Beethoven, Chopin, and Schubert come alive under the hands of Concert Pianist Gary Goldschneider

What do Beethoven, Chopin, and Schubert all have in common? These three great composers all wrote compositions for the piano (or pianoforte as they called it) which will be performed by world-class concert pianist Gary Goldschneider in Malaysia this October. These Romantic composers number among the creators of the world’s greatest works of art. Professor Goldschneider has carefully selected a program of accessible and exciting examples of their work sure to delight an Asian audience.

“Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) is something we at Paul Penders take very seriously — and enjoy! Thanks to our customers, we are able to make a difference in the lives of our local community through charitable works and support of cultural events. Hosting our friend, the classical pianist Gary Goldschneider, on a visit to Malaysia to bring the beauty of Western classical music for the first time to this remote rainforest island of Langkawi is one example of CSR that brings real pleasure.”

Visiting Malaysia for the first time, Prof. Goldschneider will travel to Langkawi and Penang from October 15th to the 28th at the invitation of CEO Paul Penders of Paul Penders International. He is scheduled to perform at a benefit for the Charity Club Langkawi at the Westin Langkawi Resort on Friday, October 19th and then will travel on to Penang for an appearance there on October 26th.

An American concert pianist born in Philadelphia, he served as a professor of music in the U.S for many years while continuing his performing career. Since leaving academia, he is based now in the Netherlands and continues to perform throughout Europe. Though he has traveled extensively, this will be his first visit to Asia.

Compositions by three different musical giants offering differing approaches to romanticism will be featured in Prof. Goldschneider’s concerts. Beethoven, Chopin, and Schubert are all considered pioneers who had major influences on the Romantic Period in the late 18th century and early 19th century. Their music remains among the most accessible and popular of all Western classical music literature.

Prof. Goldschneider will open the concert program with “Grand Sonate Pathetique in C minor” composed by Ludwig van Beethoven (1770-1827). The sonata is in three movements and begins with a slow introductory theme marked ‘Grave’ (slowly, with solemnity) followed by an exposition, development and recapitulation in ‘Allegro di molto e con brio’ (quickly, with much vigor). The second movement is ‘Adagio cantabile’ using a famous “cantabile” melody (slowly, in a singing style), followed by ‘Rondo: Allegro’ (quickly).

Two hundred years after its publication in 1799 when he was just 27 years old, it remains one of the most popular of Beethoven’s piano sonatas. Dedicated to the German prince Karl Lichnowsky, it is said the prince was so impressed by its ‘tragic sonorities’ that he suggested the name, “pathetique.”

“Three Nocturnes” by Frederic Chopin (1810-1849) follow on the concert program. Most often melancholy in feeling, Chopin’s nocturnes are widely considered among the finest short solo works ever written for the piano. Nocturnes generally follow a “ternary” A-B-A structure in which a theme is introduced, then a second one contrasts, then the original theme returns.

Often considered – like Beethoven – a transition figure from the Classical Era, Chopin heralded the Romantic Period with a number of innovations in the nocturne form. Notably, a clear melody is played with the right hand while the left hand plays ‘broken chords’ (arpeggios, “riffs”) which provide a rhythmic line. These nocturnes also require extensive use of the piano’s foot pedals to sustain notes which can give the music a rich emotional expression. Prof. Goldschneider has selected three to perform: “1 – F major, Op. 15, no. 1 (composed between 1830-1832); 2 – D flat major, Op. 27, no. 2 (1835); and 3 – C minor, Op. 48, No. 1 (1841).”

The program will conclude with Franz Schubert’s “Sonata in B flat major, op. posth., D. 960.” Schubert (1797-1828) composed a set of three sonatas during the last months of his life. His mature music is noted for its sudden “magical” harmonic shifts which suggest a sense of time coming to a standstill. The home key is juxtaposed against another, which is distant in tonality. The oscillations between two very different keys give the music a sense of detachment and evoke images of exile from home; some writers even suggest that it creates a feeling of entering into a new dimension, one of dreams and memories. The sonata is composed in four sections: 1 – Molto moderato, 2 – Andante sostenuto, 3 – Scherzo – Allegro vivace con delicatezza, 4 – Allegro, ma non troppo.

So far as is known, this will be the first time that a concert of classical music will have been performed by a world-class pianist on the island of Langkawi in northern Malaysia. The producers were nearly stumped by an unusual problem – the lack of an available piano. The problem has been solved by the purchase of a top-of-the line 21st Century digital piano from Yamaha that emulates the best of the traditional grand pianos but adds a number of additional features including the capacity to record music as it is played. It is claimed that the touch and sound of the piano equals the finest concert instruments. As Prof. Goldschneider noted, this may also be among the first times that a classical musician has performed a concert using this new technology.

A final note: the October 19th concert sold out on Langkawi 3 weeks before the date. Clearly, there is a real interest throughout Asia in Western classical music, even on this small Malaysian tourist resort island. It will be a rare treat to have the opportunity to hear Prof. Goldschneider live in concert. You can also listen to his many recordings on his website at www.goldschneider.com. Hear excerpts from Gary Goldschneider’s opera called “Call Me Ishmael” based on Melville’s epic novel Moby Dick on www.ishmaelopera.com.

For further information about Gary Goldschneider’s visit to Malaysia, visit http://www.langkawilifestyle.weebly.com or email langkawiwork@gmail.com.

By Teviot Fairservis.


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What’s your color? (lipstick)


Yellows galore were on display at the 2012 Emmy’s in Hollywood
Claire Danes, Julie Bowen, Julianne Moore, Leslie Mann, Kaley Cuoco

If you’re a Fashion Police addict like me, you know that this year’s Red Carpet at the Emmys featured bright colors and metallics. What’s your color?

Citrus lemons, limes and oranges brightened the evening of when the Primetime Emmy Awards Ceremony took place in September in Los Angeles. Overall winner for Best Actress, Drama Series Clare Danes (for “Homeland”) looked like a Greek goddess in a mustard yellow sleeveless gown that draped over her ‘baby bump’ (yes, she’s pregnant).

Part of the fun of these ceremonies is to see what the celebrities wear each year. The dress, the jewelry, the hair, the makeup – it’s pure fun to ‘play judge’ and compare best and worst dressed.

It takes a certain bravado to be willing to stand out from the crowd. Bright and shiny clothes transmit a strong and confident message – with a bit of “look at me!”

Notice how the actresses paired their intense costumes with a variety of lipstick shades from Clare Danes’ pale shade to redheaded Julianne Moore’s intense berry color. What’s your color?

Paul Penders offers a variety of 8 classic lipstick colors made with the patented LevensESSENTIE Gold® herbal extracts and natural plant oils to add extra moisture. No artificial colours or chemical dyes are ever included in the Paul Penders lines of products. For extra moisturizing and prolonged wear, use Paul Penders Lip Gloss over the Natural Cream Lipstick of your choice.

By Teviot Fairservis.


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Get Your Beauty Sleep! Grandma’s Relaxation Exercise

      …innocent sleep,
      Sleep that knits up the raveled sleeve of care…
      — Shakespeare, Macbeth Act 2, Scene 2

Nothing seems to make more difference to your natural beauty than sleep. The best cosmetics in the world can only disguise the blue bruises that bag under your eyes, and the dry and droopy appearance of your eyes, skin, and hair that emerges when you are sleep-deprived.

But what can you do when insomnia strikes? Doctors who specialize in sleep disorders offer a range of solutions from old home remedies like a cup of warm milk or chamomile tea to getting up out of the bed to do something for awhile until sleepiness sets in.

Here’s my grandmother’s remedy which she taught me when I was an anxious pre-teen insomniac – thanks Gramma Beth! It almost always works.

Relaxation Tension-and-Release Exercise

Lie flat and comfortable in bed. Start by focusing your mind on your feet – really let yourself ‘see’ them in your mind’s eye (it helps to close your eyes). Squeeze your toes together as tightly as you can and hold for a few seconds, then release them. Let yourself feel the muscles relax. Next, flex your ankles as much as you can, hold for a few seconds, then let them relax. Tighten your calf muscles, hold as long as you can without pain, then release.

Continue the pattern: tense a muscle group, hold for as long as you can comfortably, then release and let yourself really enjoy the relaxation. You may not want to think too much about breathing – keep your focus on your muscles – but both doctors and yoga breathing experts advise that you should let yourself inhale through your nose as you squeeze, sigh and exhale through your mouth as you release.

Squeeze and release your kneecaps, thighs, buttocks, lower abdomen, stomach, diaphragm. Press your arms against your chest and squeeze, then release. Raise your shoulders up to your ears, then let them fall. Squeeze your hands into tight fists, then work up your arms: wrists, elbows, lower arm, upper arm. Drop your chin and pull your neck and shoulder muscles tight (gently!), then release.

From toes to head, squeeze, hold and release. Blood will rush to the muscles when they are tensed, then the tissues will flood with fresh nutrients as you release.

One of the best tricks in the fight against wrinkles and ageing is to raise your chin, lengthening your neck muscles. Open and close your mouth and feel the muscles lengthen and slacken. Again, hold and release.

If you haven’t fallen asleep by the time you get to your face, scrunch up your facial muscles making your face as small as possible. Hold, then open your mouth and eyes as wide as possible to reverse the stretch. If you are really agile, you might be able to wiggle your ears or move your scalp – usually by lifting your eyebrows.

Even if you are not able to fall asleep right away, you should be feeling much less physical tension by the time you have run through all the major muscle groups. It’s a great ‘destress’ exercise for me.

By day, lie down wherever you are, close your eyes, and do ‘Grandma’s Exercise.’ Fifteen minutes of a ‘lie down’ doing this tension-and-release exercise works better than a nap!

Being a ‘night owl,’ often I’ll run through this stress relief exercise and feel so refreshed afterwards that I get up to write some more in the quiet dark hours of late night or pre-dawn – my favorite time of day.

Sleep matters – for your health and safety. Studies show memory, quality of life and longevity are affected by sleep. Scientists and doctors are just starting to understand the mechanisms behind it but most people will agree, you function better after a good sleep.

And if you still can’t sleep after doing this exercise, at least you should look and feel more rested! Add it to your night-time regime for truly natural beauty.

Sweet dreams!

By Teviot Fairservis.


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