Monthly Archives: December 2011

My favorite Gershwin performances (Videos)

Surfing the Internet, I discovered four inspired readings of my favorite Gershwin selections. These included performances of “I Got Rhythm,” the three piano Preludes and Rhapsody in Blue. (I’ve already regaled Yeol Eum Son’s riveting “Embraceable You” in a few … Continue reading

Posted in George Gershwin Prelude no. 2, George Gershwin Preludes 1 to 3, Gershwin Virtuoso Selections played by Irina Morozova, Irina Morozova, Krystian Zimerman, Leonard Bernstein, music, music and heart, pianist, piano, piano playing and phrasing, piano repertoire, Rhapsody in Blue by George Gershwin, Seymour Bernstein, Seymour Bernstein pianist, Shirley Kirsten, Shirley Kirsten blog, Shirley Smith Kirsten, you tube, you tube video | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Fresno isn’t such a bad place, after all (“Did Somebody Say Fresno?! Part V” on You Tube)

Not to be a stage mom, but my daughter, Aviva is having a good time doing her thing archiving Hollywood movies that more than mention Fresno. (She’s just released, “Did Somebody Say Fresno?!” Part V.) Producer/video editor all in one, … Continue reading

Posted in "Did Somebody Say Fresno?! " Part V, Fresno, Fresno CA, Fresno in the movies, Hollywood movies that mention Fresno, poor piano maintenance in Fresno, Shirley Kirsten, Shirley Smith Kirsten, Uncategorized, word press, wordpress.com, you tube, you tube video | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

George Gershwin’s Prelude no. 2, and the retirement home circuit (Videos)

When I did my retirement home tours, feisty tunes were more well-received than the melancholy Prelude no. 2 in C# minor. Everybody knew Gershwin’s “I Got Rhythm,” and “Rhapsody in Blue,” plus a truckload of Hoagy Carmichael favorites. So, looking … Continue reading

Posted in George Gershwin, George Gershwin piano rolls, George Gershwin Prelude no. 2, George Gershwin Preludes 1 to 3, George Gershwin Rhapsody in Blue, Hoagie Carmichael, Hoagy Carmichael, piano, player piano, playing piano, Shirley Kirsten, Shirley Kirsten blog, Shirley Smith Kirsten, word press, wordpress.com, Yamaha Disklavier, Yeol Eum Son, you tube, you tube video | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Domenico Scarlatti with wailing gypsies, flamenco flourishes, and daredevil displays (Sonata in D, K. 492)

This Baroque era composer never ceases to amaze me. A forerunner of the virtuoso school of keyboard playing, Domenico Scarlatti offers a potpourri of what seems like incompatible ingredients in one short Sonata serving. (K. 492, L. 14) He starts … Continue reading

Posted in Domenico Scarlatti Sonata in D Major K. 492, Domenico Scarlatti Sonata in D Major L. 14, Scarlatti, Scarlatti Sonata in D Major L. 14, Scarlatti Sonatas, Shirley Kirsten, Shirley Kirsten blog, Shirley Smith Kirsten, word press, wordpress.com, you tube, you tube video | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Comparison of five performances: Liszt Consolation No. 3 (Piano-videos)

After listening intently to Horowitz’s reading, I was curious to find others to compare. No doubt a diversity of opinion surrounds any performance, but I had some ideas about why I liked one reading over another. Daniel Barenboim: I always … Continue reading

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Horowitz plays Liszt’s Consolation No. 3 and why it’s so beautiful to our ears

Every so often a performance like this pops up on You Tube that allows the listener to reflect upon why the playing is so moving. This Romantic era composition, in slow tempo is no race to the finish line. The … Continue reading

Posted in Boris Berman Masterclass, Emotion and Meaning in Music, Just Being at the Piano by Mildred Portney-Chase, Leonard B. Meyer Emotion and Meaning in Music, Seymour Bernstein, Shirley Kirsten, Shirley Smith Kirsten, With your own Two Hands by Seymour Bernstein, word press, wordpress.com, You and the Piano Seymour Bernstein, you tube, you tube video | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Shuffling through old Class pictures, and how music became the universal healer decades after injury and pain

An old cardboard box that yielded my New York City High of Performing Arts Yearbook and a flood of memories, revealed my portrait. I looked innocent enough, with a riveting quote beneath: “I know what is missing in the barrel … Continue reading

Posted in class pictures from P.S. 122, Exterior Street in the Bronx, graduation Yearbook from the New York City High School of Performing Arts, Harlem jazz hub, La SCAT jazz club, La SCAT jazz club on Lenox Avenue, Marble HIll Memories, Marble Hill Projects, Music soothes the savage breast, P.S. 122 in the Bronx, Piano World, Sandy Hamilton owner La SCAT club in Harlem, Shirley Kirsten, Shirley Smith Kirsten | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Shrinking degrees of separation in the music world?

The musical universe is smaller than we think. And perhaps this writing will incubate a linked chain of “connections” that will go further–especially since my relocation to Berkeley, California (September, 2012) So here it is: Now that I’m well past … Continue reading

Posted in Bel Kaufman, Claudio Arrau, Daniel Waitzman, Elaine Comparone, Eugene Lehner, Franz Mohr, Gerard Schwarz, Herbert Gardner, Indiana University, James Gardner actor, Leon Fleisher, Lillian Freundlich, Lillian Lefkofsky Freundlich, Marble Hill Projects, Marjorie Janove, Menahem Pressler, Murray Perahia, Raphael de Silva, Roselle Kemalyan, Samuel Gardner, Seagate, Seymour Bernstein, six degrees of separation, six degrees of separation in the music world, Theodor Leschetizky, Vladimir Horowitz | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

“When Do I Play My Best?” An inspiring message from Seymour Bernstein

Seymour’s playing in this tableau is divinely beautiful. And having sampled the pianist’s artistry through many of his posted You Tubes, I wonder why he didn’t get the recognition he deserved during his formative years, playing in public. At least … Continue reading

Posted in "When do I Play my Best" by Seymour Bernstein, Seymour Bernstein, Seymour Bernstein pianist, Shirley Kirsten blog, Shirley Smith Kirsten, whole body listening, whole body music listening, With My Own Two Hands by Seymour Bernstein, word press, wordpress.com, you tube | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Celebrating Christmas in the vocal tradition (Video)

When it comes right down to it, musicians “sing” through their instruments, and pianists with generous polyphonic resources (many voices) will find the melody and flesh it out as the tour de force of a composition. On this special day … Continue reading

Posted in Allejulia from Mozart's Exultate Jubilate, celebrating Christmas with music, Christmas, Christmas music, Domenico Scarlatti, Domenico Scarlatti Sonata in d minor k. 9, Mozart, playing piano, Renee Fleming, Shirley Kirsten, Shirley Smith Kirsten, the vocal model for pianists, vocal performances, W.A. Mozart, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, word press, wordpress.com, you tube | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment