Composer Mario Castelnuovo-Tedesco at his home in Beverly Hills, California, ca. 1960.
Composers Igor Stravinsky and Mario Castelnuovo-Tedesco.
"Prayers My Grandfather Wrote" Six Preludes for Organ (or Piano) on themes by Bruto Senigaglia Dedication: to Avraham Soltes. my first American student. affectionately Mario Beverly Hills, Calif July 29, 1963
My maternal Grandfather, BRUTO SENIĢAĢLIA, was the man responsible for my musical career. He was the one who convinced my Mother (against my Father's wishes) to teach me Piano, when I was 9 years old. But he passed away a few months later, and he couldn't witness my progress. It was many years later, in 1925, (when also my uncles had passed away) that my Mother inherited my Grandfather's library. And there, on a shelf, hidden behind some big volumes, we found a little book where my Grandfather had written down some Hebrew prayers that he had set to music for three-part Chorus. It was a surprise to all of us: we knew that Grandfather was a music lover, but we never knew that he had written any music. To me, this discovery was one of the deepest impressions of my life, as I realized "where I came from," both artistically and spiritually. It so marked a sort of "starting point" in my production, as I wrote, in that same year the first of my "Jewihs works," The Dances of King David, based on traditional themes, which I dedicated to my Grandfather's memory. Now the little book is exactly one hundred years old: the first entry ( a simple "tone-row," marked as a "figured Bass") is dated 1862. And (a Grandfather myself . .) I have taken some of Grandfather's simple themes, developing them into a series of short Preludes, for Organ (or Piano) Mario Castelnuovo-Tedesco Beverly Hills, Calif. November 1962
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