This is a hauntingly beautiful section of the first movement. After the composer has devoted so many preceding measures to the key of A minor, he decides to travel at quick intervals through a series of different keys. Such fast-paced modulations occur primarily with the return of the crossed-hands portion of the piece, beginning in… Continue reading Piano Instruction: Part FIVE, Beethoven’s “Tempest” Sonata, Op. 31 no. 2 Measures 93 to 158 (Development, Recitative, submerged pedal)
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!
Here's my anti-anxiety solution to playing those demanding, rapid-fire repeated notes in Scarlatti's D minor Toccata. First, being a technology nerd, I never dreamed I could master a slow motion replay on iMac's iMovie, but through trial and error, I managed a half-speed rendering of the opener. Naturally, I deleted my sadly depressing droning voice… Continue reading Scarlatti Toccata in D minor with rapid fire repeated notes: Melodic contouring, dusting the keys, and slow motion replay (VIDEOS)
I couldn't resist an opportunity to conduct my student playing the Bach Invention 13 in A minor today. She's preparing two selections for a competitive Baroque event coming up in two weeks, and the second offering is the Prelude in C minor BWV 847. Claudia, 11, rehearsed the Invention a few times with a few… Continue reading The piano teacher as conductor–sometimes shaping gestures help a student phrase better (Video)
Andante: second movement, Mozart Sonata K. 545 played on my Steinway, 1917, M. http://youtu.be/PPYKK3hOjnk **** My relationship to Mozart and his music began with the violin. At the Merrywood Music Camp in Lenox, Massachusetts, only a stone's throw from Tanglewood, I encountered Eugene Lehner, first violist of the Boston Symphony when I played second violin… Continue reading Mozart memories, reflections and revisits (Videos)
So now I am into documentaries about piano teachers/performers who leave an eternal imprint on their students and upon the world. Livia Rev is one such special person who belongs in the good company of Irena Orlov, Irina Gorin, and Rosina Lhevinne. Note the frames on Bela Bartok, and Ms. Lev's connection to-- a letter… Continue reading The Old World playing, like fine wine, of Livia Rev, Hungarian pianist and teacher (see her teaching segments on the pliant wrist)
I can see the butterfly in my mind's eye in its flight of fancy. But I wish it were as easy to play, as to imagine. Relaxation is the key word here, but not to the point that the 16th-notes become like glissandi--a faint gloss over the keys. First in slow practice tempo you would… Continue reading Piano Technique: “Butterfly” by Grieg, a revisit (playing and exploring the rolling, rotational motion) videos