Thursday, May 12, 2016

something remains

Excerpting here yesterday from Reid's Brazen Age, he wrote of German immigrants coming to New York City in the 1800s -- then looking at another source, Germans were "hanging out" there, too!

William Zinsser is the author of a bunch of books -- in Writing To Learn {1988, Harper & Row} he says,

-------------------- [excpt.] --------------- Another kind of music that was in my ear at an early age was classical music. 

New York's German-Americans were long the self-appointed caretakers of Europe's musical culture in the new world, and my grandmother, Frida Zinsser, a second-generation product of that didactic tradition, saw to it that my father played the piano and the violin long after he had lost interest in those instruments and that my sisters and I got taken to Carnegie Hall and the Metropolitan Opera House.  I heard that great basso Ezio Pinza

as Boris Godunov long before I heard him as Emile de Becque in South Pacific.

"Etwas bleibt hängen," my grandmother would say, using the least punitive of her many German maxims, as she played Brahms and Schubert at our piano after Sunday lunch when I wanted to be out playing baseball. 

It means "something remains," or "something sticks," and it's as good an educational credo as I know.  Many melodies and leitmotifs that are still in my head were put there by Frida Zinsser's Germanic faith in the gods of self-improvement.


This painting of Franz Schubert (1797 - 1828) at the piano was done by an artist named Gustav Flimt.  The painting was destroyed during World War II.


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