I had my heart set on working out at the gym before noon, but as fate had it, I was stopped in my tracks by the breathtaking artistry of Yevgeny Sudbin. (only 32 years old) And it was merely 24 hours after I'd cried over Nikolai Lugansky's Schumann Intermezzo from Faschingsschwank aus Wien. Could these… Continue reading Yevgeny Sudbin, another Russian Pianist topples my day!
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 of Christmas I therefore chose la creme de la creme of a vocal model performance.… Continue reading Celebrating Christmas in the vocal tradition (Video)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WS1Z2bqbss8 The great Vladimir Horowitz made this sonata almost a household word among pianists. Back in the 1950s, Ben Grauer, host of NBC's "Recital Hall" introduced students from Juilliard who played at least 3 Scarlatti sonatas, following Volodya's example. These Baroque selections were a necessary entrée to the main course of Classical, Romantic and Contemporary… Continue reading Scarlatti Sonata in E Major, K. 380, the one Vladimir Horowitz loved to play
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XyXvet9KrLc In a separate writing about crossed hands, large leaps, and other keyboard acrobatics, I'd discussed trills which permeate Domenico Scarlatti's music. Perhaps these precious ornaments evoked the gypsy wails in the surrounding Madrid countryside, or they were part of the performance practice of the Baroque period. I would hedge my bets that hunting horns,… Continue reading Trills and Domenico Scarlatti (Video)
The centerpiece of my trip back East this past weekend was meeting up with Elaine Comparone in her acoustically magnificent West Side apartment. Two splendid harpsichords of incomparable beauty, a custom made Dowd and Hubbard, graced a divinely resonant space with a cathedral high ceiling. And with a snap of my fingers I ignited a… Continue reading Aglow with creative fire: My NYC visit with harpsichordist, Elaine Comparone
Every so often I revisit a composition I've previously studied applying a different perspective. In Scarlatti's A Major Sonata, with its very demanding Allegrissimo tempo marking that makes the crossed hand sections seem impossibly difficult, I decided to parcel out pertinent measures in practice tempo. The goal was to inch up to a faster rendering… Continue reading Piano Technique: Using a spring forward wrist, and arc motions for hand crossovers in Scarlatti Sonata in A, K. 113 (three videos)
You can't avoid it. Athletics are part of piano playing so if you abuse your hands, arms, wrists, let alone your fingers, you'll end up benched, like an overused relief pitcher. Yesterday, I pushed the envelope, practicing rapid fire repeated notes in Domenico Scarlatti's Toccata in D minor, well into the night. Ample streams of… Continue reading Pianists and Injuries