Season 1996 Vienna Songbirds

Official Team Roster

The Vienna Songbirds are CBA's newest team and they were created by CBA member Dylan Armstrong. For Season 1996, the Songbirds have been assigned to the Oriental wing of the CBA Underleague.

Except for Beethoven, DeBussy, and Ives, the Songbirds consist of all rookies. The three veterans have all played at one time or another for the Delta Dragons. Songbird General Manager, Felix Mendelssohn played one season in the outfield for the Pianoburg Pianists.

Ludwig Beethoven, Catcher
Born: 1770, Bonn; Died: 1827, Vienna

One of the truly great composers of all time. Beethoven was the first to write what was to be called a Songcycle, "An die Ferne Geliebte" (1815-16). This was the only cycle he wrote, but he did write several sets of songs and many other individual songs. His great power of invention his evident in all of his songs and an equally great vocal prowess is needed to sing them.

Ludwig (Wiggy to teammates) is an old veteran backstop, who's kicked around almost all of the teams in the "Black Forest League". He also played on the Delta Dragons cosmic team for four seasons as an outfielder. He's good with the young pitchers and still has a pop in his bat.

Hector Berlioz, Pitcher

Born: 1803, Isere, France; Died: 1869, Paris, France

A great composer who highly influenced the course of modern music in the direction of sonorous grandiosity. Berlioz was considered the first composer to use with consistency the term "melodie", the descendant of the trouvere songs. The best of this genre was "Les Nuits d'Ete" (1840-41).

One big, mean, smokin', relief pitcher. Blows it past batters with a big, smokin' fastball. Not terrific off-speed stuff, but one heck of a fastball!

Johannes Brahms, Outfield
Born: 1833, Hamburg, Germany; Died: 1897, Vienna, Austria

Brahms, one of the greatest that ever lived and one half of the greatest rivalries that ever was. (The other half was Wagner.) Brahms was perhaps the greatest master of counterpoint since Bach. He wrote hundreds of lieder including: "Romanzen aus Magelone", "Zigeunerlieder", and his most famous "Vier Ernste Gesange".

Johnnie has a big gun of an arm and is most effective at Right.

Benjamin Britten, Pitcher
Born: 1913: Suffolk, England; Died 1976, Aldeburgh

Britten was one of the most important shapers of modern British music. He used the most beautiful poetry, mainly English, that he could. These include: "7 Sonnets of Michelangelo", "Les Illuminations de Rimbaud", "On This Island" (WH Auden), William Blake, Robert Burns, Friedrich Holderlin, among others.

A great starting pitcher, really blows it right ya!

Ernest Chausson, Pitcher
Born: 1855, Paris; Died: 1899, Limay

Chausson was an excellent composer of songs. He might have been better but he was quite wealthy and really had no drive. He wrote about 40 songs his most famous being "Poeme de l'amour et de la Mer". His signature was his unmistakabe elegance and clarity in his music.

Ernie could be a great pitcher if he applied himself. He has a great sinker and screwball and does strike-out quite a lot, but is wild.

Aaron Copland, Outfield
Born: 1900, New York City, Died: 1990, Tarrytown, New York

Copland is the definition of American Music, along with Ives. His use of musical textures along with ingenious syncopation evokes an American style. His two most famous cycles are "Twelve Poems of Emily Dickinson" and "Old American Songs".

Aaron loves the great outdoors, and the great outfield. Hehas a lot of power both in his bat and in his thowing arm.

Claude DeBussy, Infield/Outfield
Born: 1862, St. Germaine, France; Died: 1918, Paris

Debussy ranks as one of the greatest song composers of all time. His new style of writing used tonality like the impressionists used paint. His most famous cycles include: "Ariettes Oubliees", "Chanson de Bilitis", "Fetes Galantes", and "Trois Poemes Stephane Mallarme".

Claude is a very versatile player, being able to play six different positions.

John Dowland, Pitcher
Born: 1563, London; Died: 1626, London

Dowland was the most important composer of Lute Songs during the Elizabethan period. This was the rebirth of unrequited love as a topic for composition. This topic was called "Elizabethan Melancholy". Dowland was noted for his use of chromatic developments, thereby obtaining harmonic effects quite advanced for his time.

Johnnie is a pitcher that can throw all day long with pinpoint accuracy.

John Duke, Pitcher
Born: 1899, Maryland; Died: 1984, Massachusetts

Duke was an outstanding composer, who wrote over 200 songs. He wrote major cycles to the poems of Emily Bronte and Emily Dickinson.

A good strong pitcher, Woodie (John Woods Duke) throws hard and can start or come out of the bullpen.

Henri Duparc, Infield
Born: 1848, Paris; Died: 1933, Mont-de-Marsan, France

Duparc was the greatest composer that never was. He wrote only 14 songs, but they were all masterpieces. He stopped composing in his 30's because of a nervous condition that effected him the rest of his life. Duparc's songs are still very much in use in the repetoire today; "Chanson Triste", "Extase", "Invitation du Voyage" among others.

Hank is a wirey infielder that has a lot of pop with his bat. A good talent but needs to be worked with.

Gabriel Faure, Outfield
Born: 1845, Pamiers, France; Died: 1924, Paris

Faure was one of the most important composers of French song. He wrote over 100 songs, including the cycles "L'Hoizon Chimerique" (op118), "Mirages" (op113), and most important "La Bonne Chanson" (op61). "La Bonne Chanson" is really the first cycle that is generally happy instead is brooding.

Gabby is a great fielder and is particularly comfortable roaming center. His bat has some belt and he's quick around the bases.

Enrique Granados, Pitcher
Born: 1867, Lerida, Spain; Died: 1916, English Channel

An outstanding Spanish composer, who wrote many songs in the Romantic style but with uniquely Spanish rhythms and ornamentations. Most of his song were in the old style called "Tonadillas".

Rickey is a spunky middle-infielder, with terrific speed and great leaping ability.

Edvard Grieg, Pitcher
Born: 1843, Bergen, Norway; Died: 1907, Bergen, Norway

Grieg's importance was the pronounced nationalism of his music, without resorting to literal quotations of folk songs. Among his cycles are: "Haugtussa" (1895), "Six Poems" (op4,25,48,49).

Eddie throws alot of the same stuff, but has pin-point accuracy.

Adam de la Halle, Shortstop
Born: 1237, Arras, France; Died: 1287, Naples, Italy

The "Hunchback of Arras", Adam was one of the most famous trouveres during the 13th century. A great many of his Virelais, Rondeaux, and Ballades have been preserved. His most famous piece "Le Jeu de Robin et de Marion" was composed for the Anjou court in Naples in 1285. It resembled a comic opera in it's style. Adam is a rookie this year, but played a great shortstop in the Founder's League. His energy in the field and speed on the base paths has made him a terrific lead-off batter.

Charles Ives, Pitcher
Born: 1874, Danbury, Connecticut; Died 1954, New York City

One of the most surprising and talented composers in American history. Talented in the way he used tonality and traditional sources, and surprising in that he was an insurance salesman most of his life and wasn't "discovered" until towards the end of his life. His great collection of songs, "114 Songs", is filled with a wide range of styles, from lyric Romanticism to the most dissonant modern invocations.

Chuck has a wide range of pitches from a screaming fastball to three or four off speed pitches. He can even throw a curve and a slider at the same time. Our coaches still don't know how he does it, he says that it's a pitch his father taught him.

Guillame Machaut
Born: 1300, Machaut, France; Died: 1377, Rheims

Machaut was the most famous Troubadours in French history. With his own poems, he wrote mainly about unrequited love. He composed 42 ballades, 33 virelais, 23 motets, 22 rondeaux, 19 lais and some of the earliest polyphonic settings of the mass.

Willie has pinpoint accuracy combined with stunning charisma which makes him a fan favorite.

Gustav Mahler, Pitcher
Born: 1860, Bohemia; Died: 1911, Vienna

Mahler was known mainly for his mammoth symphonies, but his songs are equally as stunning. His songs were big, bold, like his symphonies but more introspective. His "Ruckert Lieder" are beautifully agonizing pieces and his "Kindertotenlieder", in Mahler's mind, caused the death of his young daughter. Others of his cycles celebrated nature; such as "Das Knaben Wunderhorn" (1892-1901) and "Das Lied von der Erde" (1907-9).

Goose normally keeps to himself, but when he's on the mound,look out. He tends to be a little wild, but he's still a young kid. Wiggie will calm him down.

