Category Archives: classissima

J.S. Bach, the piano, harpsichord and early music tunings

Elaine Comparone, a well-regarded harpsichordist rendered a dance movement from J.S. Bach’s French Suite No. 5 in G, (BWV 816) that I’d performed on the pianoforte. In the Loure, (written in G Major) I was immediately struck by a pitch … Continue reading

Posted in Baroque era, Baroque era tunings, classissima, classissima.com, Daniel Waitzman, Elaine Comparone, flute, harpsichord, piano blog, piano blogging | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Does approaching notes in different ways at the piano affect tone production?

Emanuel Ax, well-known concert pianist and teacher asserts that one note struck cannot be varied by physical approach (except for volume) and I’m assuming duration (a clipped staccato release vs. a lingering sustain without pedal) Yet he didn’t provide enough … Continue reading

Posted in Classical music blog, classissima, classissima.com, Emanuel Ax, Journal of a Piano Teacher from New York to California, phrasing at the piano, piano, piano blog, Shirley Kirsten, Shirley Smith Kirsten, tone production at the piano, word press, you tube | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

A Feast of pianist, Richard Goode’s Artistry and a walk down memory lane

I hand-selected a particular recital for an outing with my adult student, Jocel. While he’d suggested a Yuja Wang foray at Davies Concert Hall in San Francisco, I prodded him to first experience the sublime artistry of Richard Goode. (Location: … Continue reading

Posted in Berkeley, Berkeley CA, classissima, classissima.com, Franz Schubert, Franz Schubert sonatas, Journal of a Piano Teacher from New York to California, piano, Richard Goode, Schubert, Zellerbach Hall, Zellerbach Hall in Berkeley, Zellerbach in Berkeley California | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

A Romp through F# Major scales and arpeggios

F# Major, from a certain perspective, happens to be one of the easier scales to play because it falls into patterns of triple black and double black keys with thumbs meeting in between. In fact, both hands have mirror fingers … Continue reading

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Facing the Music on FACETIME

Burgmuller’s “SORROW” received a BOOST on FACETIME where it was the PITS on SKYPE. The latter sometimes mimics jet landings with a whoosh sound, while an echo chamber effect causes unwanted tremolos. In this “FACE”-beamed environment, a formerly LIVE student … Continue reading

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The value and application of slow piano practicing

Angela Hewitt boldly emphasizes the importance of slow practicing in this brief video segment. She states that everything you do behind tempo should be molded into a faster reading as to phrasing, dynamics, etc. And it goes without saying that … Continue reading

Posted in Angela Hewitt, Classical era sonata, classissima, Haydn Sonata in Eb Haydn Sonata in Eb Hob.XVI:52 (Rondo), Haydn Sonata in Eb Hob.XVI:52, piano lesson, Shirley Smith Kirsten | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Piano technique is about flexibility not finger strength

I remember my days at the Oberlin Conservatory pumping out meaningless Schmitt finger exercises, often holding notes down, while a selected persecuted finger had to brave the pain is gain ritual. (tap, tap, tap, tap, and move on to the … Continue reading

Posted in classissima, classissima.com, Franz Josef Haydn, Haydn Sonata in Eb Hob.XVI:52 (Rondo), Haydn Sonatas, Journal of a Piano Teacher from New York to California, Oberlin Conservatory, piano lessons, piano study, piano technique, Schmitt exercises, Shirley Kirsten, wordpress, wordpress.com, you tube, youtube.com | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment