MP3 Dana Carlile - A Paris Moon for the Last Waltz
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24 MP3 Songs
CLASSICAL: New Age, WORLD: Western European
Composer Dana Carlile had several years of piano instruction as a child. He took up playing the piano again on his own, as a hobby, after finishing graduate school in 1980. In the late 1980s an artist friend persuaded Dana to try composing some background music for an art exhibit. Dana was surprised to discover that he could write music but he did not see much point to it. Music would spontaneously pop into his head during periods of moodiness or when he made a mistake playing the piano, both of which were quite often.
While these first composing experiences were unnerving, they were enjoyable enough that he continued composing for several years. While Dana hoped that his compositions would expand his repertoire of easy piano pieces for his hobby playing, the compositions soon exceeded his playing ability. After a second period of composing in the late 1990s, he had completed over 80 pieces of piano music and decided to get his music recorded. His first CD, "Preludes for Silence and Darkness", was featured on National Public Radioâs Open Mic internet show in 2004. In 2005 he released two more CDs of his music, "The Ballet of Phantoms" and "A Lullaby for Innocence". Also in 2005, he began working with film director John Jopson developing the sound track for the film "Les Absintheurs".
Naomi LaViolette, pianist, singer, arranger, composer, and professor is a versatile musician in Portland, Oregon. She began her piano instruction at the age of four, and vocal instruction at the age of thirteen. In college and graduate school, LaViolette finished both a bachelors and masters in classical piano performance. As a classical pianist she has studied and performed in all genres of advanced classical piano repertoire. At the piano, she also easily transitions between the styles of classical, jazz, funk, folk, acoustic, gospel, and pop. LaViolette has performed with many great Northwest musicians, including Wendy Goodwin, Randy Porter, Hamilton Cheifitz, Georgene Rice, Tom Wakeling, Ron Steen, Renato Carranto, and the Oregon Repertory Singers. Her most extensive work has been done with Portland-based band Rising Violet, which features a unique blend of musical styles.
Mat Binggely Recording Engineer
Recorded on a Yamaha concert Grand Piano with Neumann
TLM 170 mics on April 28th 2007
at Clackamas Community College
Audio Editing, Mastering and Graphic Layout by Dana Carlile
Many thanks to Mat, Naomi,
Clackamas Community College
and the Multnomah County Library
Dedicated to Danaâs Grandfather
Ferdinand Martines Sorenson
A Musical Biography of Dana's grandfather
Ferdinand Sorenson was born in Grenaa, Denmark in 1882 and the next year his father Lars, mother Matilda, and sister Minnie left for America. Eight other of brothers and sisters had already traveled to Utah several years earlier.
Lars began teaching Ferdinand the violin when the boy was five years old. By 8 Ferdinand was playing in public with his father. At an early age Ferdinand not only played the violin but also brass instruments to join in family and community orchestras. They would put a band together and go, as he said, âbarnstorming around the countryside.â In 1896 Ferdinand and his older brother Antone played in the band that welcomed the Denver & Rio Grande railroadâs first passenger train.
It was Ferdinandâs sister Minnieâs career in vaudeville which suggested to Ferdinand that he might make a career out of music. Her tours included performing in Utah where the young Ferdinand got to see his sister perform in the Elsinore Opera House. Ferdinand collected photos of his sister as she toured around the western United States.
When Ferdinand went to Salt Lake City in 1898 he continued his violin studies with Willard Weihe. Weihe had been a pupil of the violinists Ole Bull, Henri Vieuxtemps and Joseph Joachim. He was one of the founders of the Salt Lake City Bohemian Club, Salt Lake City Opera and was also concert master of the Salt Lake Symphony. Weihe was also the violinist of the Mormon Tabernacle Choir. It was in Salt Lake City Ferdinand played in his first symphony and opera orchestras and met his friend and mentor Mose Christensen who also had studied with Willard Weihe.
In 1901 Ferdinand found work with Mose Christensen in Boise, Idaho. It was there that Ferdinand took up the cello to play in a string quartet. He continued playing violin, viola, trombone and euphonium but the cello would be the instrument he would play in orchestras in New York, Boise, Spokane and Portland. 12 years older than Ferdinand, Mose Christensen was born in 1871 in Salt Lake City. Like Ferdinand, Mose studied the violin first with his father and then with Willard Weihe in Salt Lake. Latter he studied with the German violinist Henry Schradieck on the East coast and played in Schradieckâs Eutrepe Symphony Society.
Mose Christensen and his group of musicians in Idaho thought Ferdinand so talented that they helped him in 1905 to collect enough money to travel to Europe to study. Ferdinand headed east intending to study the cello with Julius Klengel in Leipzig, Germany. The train was reputedly delayed by a tornado and he missed the boat to Europe. He stayed in New York and studied cello with the Frenchman, William Ebann, at the New York College of Music. Eban taught out of studios above Carnegie Hall. Ferdinand earned his living in theater and restaurant orchestras and played in the orchestras of Alfred Volpe and Walter Damrosch.
While in New York Ferdinand earned his living by working in theater orchestras such as the Schubert theaters where he worked in shows staring Nazimova and David Warfield. Early on Ferdinand had to keep his theater jobs a secret from his teacher because Ebann wanted Ferdinand playing only open strings on the cello for many weeks to improve his tone.
On returning to the West in 1980, Ferdinand played briefly in the Boise Philharmonic under Mose Christensen's direction and was briefly principal cellist in the Portland Symphony under David Rosebrook in 1909. He also assisted Ernest Spitzner in the Spitzner Youth Orchestra. Ferdinand did not stay in Portland long enough to help Mose and his friends re-organize the Portland Symphony Orchestra in 1911. In Brigham City Ferdinand had met May Jensen, married in 1909 and moved to Spokane, Washington in 1910.
For 14 years Ferdinand settled in Spokane where he started his musical family with three sons: Hubert, Richard and Mayo. Ferdinand wanted a family of musicians. Learning music from his father Lars had turned out to be both pleasurable and profitable for Ferdinand. He assumed it would be the same for his children and he wanted his own family sting quartet.
In Spokane, Ferdinand taught music, dancing and conducted a theater orchestra for nine years. Besides playing in the Spokane Symphony he also played in the Gesner-Sorenson String Quartet, the Gottfried Herbst String Quartet and the Spokane Citizen's Band. In 1922 he toured around Canada with the Chuck Whitehead Orchestra, the same year that the Spokane Symphony conducted by Lenardo Brill performed Ferdinandâs âThe American Desertâ for string orchestra at the American Theater.
In 1919, Chuck Whitehead, originally from Brigham City, Utah built his dance hall in Spokane at 333 Sprague Avenue. It was in the Whitehead Dancing Palace that Ferdinand started his dancing school after having graduated from Mose's Christensen school in Portland. In 1923, while Ferdinand had his dancing school at the Whitehead Dancing Palace, Mineralava Beauty Clay sponsored a tango performance by Rudolf Valentino and his wife Natacha Rambova.
Teaching music, the dancing school, playing in and conducting theater orchestras in Spokane was not enough for Ferdinand and his growing family of musicians. In 1924 there was still only 20 or so theaters in Spokane, the same as when Ferdinand arrived in 1910. In the port city of Portland the number of theaters went from less than 20 to 50. Ferdinand, after considering several west coast cities, thought he and his sons would have a better chance getting playing jobs in Portland and moved back to Portland, Oregon in 1924.
Ferdinand spent the rest of his life in Portland except when he was traveling around the country visiting family and former students. In Portland, Ferdinand began playing in the Portland Symphony again. Conductor Willem van Hoogstraten had replaced the recently deceased Theodore Spiering after he replaced Carl Denton.
Other groups Ferdinand played with were the Ashley Cook Band, the McDougall Concert Band, the Ted Bacon String Orchestra and the Gershkovitch Symphony Orchestra. Ferdinand played in the Kellyâs Kaballeros when Joe Srodka was the leader. He also played in the KGW, KOIN and other radio orchestras over the years. Ferdinand and his sons continued playing with Chuck Whiteheadâs Orchestra at the Peoples, Rivoli theaters. Ferdinand also conducted the Woodmen of the World Junior Orchestra, the Sorenson Concert Orchestra and the Inter-Community Orchestra in Longview, Washington.
In 1929, restaurants, dance halls and the 50 some theaters in Portland, Oregon employed nearly 3,000 musicians. Theaters such as the Heilig, Rivoli, Majestic, Orpheum and Hippodrome employed orchestras six days a week. Some of these orchestras had up to 40 pieces. Talking pictures, radio, recorded music and the Great Depression brought down the curtain on this world of vaudeville and cinema orchestras. When this happened Ferdinand had to make a living more from of teaching than playing music.
Ferdinand lamented the decline of live music performance as a living not on only for himself but his four sons. He had thought music would be as good a career for all of them as it had been for him when he was young. May, his wife, thought he would have made more money if had kept to teaching dancing like Mose Christensen
After Mose Christensen had died in 1920 the Christensen Dance school continued on under Moseâs wife Carrie Christensen and his son Victor. Carrier had taken her prodigy son Victor to study violin with Oscar Back in Brussels before World War I when he was still a child. During the war he studied with Leopold Lichtenberg in New York. After a brief career with the Seattle Symphony he returned after his fatherâs death to help his mother run the family dance studio. Ferdinandâs sons and daughter Dorothy took lesson from Victor. In the early 1930s Mose Christensenâs nephew William Christensen joined Carrie and Victor at the Christensen Studio to teach ballet. Ferdinand provided his familyâs musical services at some of William Christensenâs ballet events in exchange for his daughter Dorothyâs ballet lessons with William.
Ferdinand conducted his own orchestra when Clement Crouse presented a ballet by William Christensen. William, in turn, would come and dance with his students at Ferdinandâs events. Ferdinandâs young daughter Dorothy was one of the evening nymphs in William Christensenâs presentation of Ponchielliâs âDance of the Hoursâ for the Portland Rose Festival Queen in 1933. William choreographed Ferdinand's "Tarantella" for sting quartet and danced it with Natalie Lauterstein. William also presented his ballet interpretation of Ferdinand's "Gavotte" for sting quartet in 1933. In 1937 William Christensen left Portland with the best of his troupe of dancers to audition for the San Francisco Opera Ballet and ended up running it by 1938.
While Ferdinand played in many symphony orchestras it was not something he liked to do: âI donât care to play in orchestras. Itâs noisy. Playing in a section, there is no individuality with many people all playing the same part, I enjoy string quartets. Itâs the highest form of music.â When, in 1947, the Portland Symphony started again after an eight year hiatus, Werner Janssen, the new conductor, required old symphony members to re-audition. Ferdinand was one of the old-timers that refused to do so. And apparently without regret. Playing popular music had a price as well. An orchestra leader wanted younger looking musicians and Ferdinand had to dye his gray hair to keep his job.
Hubert Sorenson started playing professionally at age 12 with the Spokane Symphony Orchestra. Hubert and Richard both played in the Portland Junior Symphony and briefly with the Portland Symphony Orchestra, frequently at the same time. And they played together in the Sorenson-Howard Trio with their sister Dorothyâs piano teacher, Randolph Howard. Hubert was working professionally for Chuck Whitehead at 15, playing trumpet and violin, the same time he was playing violin in the Portland Junior Symphony. Hubert played violin in the Portland Symphony String Quartet and joined Alexander Vdovin, Ferdinand Konrad and Susie Fennell-Pipes in the Neah-Kah-Nie Quartet.
Susie Fennell-Pipes founded the Neah-Kah-Nie Quartet and the Portland Chamber Music Society. She had taught violin at the University of Oregon when she was still 18 and then went to Germany to study with Joseph Joachim and Joachimâs star student Theodore Spiering. The violist Alexander Vdovin like Albert Volpe was a graduate of the St. Petersburg Conservatory of Music and was latter replaced by Abraham Weiss. The elder cellist Ferdinand Konrad was latter replaced by Michel Penha, who was originally from Holland and who had been principal cellist with the Philadelphia Philharmonic for five years and latter the San Francisco Symphony before arriving in Portland.
Latter, when Hubert moved to California, he joined Abraham Weiss, Flori Gough and Nathan Abas in the Abas Quartet. Hubert worked in both classical and popular music playing violin, clarinet, saxophone, and then the viola in the San Francisco Symphony, Opera and Ballet Orchestras. He had to give up the trumpet from his Chuck Whitehead Orchestra days and the flute because he said he just did not have the time to keep up practicing so many instruments. He played casual jobs in the NBC Radio Orchestra, Jan Garber Band and numerous other popular music groups.
After leaving Portland, the Portland Symphony and the Sorenson-Howard Trio, Richard Sorenson shipped out of San Francisco on boats of the Dollar Steamship Line, American Presidents Line and the Matson Line. Richard played violin, cello and sax in the ship orchestras. In 1935, on the Dollar Lineâs SS Van Buren, he worked a trip around the world with his friends from Portland: Earl Scott (trumpet), Norman Easley (sax & violin) and Wilsom Brons (piano.
Because Richard doubled on the rare combination of sax and cello (as well as violin) he had to resist an offer to jump ship for a job in New York: competing in a city with 15,000 other musicians (many of them unemployed) seemed risky in the middle of the Great Depression.
The ship orchestra jobs weren't much of a living though. Ferdinand and Richard's older brother Hubert had to send him money: sometimes on the other side of the world. Richard said of ship orchestra pay that only the Chinese workers on board were paid less.
On occasion Richard was joined by his brother Hubert. When he came back from his first playing job on the SS Monterey, Hubert voiced one of his common refrains: "never again". Richard was on the Matsonâs SS Lurline when it left Honolulu, Hawaii on December 5th 1941. In spite of his high blood pressure Richard ended up in the Army during World War II playing in army bands in Arkansas. After the war he played with the Monty Brooks Band.
Ferdinandâs third son, Mayo, played in the Jefferson High School Band. While still in high school Mayo developed epilepsy after having suffered a sever fever several years before. The family thought forestry at Oregon State University would provide better opportunities for a career given his condition and given the poor prospects for anyone in the music business after 1929. While at OSU he played in the ROTC band. Forestry at Oregon State lasted only one year. Mayo transferred to the University of Oregon to major in music. Earl Scott and Norm Easley joined Mayo there having finished their round-the-world cruise with Dick and Willie Brons on the SS President Van Buren.
While at the University of Oregon, Mayo lived in and played at the Eugene Hotel. Mayo also played with the Top Hat dance band, the university orchestra (occasionally as a soloist) and with the U of O marching band. Mayo also took up the baton, like his father, directing high school bands and university ensembles. After graduating he taught at the university for a year. Besides flute and violin, Mayo played two instruments occasionally disdained by his father: the saxophone and the piano. When Mayo returned to live in Portland he played in the KGW radio orchestra and the KOIN radio orchestra under Joe Sampietro. He also played in bands at the Jantzen Beach Ballroom, the Uptown Dance Hall and the Capitol Theater.
Quinten Sorenson, who went by Pete, played in the Jefferson High School Band like his brother Mayo and then with Chuck Whitehead like his father and brother Hubert. Pete started playing in the Woody Hite Band when he was still at Jefferson High School. Woody Hite and his Guardsmen played at McElroyâs Spanish Ballroom, numerous other Portland and Oregon venues, the University of Oregon and Oregon State college campuses. Pete had perfect pitch like his dad and all his brothers. As soon as he walked into a theater he new what key a band was playing in. Pete was happy to leave the reputedly moody Chuck Whitehead and continue playing with Woody Hite when the band joined the union and went professional in 1940.
During World War II Pete played in US Army dance, concert and marching bands at Fort Lawton in Seattle, Washington and the Allied base at Prince Rupert, British Columbia. Pete preferred popular swing music. Regarding four army bands combined to form a mass band: "If there is anything worse than one legit band it would be four." Regarding audience discrimination: "They still hear with their eyes and not their ears." And the benefits of trumpets: âThe trumpet is good for one thing though. Its a fine way to escape from the Army. At least it something they can't tell me how to do."
Ferdinand's Teaching and Latter Years
With Ferdinand's numerous string and brass students and extensive teaching experience he was able to assist Mary Dodge, Jacques Gershkovitch and others develop the Portland Junior Symphony. Besides his private string and brass students Ferdinand taught, over the years, as an adjunct professor at Pacific University, Lewis and Clark College, Portland University, the University of Oregon and Portland State College. He conducted the student orchestra at Marylhurst College for Women and the student band at Pacific University. In the late 50âs when Raphael Spiro, arrived from Chicago and started a string quartet the three other players he asked to join him, Leonard Stehn, Sammy Piazza and Pat Miller, were all Ferdinandâs students.
Ferdinand did not exempt himself from his high standards, practicing 4 to 5 hours a day himself. Some of this practicing would take place during symphony rehearsals: he would practice scales during double forte sections for the brass when the cellos had nothing to play. He was practicing to the end: in his last letter to his daughter before his stroke he said: âThe day one stops practicing is the day one begins sliding downhill.â
In latter years, until he lost his drivers license, Ferdinand would take his violin and a concerto to study as he traveled incommunicado in his Nash automobile around the West. When he wasnât staying with family and former students he would camp out in parks and stay in the âAmbassador Suite of the Nash Hotel.â Ferdinand would take his violin out in places like Zion and Bryce National Parks to play for himself and the mountains, reliving his days as a shepherd serenading his flock when he was a youth in Utah.
Ferdinand was still teaching privately and at Portland State College when he had a stroke in 1966. Though unable to speak normally he still played the violin and would go from room to room at the convalescence home playing his violin. He died a few months latter in December 1966 at the age of 84. Ferdinand was survived only by his son Hubert and his daughter Dorothy.
Interviews with, and reminisces of, Dorothy Sorenson Carlile, Peter Sorenson, Marion Fouse, Glenn Reeves, Patricia Miller, Bostwick, Robert Findley, Leonard Stehn, and Herman Jobelmann.
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