We sometimes think of our childhood in musical terms. Seymour Bernstein mentions hearing Schubert's Standchen that brought him to tears. Otherwise his home was bereft of music, let alone the time-honored Classics. It was mostly silent. I was bathed in Yiddish melodies that my South Bronx grandmother (bubbe) sang in her beautifully tremulous voice, but… Continue reading The Jewish New Year ushers in poignant musical memories
I spent two full nights with J.S.B., recording at ungodly hours, deleting a lion's share of playings, worrying about my neighbors' patience threshold. With a "runner's high," equivalent of being in the zone, I just couldn't let go of the momentum, as tenants beside me were trying to get some sleep. The LAYOUT Four adjacent… Continue reading Me, My Neighbors and J.S. Bach
Blocking techniques can help to solidify tricky passages in Bach's A minor Invention (13), especially if intelligent decisions are made about landscaping broken chords with thumb shifts weaving through them. Examining measures 9 through 13 for example, I devised a blocking routine that helped me gain note security while contouring phrases with a supple wrist.… Continue reading Piano Technique: Be a Blockhead when learning Bach
An encore tribute to Maestro Pressler caught my eye on FB's Art of Piano Pedagogy forum. Deborah Rambo Sinn, a fine musician and teacher in her own right posted "My violinist's interview" with the octogenarian plus ten. It was the perfect supplement to a 2012 blog that I'd dedicated to Menahem that resonates into the… Continue reading Facebook puts Menahem Pressler center stage, practicing “with love.”
I stumbled upon Ilana Vered's dazzlingly performance of two Moskowzski Etudes in a televised Steinway anniversary tribute hosted by Van Cliburn. It was during this celebration that Murray Perahia, my Performing Arts High classmate, rendered Chopin from the basement of Steinway Hall on W. 57th. As it played out that afternoon and evening, great artistry… Continue reading From Perugia with love: Pianist, Ilana Vered hosts an enticing summer music fest
I made a promise to myself well before the New Year, that I would learn one new Tchaikovsky composition each day from the composer's Op. 39 Children's Album. (24 tableaux) Not that I'm recommending to piano students that they assimilate new music at lightning speed, but for me the challenge was to make a spurt… Continue reading Favorite Tchaikovsky piano pieces and their pedagogical value
Every so often, I stumble upon an uploaded You Yube performance that grabs my ears. In this instance, it was a Mozart encore offered by pianist, Mitsuko Uchida, that led straight to a compelling videotaped interview with her. With my antennae up and ready for more sparkle to light up my day, I was amply… Continue reading In the Piano Universe: Two You Tube Treasures not to miss!