Audience appreciates pianist Frank Glazer

Frank Glazer, artist-in-residence and lecturer in music at Bates College, played an excellent concert Nov. 9 at the Noonday concerts at the First Parish Church, Portland.

He has had a busy career, has played in major halls in the United States, Europe, the Near East, South America and Japan. He was professor of piano at the Eastman School of Music, Rochester, N.Y., for 15 years.

The prolonged applause he received at this Portland concert shows how much he is appreciated here. His program included “Roman Sketches, Opus 9” by Charles T. Griffes (1884-1920), “Jhala, Opus 103,” by Alan Hovhaness (1884-1920) and “Le Papillon (The Butterfly), Etude de Concert,” by Calixa Lavalee (1842-1891).

I did spend a few minutes reading about these composers in the New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians. I read that in some of Hovhaness’s work, Japanese and Korean elements predominated.

Calixa Lavalee was born in Ste Theodosie de Vercheres, in Quebec. He was proficient in piano, violin and cornet, was a traveling theater musician from 1857, and was a teacher and musician in Montreal, New Orleans and Lowell, Mass. He was appointed conductor and artistic director of the New York City Opera House in 1870.

Montreal friends helped him to complete an education in the Paris Conservatory (1873-75). The Grove article said he was a formative force in promoting musical education in Canada, and must be regarded as the first native-born Canadian creative composer – first in genius, in versatility and in meritorious musicianship.:

Lavalee’s “Le Papillon” enjoyed popularity in Europe as well as North America for many decades, according to the Grove article, and I say it still does. The audience at the Noonday concert thoroughly enjoyed Glazer’s playing of that piece. It was his final number on the program.

Charles T. Griffes was born in Elmira, N.Y. He studied piano at Elmira College with Mary Selena Broughton, who was a great influence in his personal and musical development. She financed his musical studies in Berlin, where he studied with several prominent musicians. Then, after studying at the Stern Conservatory, he left there to study composition. In 1907, he became director of music at the Hackley School, Tarrytown, N.Y. He next did much composing.

Glazer introduced us to composers whose works we don’t often hear.

Travel lectures informative, memorable

The fall lecture series at Catherine McAuley High School auditorium are excellent and attracting a good-sized audience. Presented by the Maine Charitable Mechanic Association, there are four lectures in the fall and four in the spring.

The Oct. 2 lecture, “The Other Side of Mexico,” was given by Fran and Brooke Reidelberger. Their film, in color, was beautifully photographed and narrated by Reidelberger.

The film included sections of ancient and modern Mexico City and included the winter home of the Monarch butterflies. The areas in the central Highlands were varied and fascinating. We saw scenes of raspberry picking and buckets full of the berries; accounts of 14 generations of knife makers in Sayula; white pelicans on Lake Chapala; mountain views, and an exploding volcano; tequila making, starting with cactus; and many handsome old buildings. Of course, the pictures of hundreds of Monarch butterflies were thrilling.

The whole film made us want to visit Mexico.

The Nov. 6 lecture by Charles Hartman was titled “Route 66 – A Road To Remember.” He took us on a tour from Chicago to California, looking for what is left of the famous route.

We saw old roadside cabin motels. We visited the famous and not-so-famous restaurants still hanging on, where there is enough local business, and the clusters of closed businesses where there is not.

We saw many scenic sights, including the Painted Desert, the Petrified Forest, and most spectacular of all, the Grand Canyon (a side trip).

Our lecturer even took us to the still-standing brick garage in a tiny Texas panhandle town to which his family’s Hudson Terraplane was towed after breaking down in the middle of nowhere, on a cross-country trip in the 1940s.

The original route designation was dropped years ago, and the road’s role has been taken by interstate highways, sometimes built right over the old road. But where it still exists, it now is memorialized by signs as “Historic Route 66,” and has again become a tourist draw.

Worth the calories

Today’s recipe is from a paperback one of my Portland Public Library friends, Mildred Perkins, gave me several years ago. The book is “Favorite Recipes,” from members of Greater Portland Unit of Church Women United. This recipe was submitted by Ruth Kittredge.


1 pound light brown sugar

3 cups flour

1 teaspoon soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

2 eggs, beaten

1 cup coffee

1 cup oil

1 teaspoon vanilla

1/2 cup chocolate chips

1/2 cup chopped nuts

Mix sugar and dry ingredients. Add cup of oil, beaten eggs and vanilla. Add coffee and beat. Put in large pan and sprinkle with nuts and chocolate chips.

Bake at 350 degrees about 25 minutes. Cut while warm after setting about 15 minutes.

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