Monday, May 10, 2010

My Apologies to Bernie Epstein

From June 1968 till May 1973 I took piano lessons with Elisabeth E. Griffith. In June of every year Miss Griffith arranged a piano recital for all of her students at the Strawbridge and Clothier Department store in Jenkintown, Pennsylvania, outside Philadelphia. Each of Miss Griffith's students had to memorize a piano piece, and perform it in front of an audience in the department store's auditorium.

Murray Marion was one of Miss Griffith's students. He was an advanced student. Mr. Marion and I were in the same graduating class at The Central High School of Philadelphia, the 230th class, 1971.

I have a vague recollection that Mr. Marion performed Edvard Grieg's "Wedding Day at Troldhaugen" at one of Miss Griffith's recitals.  I have no idea how I remember that.  That was about 40 years ago.

One year I performed the Albumblatt (Album Leaf) in C major by Richard Wagner. I once showed Bernie Epstein at the Franklin Institute a collection of piano pieces by Wagner. Mr. Epstein said the pieces were subpar; in his words they were not "pianistic." Actually, Miss Griffith said the same thing. Bernie Epstein's wife, Aida Epstein, was a piano teacher and she had concertized.

1 comment:

Gary Freedman said...

Wagner wrote the piece in 1861, the same year his Tannhauser was performed (with disastrous consequences) in Paris.