Luis Milan, Centefield
Born: c. 1500, Valencia, Spain; Died: c.1561, Valencia, Spain

Luis was a favorite at the court of Don Fernando of Aragon where he composed many songs with guitar accompaniment. In 1536, he brought out his most important work, "Libro de musica de vihuela de mano intitulado El Maestro", intended as an instruction book for the vihuela. This was the first of it's kind in Spain and is valuable for it's musical selections (both instrumental and vocal) which show the quality of composer Milan was.

Along with the rest of the team, Luis is a rookie. He roamed many center fields playing in the Orange Division.

Modest Mussorgsky, Pitcher
Born: 1839, Pskov, Russia; Died: 1881, St. Petersburg, Russia

Mussorgsky ranks up there as one of the greatest composers during the infancy of Russian Classical music. He wrote with more of a nationalistic flair, than the more traditional European style. His cycles include: "The Nursery" (1868-72), "Without Sun" (1874), and his most famous "Songs and Dances of Death" (1875-7).

Mod would start on any other team, but he has to sit behind Wiggie. Good throwing arm, picking off runners even from firstbase.

Maurice Ravel, Secondbase
Born: 1875, in the Pyrenees; Died: 1937, Paris, France

The consummate orchestrator. Ravel followed Debussy's method of poetic association of musical ideas and of unresolved dissonances. His inspired use of the past, both musically and textually, are evident in all of his songs. Even the titles of some cycles allude to this: "Cinq melodies populaires grecques (1904-06), "Chansons Hebraique" (1914), "Chansons Madecasses" (1926), and "Don Quichotte a Dulcinee" (1932-33).

Mo is a craftsman at second. The Mechanical Man, they call him because his play is so effortless. Good speed and has some '"Bottom of the order" power.

Nicolai Rimski-Korsakov, Pitcher
Born: 1844, Novogorod, Russia; Died: 1908, Liubensk, Russia

Rimsky-Korsakov was one of the greatest of the founders of the Russian style of composition. His songs are of a lyrical style with picturesque piano accompaniments. Along with four other composers (Cui, Borodin, Mussorgsky, and Balakirev) he developed the "Russian" style of music, rather the continuing the European style of Tchaikovski. Rimsky-Korsakov wrote over 80 songs and about 20 operas.

Nickie is fast hard thrower, but is only good for one or two innings.

Franz Schubert, Thirdbase
Born: 1797, Vienna; Died: 1828, Vienna

The composer that really established the Song-Cycle has a genre. He wrote hundreds of song in his short lifetime, including the cycles: "Die Schone Mullerin", "Die Winterriese", and "Schwanengesang", all written in the last two years of his life. As the story goes, Schubert was gay and his friends got him a hooker for his birthday (why I don't know), he caught syphilis and died from it!

When the Songbirds were forming, the first player I thought of was Home Town Favorite Franz Schubert! He'll bring out the fans with is charisma and his play at the "Hot Corner".

Robert Schumann, Leftfield
Born: 1810, Zwickau, Germany; Died: 1856, near Bonn, Germany

He literally took the ball from Schubert and ran with it. No one embodies the Romantic Period more than Schumann. All of his compositions were much more lyric and expressive than anyone else during that period and his songs show these features. His cycles include: "Dichterliebe" (1840), "Frauenliebe und -Leben" (1840), "Liederkreis Op24 and Op39" (1840) among others.

Robert Schumann is Franz Schubert's roomate, so they get into a little mischief. Robert is an excellent secondbaseman. His fluid style of play is just like a dream to watch. Good contact hitter, could bat 2nd in the lineup.

Kurt Weill, Infield
Born: 1900, Dessau, Germany; Died: 1950, New York City

Weill was not known for his songs as for his bitting satirical satires. He collaborated with many famous poets of his day: with Langston Hughes he created "Street Scene" (1946), with Ira Gershwin he created "Lady in the Dark" (1940) and "The Firebrand of Florence" (1944),and with Bertold Brecht some of his most famous works, "Mahagonny" (1927-9) and "ThreePenny Opera" (1928).

Kurt is always going with the chatter. He's a small middle infielder with a great on-base percentage.

Ralph Vaughn Williams, Firstbase
Born: 1872, Down Ampney, England; Died: 1958, London

Father of the modern British style of composition; combining folk songs with modern styles of harmony, etc.. He wrote a great many songs using contemporary poets for the text. His cycles include "Five Mystical Songs" (1911), "On Wenlock Edge" (1909), "Songs of Travel" (1904), "The Blake Songs" (1958).

Ralph is a big ol' Cecil Fielder type 1Bman. Slow around the bases, but a powerful swing. An excellent fielder as well.

Hugo Wolf, Rightfield
Born: 1860, Styria; Died: 1903, Vienna

Wolf is considered one of the masters of the German Lied. A great deal of his music is dark and brooding, indeed he is called the "Wagner of the Lied". Many of his songs deal with death and afterlife. His "Michelangelo Lieder" are all about the afterlife, which isn't surprising. These are the last songs he wrote before he went mad. Two large collections of over 40 songs each are entitled "Spanisches Liederbuch" and "Italienische Liederbuch", respectively.

Hugo is big right fielder with a gun for an arm. When he throws for home, he isn't always aiming at the catcher, if you know what I mean. Another home grown, Hugo is kind of the bad boy of the team; kicking trash cans, punching lockers or whatever is handy.

Felix Mendelssohn-Bartholdy, General Manager
Born: 1809, Hamburg, Germany; Died: 1847, Leipzig, Germany

Mendelssohn continues to be an influence on German, English and American music despite being thought of as not as good as his contemporaries Schumann, Chopin, and Liszt. His songs were grouped in sets rather than cycles. He had sets of "12 Songs" (op.8), "12 songs" (op.9), "6 songs" (op19a), and others.

Mr. Mendelssohn's playing days were short but his business acumen is great. Signed on with the Songbirds as the old "Vienna Boys Choir"club broke up, he immediately went to work signing this great mix of rookies and ol' timers.

Mikhail Glinka, Field Manager
Born: 1804, Smolensk, Russia; Died: 1857, Berlin, Germany

Glinka was called "The Father of Russian Music" for his pioneering cultivation of Russian folk modalities. His style was one of simplicity and unaffected sincerity, using contemporary Russian poets for his texts. Mickey is just what the doctor ordered for young players.

He's mentor, father, and best buddy to all the players. But when he needs to be tough to get something out of a player, he can! An ex-catcher, he's a calming force for the pitchers, too.

Stephen Foster, Firstbase Coach
Born: 1826, Pennsylvania; Died: 1826, New York

Foster is considered the "Father of American Popular Song". Using his own poetry, Foster composed a style of Romantic music that had a warm folksy feel to it, predating Copland, Diamond and some others. His songs such as: "Camptown Races", "O Susanna", "Gentle Annie", "Jeanie with the light brown hair" among others are still on the lips of all Americans.

A speedster in his day, Steve is a great help coaching the runners.

Jacques Ibert, Pitching Coach
Born: 1890, Paris, France; died: 1962, Paris, France

Ibert's combination of Impressionism and Neo-Classicism put him on the map, compositionally. His harmonics are opulent; his instrumentation is coloristic; and he even uses an element of humor in some of his pieces. Perhaps Ibert's most famous songs are the songs written for the french movie "Don Quichotte", with Feodor Chaliapin in the title role. These four songs were picked over Ravel's, Milhaud's, and other famous composers of the day.

Jackie was a pretty good junk ball pitcher in his day. Now he has the ability to teach just about any pitch there is.

Robert Franz, Batting Coach
Born: 1815, Halle, Germany; Died: 1892, Halle, Germany

Franz was greatly admired in his day by not only the public, but by Schumann, Liszt and others of his peers. He wrote over 350 songs, most of which are unknown today. Franz was undoubtedly one of the masters of the German Lied, but his music is mostly used in the studio because of its simplicity.

Robbie never had a great career, but it is in teaching that he excels. He is patient and methodical and his concepts are easy to understand.

Dylan Armstrong, Owner
Born: 1968, Michigan

Dylan is an opera singer who frequently sings with the Connecticut Opera. He is also the Head of Circulation at the Hartt Music Library located on the campus of the University of Hartford and lives in nearby Wethersfield, Connecticut with his wife.

To CBA Home Plate

Season 1996 Vienna Songbirds Team Roster
Published: December 24, 1995
Revised: April 2, 1996
Copyright © 1995 by the Cosmic Baseball Association