Tag Archives: Romantic era music

Exploring a Chopin Nocturne with a theoretical awareness

This week I mass-emailed a note to my brood about the need to take a reputable theory course side-by-side with private piano lessons. Because the teaching hour is packed with technique, new repertoire, review, memorization, a need to deepen knowledge … Continue reading

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Piano Study: Tempo shifts from Childhood to Adulthood

Turning back the clock to my early years as a piano student, I regarded ANDANTE as the slowest tempo marking in the musical universe. So did all my friends who foot dragged their pedal and stumbled through the doldrums of … Continue reading

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Reviewing Chopin’s Nocturne in C# minor, Op. Posthumous (MOVIE THEME, THE PIANIST)

We have to give credit to movie-makers for putting this hauntingly beautiful composition on the popular marquee of Classical music favorites. It shares notoriety with Mozart’s middle movement theme of Concerto no. 21 in C, which recurred throughout the film, … Continue reading

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Parceling out voices in Chopin’s Nocturne in F Major, Op. 15

Soprano, Alto, Tenor, Bass scoring in Chopin’s hauntingly beautiful F Major Nocturne (opening section) begs for an artistic examination through voice parceling. One cannot just paste the left hand onto the right, deferring entirely to the soprano. (soloist) Meandering chromatics … Continue reading

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If it sounds like a lark, it must be one (Tchaikovsky’s “Song of the Lark”)

After I recorded Tchaikovsky’s precious tableau from his Op. 39 Children’s Album, I discovered a true-to-life rendering by Russian pianist, Igor Galenkov, who delicately imported a bird to embellish his performance. *** Instruction: The rolling forward wrist motion in Lark … Continue reading

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Shaping a melodic line through chord blocking (Schumann Little Etude no. 14)

To block out sonorities that spring from spun out, undulating broken chords, can provide a peak learning experience. In a baby-step advance, especially, where finding a melodic thread, may consist of a one-hand alone approach at first, the pleasure to … Continue reading

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Adult piano instruction: the singing model in playing/practicing Chopin

There’s no doubt in my mind that Chopin’s music is allied to the opera and the New York Times featured an article on this very subject that resonates in my teaching and playing the composer’s works. From Tommasini, Arts editor: … Continue reading

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Comparing tempos and interpretation, Schumann’s Kinderszenen, Op. 15, no. 1

“Of Foreign Lands and People,” is the lyrical opener to Schumann’s Kinderszenen, Op. 15 (“Scenes from Childhood,”) but the composer’s metronome marking, 108 to the quarter, makes it a challenge to spin poetic lines, though Seymour Bernstein rises to the … Continue reading

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The El Cerrito Hills are alive with the sound of music

In the old days, I commuted by Amtrak from Central CA to the East Bay, chugging along the scenic route with my digital camera pressed against the train window. A few awesome seascapes managed to squeak through the bumpy ride, … Continue reading

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Spot practicing Chopin’s Waltz in C# minor with an adult student

This pupil demonstrates patient, behind tempo practicing: My play through (with flexible forward wrist motions to help sculpt phrases) LINK: http://arioso7.wordpress.com/2013/06/20/piano-warm-up-routines-with-an-adult-student/

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