I had a chance to do some of it at Julliard but needed a letter from Dr. Jones to "get in" which he did and I got in and landed in Emanuel Balaban's conducting classes. I was scared to death. Balaban was a big name, a conductor's conductor, and the new director of the Met, Gentile, was hiring him to be part of Met Opera's conducting pool (sadly, Gentile was killed in a car crash before this took effect).
I liked him a lot. He was a good and gentle man only prone to a few tantrums here and there. He let me into his private studio of students and I would rush into the city to get to my lesson with him, go with him to a light dinner, and on to his class at Julliard. It was pretty heady stuff and my Mondays and Thursdays, from 4-10pm were what memories are made of.
I was thinking about him some yesterday as I ran into a box of music scores that we covered my first year with him. One was the piece below, a Vocalise by Rachmaninoff. A vocalise is a "vocal warm up piece" in an early form and it grew to an independent form, usually a singer and piano or orchestra, often with no words...just the "ahhh" sound.
Mr. Balaban had written his own once upon a time and he showed it to me and we played/sang it. He admitted it was no Rachmaninoff. But he was also quick to add, "but what is?".
Enjoy. It is wordless and translates perfectly.