Category Archives: tempo rubato

Where harmonies shape phrases: Chopin’s Prelude in E minor, Op. 28, No. 4

Chopin cloaked one of his most memorable preludes in lush harmonies that reveal the beauty of a simple melody. Continue reading

Posted in Chopin Prelude in E Minor Op. 28 no. 4, chromaticism, classissima, classissima.com, Ffrederic Chopin, Frederic Chopin, Romantic era piano music, Romantic music, tempo rubato | Tagged , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Playing through Chopin’s B minor Waltz with its sighing motif (Video commentary)

Last night I sat myself down at my imperfectly regulated Steinway M grand and managed to sigh several times through torrents of phrases crafted by design and inspiration to tug at the heartstrings. And in the video below, I journeyed … Continue reading

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Chopin Waltz in Ab Major, Op. 69 No. 1–considerations of mics, recording conditions, and tempo, with performance comparisons

First, I have to admit that my prized Yeti mic suffered yet another break-down. “Break” is to be emphasized. I tripped over the wire on the way to Haddy Haddorff, and the sensitive connector from iMac’s USB port to the … Continue reading

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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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Ethereal piano playing: Another Irina, with an i in the middle, brings heaven to earth

This is the special month of Irina, Irena, and still another Irina. The latest messenger of beauty via You Tube is Irina Morozova. And as fate would have it, one of my readers, owner of a Knight piano treasure, e-mailed … Continue reading

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Piano Technique: “Butterfly” by Grieg, a revisit (playing and exploring the rolling, rotational motion) videos

I can see the butterfly in my mind’s eye in its flight of fancy. But I wish it were as easy to play, as to imagine. Relaxation is the key word here, but not to the point that the 16th-notes … Continue reading

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SKYPING Chopin: sculpting phrases with relaxed arms and supple wrists in the Waltz no. 19 in A minor, Op. Posthum. (Videos)

Aside from the prelude to this transmission having been launched by Aiden Cat, most of yesterday’s lesson was noteworthy for its focus on phrasing the Chopin Waltz No. 19 in A minor, Op. Posthumous. Between California and Australia A new … Continue reading

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More Lesson-in-Progress excerpts, Chopin Waltz in A minor, No. 19, Op. Posthumous (Video)

Preserving teaching moments on video allows students an opportunity to review what transpired at their lesson as a springboard to improve practicing during the week. In this particular situation, I was able to e-mail the You Tube link to Claudia, … Continue reading

Posted in Chopin Waltz in A minor, pianist, piano, piano addict, piano instruction, piano instructor, piano lesson, piano lessons, piano practicing, Piano World, pianoaddict.com, playing piano, Shirley Kirsten, Shirley Kirsten blog, Shirley Smith Kirsten, skyped piano lessons, slow piano practicing, Steinway M grand piano, Steinway studio upright, Teach Street, teaching piano, teaching piano to children, tempo rubato, Theory, uk-piano-forums, whole body music listening, word press, wordpress.com, you tube, you tube video | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Great Piano Teaching Moments

This remarkable piece of film footage inspired a stream of others. Nadia Boulanger (b.1887-d.1979) the esteemed teacher, composer, theoretician, organist, pianist, taught and influenced so many great musical creators such as Leonard Bernstein, Aaron Copeland, Virgil Thomson, Walter Piston and … Continue reading

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The very first Chopin Waltz that I teach: #19, Op. Posth. in A minor (Video instruction)

After decades of teaching the Chopin Waltzes, I’ve come to the conclusion that the A minor, No. 19, Op. Posthumous is the best student introduction to the form as the composer cultivated it. While many other Waltzes in Chopin’s collection … Continue reading

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