Hollywood—Peerless on its grace and splendor with changes subtle and grand, noble and patriotic this unending testimony of class, tradition and old world elegance has left even the most eloquent of connoisseurs bereft of words: a mix of restored pieces, paintings, chandeliers of the most skillful Murano, glass blowers, its mirrors and fireplaces are the enduring testimonies of Hollywood’s Golden Era. Its austere staircase, tell tales of those who had worked the steps to witness musical and humanitarian events, played on at Dexter and Linda Grey’s home and its Parisian setting musical salon with French 18th century architecture.
The historic castle, is more storied than anything else. To be a part of the celebration is a lifetime opportunity, set high in the hills under the famed Hollywood sign in the historic castle that once belonged to the legendary Barbara Stanwyck. A veritable museum of century old handcrafted furniture, antiques, priceless treasures that the Maestro has collected from his travels around the world. Among them, the bedroom set of England’s King Edward VII, a masterpiece by the esteemed Victorian Craftsman James Lamb.
Just recently at the Hollymont Castle was a rare performance for the Special Guests, Senator Rob Huff and friends, latest musical celebration.
Maestro Dexter Grey, world-renowned musical personality, pianist and showman – star of stage, screen and television — has received a spectacular record of standing ovations. His performances have drawn worldwide critical acclaim. Dexter Grey became an unofficial Ambassador of Poland during the solidarity crisis – raising thousands of dollars for Polish relief from all over the world while starring in his award winning show, “Polonaise.” The same show received additional acclaim during the summer Olympic Arts Festival and was honored with a special award from the City of Los Angeles. He was the star of the late 80’s TV special on the life of Frederic Chopin and Franz Liszt after who a son was named.
The cosmopolitan artist’s houseguests and friends are on the list of Who’s who from musical history, ranging from Friedlin Wagner, granddaughter of Richard Wagner and Cosima (daughter of Franz Liszt), and the Russian master Sergei Tarnowsky, the Grand Diva of Europe, Mme. Lotte Lehman (Arturo Toscanini’s mentor). Though they are no longer with us, Dexter Grey has kept the tradition by opening his home as an international cultural center, hosting celebrities from all walks of life.
I remember the big musical celebration at the Hollymont Castle welcoming the “Magic Piano” that took more than a decade to be reunited with the Maestro — all of its 3,000 lbs hoisted by a giant crane before and carried by a dozen help.
We swooned as Franz Liszt romanced the ladies with his famous Libestraum. Thrilled to take the rhythmic drive of his Hungarian Rhapsodies as the Emperor of Pianists swept up and down the keyboard with his revolutionary new music. Captured was the gaiety and charm of old Vienna as we waltzed down her cobblestone streets with John Strauss, and visited with the deaf Beethoven as he plays his Moonlight Sonata.
The exotic island of Majorca with Frederic Chopin as he serenades his beloved Madame George Sand with the ever popular “Fantasie Impromptu.” The haunting melody of Chopin’s music was played from the heart by Maestro Grey, and it was like listening to mingled prayers of broken hearts.
We followed the spirit of his tortured genius on his tragically brief journey of sorrows and struggles as he performed for his war-torn Polish countrymen (Revolutionary Etude, Raindrop Prelude, Minute Waltz, Funeral March, Ballades, Scherzos, Heroic A Flat Polonaise and Etudes).
All these on the magical piano of the Maestro. In deep spirituality and incomparable poignancy, Maestro Dexter Grey at 83 is still full of life. Always searching for new, richer and deeper views of musical interpretation.
His hands are fluttered in the lyrical parts like two butterflies – so light, so delicate. One could not imagine that they would be able to bring out the impossible fortissimo of an exultant victory.
You succumb to a kinds of spell in the presence of his musical exploits and personal dynamics.
The priceless piano (currently valued at a million dollars) with the rest parts of it were made from instruments of the 17th and 18th centuries. The Maestro said the piano produces “supernatural music” that represents the most graceful music art in the world.
As soon as my fingers touched the keys it was like being sunder a mystic music spell and played spontaneously as if Chopin and Liszt were directing me.