Archive for the ‘Classical Music on Blogfinger’ Category

By Moe Demby, Blogfinger staff. Embedded with the Asbury Park Fire Dept. ©

By Moe Demby, Blogfinger staff. Embedded with the Asbury Park Fire Dept. ©  Click on photo to enlarge.  Undated/


ALTENBURG BOYS CHOIR   “Ave Verum K618” by Mozart from the film Lorenzo’s Oil .   


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Choir Festival rehearsal. July 12, 2010. Paul Goldfinger photo ©. Click to enlarge.

Choir Festival rehearsal. July 12, 2010. Paul Goldfinger photo ©. Click to enlarge.


By Paul Goldfinger, MD, Editor @Blogfinger.net

This is what a Choir Festival rehearsal looks like–this photograph is from July 2010.   The OGCMA Choir Festival is one of the most incredible musical events in America.  Don’t miss it.

It will be a challenge to prepare safely, but everything ought to be fine by the new date of August 30, 2020 from 7 pm to 8:30 pm.

This will be the 66th Annual Festival.

Below is a sample of the sort of sound you will hear, although this version is by a choir from Germany.

There are no recent professional recordings of the Ocean Grove Choir with orchestra, but if you know of any, please let us know.


ST THOMAS CHOIR LEIPZIG.     “Psalm 42   Op.42”  Mendelssohn

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Princeton University Art Museum. 2013. By Paul Goldfinger ©

Princeton University Art Museum. 2013. By Paul Goldfinger ©  Xerxes I was King of Persia around 480 BC.    He was admitted to Princeton because he ruled an empire, was nice to the Jews, had great SAT’s, an impressive essay, and he played bassoon in the band.


SLOVENIA SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA.    “Xerxes, Act 1”   The selection is Ombra mai fu  George Frederic Handel.

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Grand Avenue at First Avenue, across from the library. that building was built in 1881. Paul Goldfinger photo.

Grand Avenue at First Avenue  Asbury Park across from the library which was built in 1881. Paul Goldfinger photo©  Click to enlarge.


Got nine minutes for Joshua Bell and Mendelssohn’s Violin Concerto in E Minor, opus 64. II, Andante?  It is with Neville Mariner and the Academy of St. Martin in the Fields  (London)

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Windows at the top reaches of the Tabernacle. All photos by Paul Goldfinger ©

Windows at the top reaches of the Tabernacle. All photos by Paul Goldfinger © Click on all photographs to enlarge them.

By Paul Goldfinger MD, Editor @Blogfinger.net   Re-posted from June, 2014.

The Bishop Janes Tabernacle is the oldest permanent structure in Ocean Grove, build in 1877.  It is an airy, open building consisting basically of one room and  a center section on top where  a sweep of windows allows light to stream in from above  and illuminate the seating below–symbolic perhaps, or very practical, or both.

Light and breezes come inside. ©

Light and breezes come inside. ©

Ted Bell, Ocean Grove historian and author, showed us the 19th century ventilation system which keeps the place cool.  Downstairs there is a ring of large doors and windows.   The latter open in a curious way, but there is a purpose to the design. The window aims the warm breezes upward where they can stream through the top  row of windows.

Ted Bell shows how the lower level windows open. ©

Ted Bell shows how the lower level windows open. ©

Outside, the light trickles and flows through the trees to hit the Tabernacle and creates moving patterns on its outside walls and illumination for the prayer books inside.

outside one


BACH:  Double concerto in D minor for 2 violins and strings.  With Yehudi Menuhin, Alberto Lysy, and Camerata Lysy Gstaad.


—- Paul Goldfinger, Editor @Blogfinger

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Ocean Grove. December c. 1999. By Paul Goldfinger  © Silver gelatin darkroom print.

Procession.   Ocean Grove. December c. 1999. By Paul Goldfinger  © Silver gelatin darkroom print.

By Paul Goldfinger,  Editor @Blogfinger

There was a time when this event was held outdoors. It was cold, but brief, and somehow, the reenactment seemed more real as actors and animals walked past the crowds, close enough to see the steam coming out of their mouths and then marching to the creche to pay their respects at the Auditorium Pavilion. You could even reach out and touch the two- humped camel where sometimes the front end moved in a slightly different direction than the back end.

The woman in front, carrying the star,  looked like she might have time-travelled from another world, and maybe she did.  It seemed as if she would soon vanish in a puff of smoke. Could she be a boardwalk angel?

JOHN CAFFERTY AND THE BEAVER BROWN BAND.  From the film Eddie and the Cruisers



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Summer Stars Clasical FlyerGA_GO_web2015

SAINT-SAËNS Symphony #3  “The Organ Symphony”—a sample of this great work by the Chicago Symphony  Orchestra conducted by Daniel Barenboim:

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Ronald Naldi performing in the Youth Temple, Ocean Grove, NJ 7/26/15  Paul Goldfinger photo ©  Click to enlarge.

Ronald Naldi performing in the Youth Temple, Ocean Grove, NJ.  7/26/15.  Paul Goldfinger photo © Click to enlarge.

The concert, which was to start at 3:30 pm on Sunday, was a much anticipated recital for serious music lovers in the Grove. Ronald Naldi, who has been tenor-in-residence for 42 years in Ocean Grove, was going to present one hour of musical magic to a full house.

He would appear alone on the elevated stage of the Youth Temple, except for his young piano accompanist Sean Gough.

At 3:30 pm, soprano Monica Ziglar walked on the stage and tapped the microphone with her finger tips. Nothing happened.   She tapped it a few more times, smiled a bit, and then gave up. Next the audio man came out and tapped on the microphone a few times, but nothing happened. Finally, with the audience squirming a bit, desperate times call for desperate measures, so out came Maestro Jason Tramm who tapped on the microphone, but even he could not make it happen.

Jason Tramm taps on the mike as Ronald Naldi enters right. Blogfinger.net ©

Jason Tramm taps on the mike as Ronald Naldi enters stage left. Blogfinger.net ©

Finally Ronald Naldi came on stage, glancing over at Tramm and then he shrugged; after all, his magnificent tenor voice doesn’t require a microphone. I heard him sing the Star Spangled Banner in the Great Auditorium without a mike. Tony Bennett walked out after that and he wondered aloud how he could follow Ronald Naldi.

So the recital began. If anyone in the audience was expecting Verdi, or Puccini or even Sigmund Romberg, that wasn’t going to happen. Instead, Ronald Naldi treated us to a program of short songs, each of which told a story, and, except for Rachmaninoff, none were by composers that most of us would recognize.

It didn’t matter. Ron (I guess Grovers can call him that; after all, this is a guy who lives in a tent) could have sung Al Jolson in blackface and received roaring shouts and applause.

His stories in song were about the coming of spring, love is blind, beautiful women, happiness, lost love, and lilacs. In one song, two young women go to fetch water, but someone is watching them from behind a tree. Ron liked this song—his facial expression broke into a smile. I thought, “He’s been there, or something like that.”

He stands straight like the great tenor which he is, projecting his voice as he was trained to do. But, his lavender jacket, white pants and bright tie told a story about how happy he felt performing on a warm summer day in the Grove.

Of course, Ron’s voice was magnificent.   He sang, “Spring; your kisses melted the ice, now bring me love.” He enjoyed that—singing in Italian, but he made sure that we had a translation so we could know why he was having such a good time.

Sean Gough played some Cole Porter for us while Ron rested, and I knew in 10 seconds that Sean is a marvelous jazz pianist. But as an accompanist, he has radar and passion, and you can see why Ron likes to work with him.

At the end of the hour, Ron had a surprise for us. He gathered a song from another corner of the musical world and treated this audience to a 1962 popular tune by Cy Coleman and Carolyn Leigh called “When in Rome I Do What the Roman’s Do.”    Ron seemed to enjoy this departure from his usual repertoire as he smiled while singing, with I think, a twinkle in his eye, ” ‘Cept now and then in Rome, I get that old yen in Rome, and naturally when in Rome, I do what the Romans do.”  Maybe some of you who have experienced a “yen” in Rome know why Ron picked this song.

Ronald Naldi, a treasure in OG and across famous concert halls around the world, did his thing: providing musical magic for his audience,  and everyone in the room was grateful.

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June, 2011. By Paul Goldfinger ©

June, 2011. By Paul Goldfinger ©

BUDAPEST STRINGS:  “Sinfonia” from Handel’s Salomon, Act III.  (featured in the film Four Weddings and a Funeral)

Editor’s Note:   Don’t forget the Summer Stars Classical Series:  Thursdays in July at 7:30 pm in the Great Auditorium beginning on July 2 with the Imperial Brass, featuring special guest Ocean Grove’s Phil Smith  (If you love brass music, this concert is not to be missed.)

The Summer Stars Classical series is wonderful and a great bargain at $16.00 for a single ticket or $75.00 for the series of 5  (plus fees.)  It’s even cheaper than getting grass stains on your shorts while sitting on the lawn at Tanglewood. —-PG




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Hardy Cyclamen. All photos by Miss Pegi.  September 21, 2014.

Hardy Cyclamen. All photos by Miss Pegi. September 21, 2014.  Start the music and then look at the article.


By Miss Pegi

For Blogfinger

September 24, 2014


The wonderful, colorful Chrysanthemum is the autumn rainbow that brightens our world as days get shorter and nights get cold. I would not want to face the waning sunlight without their cheery contribution to the change of seasons. However, all of one thing, year after year, in almost any category one can bring to mind, loses its punch after a while. Even the hard working mum succumbs to being taken for granted. So here are a few ideas to shake things up a bit.

Montauk Daisy

Montauk Daisy

The Montauk Daisy is actually in the mum family but has a different look and a much higher level of persistence from year to year. Cuttings root easily if you want one from a friend or to fill up a space inexpensively.

The Hardy Cyclamen  (on top)  is a tiny thing that thrives in shade although you may want to keep it out of the darkest corners. Blooming now, you will see more of the foliage in the spring. This is a great OG plant as it doesn’t take up a lot of space, can be functional in a not too dark alleyway and blooms for the homeowners that often return in September.

Autumn Clematis is a climber with a voracious appetite. The scent is delicious and is perfect to cover an ugly fence or to climb a trellis. The tiny delicate white blooms belie its amazing resilience. Don’t be afraid to hack it back hard in the spring. In fact save the job for a day when you need to get out your frustrations. It will return with gusto.

Hyacinth Beans

Hyacinth Beans

Hyacinth Bean is another climber, but an annual one. It makes lovely purple flowers followed by amazing purple beans. Both can be seen on the vines at this point, but the beans will last way into late fall. Sometimes they reseed but not overly aggressively.

red cardinal vine

Red Cardinal Vine

Red Cardinal vine is a relative of the morning glory but, thankfully, does not reseed the same invasive way. The long tubular red flowers start earlier, but really get spectacular at this time of year. Even without blooms, the “crow’s foot” foliage is gorgeous on its own.

The Beauty Berry bush is a personal favorite. The purple berries are far more spectacular than the tiny blooms. They will last well into fall in all their glory.

Beauty Berry 2014

Beauty Berry

Fall Anemones are perennials that will do well with some shade. A little hard to locate, but if you find them grab a few. The flowers float above the foliage and they come into their own after annuals have begun to fade.

Fall Anemone

Fall Anemone

Finally, the Mexican Flame Vine (below) is new to me this year. Finding totally new plants really makes my heart sing, as it gets harder to find something new after so many years of doing this. This orange daisy-like flower arrives on deep green foliage which looks great on the white trellis. I expect we will all see more of this one in the future as it is a happy thing.

Mexican Flame Vine on Trellis 2

MOZART.    Concerto #3 in G major for flute and orchestra.  Russian Chamber Orchestra


 Editor’s note:   Thank you Miss Pegi  (aka Pegi Costantino of Ocean Grove.)  Read about her in our “about” section on top of the page.   —PG


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