Four Seasons) for violin and piano may have been such. Third on his list, Amy's grandfather listed Winter, which was Op. 169, No. 4. I couldn't find a recording of that, but we'll enjoy some other Lichner compositions shortly.

Fourth, we have Spanish Dance by F. Williams, but... we actually don't have it. There are many pieces called Spanish Dance, but I was unable to locate any by a composer named F. Williams. Since we have no conclusive results on this tune, we'll move along.

The next title appears to be La Ninita, by W. Jhonson. I'm guessing this one might have been a Spanish-influenced tune also, maybe actually entitled La NiƱita. I couldn't find out anything about this one either, even if I spelled Jhonson the other way!

I promised you some Heinrich Lichner, and here it is. It's called Gypsy Dance. You won't be sleeping through this one:

Little Minuet in G by Beethoven is seventh on the list:

Edvard Grieg's Elfin Dance is next:

Our ninth piece is called At Home, another by Heinrich Lichner:

German composer Franz Behr wrote this one, called Gypsy Camp:

Belgian composer Henri Van Gael (1860-1918) is best known for Voice of the Heart, our eleventh selection:

The Lazy Man by Angela Diller, like others on this list, appears to be a student piece. I'm sorry I was unable to find a recording of this song. I'm wondering, at this point, whether Amy's grandfather might have been either a student or a teacher of music.

I couldn't find a recording of Happy Hours by Hans Engelmann, another German composer, but I did find his Frolic of the Fairies, and I suppose they were happy enough!

The French composer Georges Bizet gave us The Pearl Fishers, so we'll end our concert operatically!


Amy said...

You wondered whether my grandfather was a musician or music teacher. Nope, he was just a milk man who immigrated to the US at 15 from Romania, all by himself, sending money for his parents and siblings until they came several years later. But he loved music, and it was probably what gave him the comfort he needed while adapting to the US and missing his family.

TK said...

Apologies, readers, for a few little items I didn't correct--spacing, italicizing every song title, etc. There were a few more links to composer info that I wanted to add also, but every time I made an edit, Blogger dumped one or another of my video embeds and I had to keep re-embedding them until finally I got a Preview with all of them still in it! At that point, I decided to forget the small edits and just publish the darned thing!

TK said...

Thanks for elaborating on that, Amy. And for posting the notebook. I really enjoyed this!

Amy said...

I am not studying the handwriting in the notebook more carefully after listening to the songs. Most of them do seem to be student pieces, as you observed. So I am now wondering whether my uncle wrote the list as I just learned that he had played violin. The handwriting isn't quite as florid as my grandfather's writing or my aunt's writing, and it's not like my grandmother or mother's writing either. It seems to best match my uncle. So I may post a brief update and include a link to your blog!

Thanks again.

TK said...

You know, Amy, the more I play around with my research findings, the more I notice, which often leads me to do more scouting around, and pretty soon I find out things I never expected. It sounds like maybe you're having the same experience. And now that you mention violin, I think there was more than one piece in that group which seemed to have been written for piano and violin, so you may be right about your uncle writing the list.

I thought that was a pretty interesting aspect of your notebook--that it had entries written by other people, not just your grandfather. What a cool thing to have, really!

Blog Archive


Our Family in Books: A Bibliography

  • My Ancestors in Books (a library of resources and notes pertaining to Reverend Samuel Stone, Major General Robert Sedgwick, Elder John Crandall, and other early Americans in the forest where my family tree was grown)
  • The Zahnisers: A History of the Family in America by Kate M. Zahniser and Charles Reed Zahniser (Mercer, Pa. 1906)
  • History of St. James Lutheran Church [full title: A little of this and a little of that in the 141 year (1861-2002) History of St. James Lutheran Church, Reynolds Indiana] by Harold B. Dodge, published at Reynolds, Indiana, 2002; 170 pages.
  • Lisbon, North Dakota 1880-2005 Quasuicentennial, published at Lisbon, North Dakota in 2005; 391 pages.
  • The Paschen and Redd Families of Cass County, Indiana by Alfred Paschen, c. 2005 (Gateway Press, Inc., Baltimore, MD); 322 pages.
  • Sheldon Community History: Sheldon Centennial 1881-1981, published at Sheldon, North Dakota in 1981; 376 pages.
  • Sheldon, North Dakota 1881-2006 - 125th Anniversary: The Queen of the Prairie, published at Sheldon, North Dakota in 2006; 498 pages.
  • A Standard History of White County, Indiana, written under the supervision of W.H. Hamelle, c. 1915 (The Lewis Publishing Company, Chicago and New York).
  • The Roots of Coventry, Connecticut by Betty Brook Messier and Janet Sutherland Aronson, c. 1987 (Coventry 275th Anniversary Committee, Coventry, CT); 206 pages.
  • "Elder John Crandall of Rhode Island and His Descendants" by John Cortland Crandall; New Woodstock, New York, 1949; 797 pages.
  • "The Descendants of Robert Burdick of Rhode Island." Nellie (Willard) Johnson, Pd.B.: H & L Creations, LLC.

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