piano blogging

Piano Technique: Wrist flexibility and relaxed arms

Livia Rev, Hungarian born pianist, who’s 98, demonstrates in her playing how flexible wrists and relaxed arms spin beautiful phrases in legato and staccato. In a romp through Czerny studies, we observe her conspicuous, elastic wrist motions.

In a separate video posted to you tube, Rev, literally takes a student’s hands and dips the wrists way up and down, and then specifically nudges them in clockwise and counter-clockwise directions..

Ironically, I’d demonstrated the very same motions for an adult student as we worked on a C Major scale in 10ths.

Going back decades, my New York City teacher, Lillian Freundlich advocated this type of relaxed, free range motion that helped phrase-shaping.

Ena Bronstein, a student of Claudio Arrau and Raphael De Silva also focused on supple wrists and fluid arm movements. And as her pupil in the 1980’s, I managed to absorb what she passed down via her well-known mentors.


About Livia Rev
Lívia Rév
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

“Rév was born in Budapest, Hungary. She started her studies with Margit Varro and Klara Mathe. Aged nine, she won the Grand Prix des Enfants Prodiges. Aged twelve she performed with an orchestra. She studied with Leo Weiner and Arnold Székely at the Franz Liszt Academy of Music, with Professor Robert Teichmüller at the Leipzig Conservatory, and with Paul Weingarten at the Vienna Conservatory, having left Hungary in 1946.

“Rév lives in Paris, with her husband Benjamin Dunn.

“She has won the Ferenc Liszt International Record Grand Prix.

“Rév has performed across Europe, in Asia, Africa, and in the United States. She has been the soloist with conductors such as Sir Adrian Boult, André Cluytens, Jascha Horenstein, Eugen Jochum, Josef Krips, Rafael Kubelík, Hans Schmidt-Isserstedt, Constantin Silvestri, and Walter Susskind.

“Her first US appearance was in 1963 at the invitation of the Rockefeller Institute.

“She is well known for her light touch and clarity. Her recordings vary from complete Debussy Préludes, Chopin Nocturnes, and Mendelssohn Songs without Words.”

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