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Part Six Piano Instruction, Beethoven’s “Tempest” Sonata No. 17, Op. 31 No. 2 and all FIVE teaching segments preceding

In order from Part One to Six:

I.

II.

III.

IV.

V.

VI.

LINKS:

Part ONE: Beethoven Tempest Sonata in D minor

https://arioso7.wordpress.com/2012/04/01/practicing-tips-for-beethovens-tempest-sonata-op-31-no-2-part-one-video/

Part TWO Instruction

https://arioso7.wordpress.com/2012/04/01/piano-instuction-part-two-beethovens-tempest-sonata-hand-cross-over-with-tremolo-in-the-middle-voice/

Part THREE Instruction

https://arioso7.wordpress.com/2012/04/03/piano-instruction-part-three-beethoven-tempest-sonata-in-d-minor-op-31-no-2/

Part FOUR Instruction

https://arioso7.wordpress.com/2012/04/04/piano-instruction-part-four-beethovens-tempest-sonata-in-d-minor-op-31-no-2-measures-55-93/

Part FIVE Instruction

https://arioso7.wordpress.com/2012/04/05/piano-instruction-part-five-beethovens-tempest-sonata-op-31-no-2-measures-93-to-158-development-recitative-submerged-pedal/

PART SIX, referenced in You Tube format

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nwQzBpWJWqs

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Piano Instruction: Part FIVE, Beethoven’s “Tempest” Sonata, Op. 31 no. 2 Measures 93 to 158 (Development, Recitative, submerged pedal)

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 F# minor at double forte level. (FF) (measure 99)

But before we get to this intensified point, Beethoven re-introduces a Largo, following the SECOND ENDING, which draws on the opening broken chord ROLL. The harmonies through which he passes are quite mystical. (especially when a D Major rolled-out chord is followed by a diminished one starting on B#) The third and final rolled chord in F# evokes the gates of heaven opening. At this point, the player must experience a divine revelation so he can communicate it convincingly to the listener.

The same mysticism blankets a Recitative, measures 144-148; and 155-158 with a submerged sustain pedal which is in itself, an innovative harmonic event in a Classical period sonata.

In fact, the “Tempest” is a ground-breaking composition just because the composer explores new tonal and harmonic regions while expanding beyond conservative form boundaries.

My video instruction elaborates upon this commentary:

LINKS:

Part ONE: Beethoven Tempest Sonata in D minor

https://arioso7.wordpress.com/2012/04/01/practicing-tips-for-beethovens-tempest-sonata-op-31-no-2-part-one-video/

Part TWO Instruction

https://arioso7.wordpress.com/2012/04/01/piano-instuction-part-two-beethovens-tempest-sonata-hand-cross-over-with-tremolo-in-the-middle-voice/

Part THREE Instruction

https://arioso7.wordpress.com/2012/04/03/piano-instruction-part-three-beethoven-tempest-sonata-in-d-minor-op-31-no-2/

Part FOUR Instruction

https://arioso7.wordpress.com/2012/04/04/piano-instruction-part-four-beethovens-tempest-sonata-in-d-minor-op-31-no-2-measures-55-93/

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In the Piano Universe: Two You Tube Treasures not to miss!

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 rewarded.

I must admit that when I surveyed first movement readings of K. 545, the “Drawing Room” sonata, I was less intrigued by Uchida’s interpretation (employing a clipped staccato) than by what I found as an afterthought to a concert she had given at an unspecified location. (her short notes, were refined in a portato-like rendering through a soulful Andante)

First, to celebrate an artist, who does not feel obligated to reel off a show-stopping transcription as a tour de force ending to a concert, but instead chooses a slow movement to cap the evening….

I remember how satisfying it was to hear Horowitz bless his audience with Schumann’s “Reverie” as the ultimate conclusion to his recital. (He would precede this offering with virtuoso displays, but not leave the stage without making a peace with himself and his listeners)

And so, Uchida, in this spirit played the second movement of Mozart’s well-known Sonata in C, which by serendipitous opportunity, led to a prized interview that provided an intimate glimpse of her inner thoughts, ideas and philosophy.

Be inspired:

Interview (It’s in English)

RELATED:

Compare readings of Mozart K. 545, Allegro

https://arioso7.wordpress.com/2012/03/31/comparing-performances-of-mozart-sonata-in-c-k-545-movement-1-allegro-tempo-alone-can-make-a-big-difference/
***

BIO from Uchida’s Official Website:

http://www.mitsukouchida.com”>http://www.mitsukouchida.com”>http://www.mitsukouchida.com

“…whatever she plays, you always sense that Uchida has thought through the reasons for everything she does, but always in the best interests of communicating what she feels is the emotional essence of the music. It’s a rare, and very precious gift.”
The Guardian

“Mitsuko Uchida is a performer who brings a deep insight into the music she plays through her own search for truth and beauty. She is renowned for her interpretations of Mozart, Schubert, and Beethoven, both in the concert hall and on CD, but she has also illuminated the music of Berg, Schoenberg, Webern and Boulez for a new generation of listeners. Her recording of the Schoenberg Piano Concerto with Pierre Boulez and the Cleveland Orchestra won four awards, including The Gramophone Award for Best Concerto. Amongst many current projects, Uchida has recently been recording a selection of Mozart’s Piano Concerti with the Cleveland Orchestra, directing from the piano. The Cleveland Plain Dealer wrote of their performances of K.466 and K.595 in April 2010, ‘Uchida turns in readings of such eloquence, one has no trouble understanding why they’re also being recorded for posterity’ and The Times wrote of the disc issued in October 2009, (K.491 and K.488), which won a Grammy award, ‘Did even the great Clara Haskil play Mozart’s piano music as wonderfully, as completely – with intelligence and instinct perfectly fused – as Mitsuko Uchida?’

“Highlights this season include performances with the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra and Haitink, Vienna Philharmonic and Boulez, Cleveland Orchestra, Chicago Symphony, Philharmonia Orchestra and Salonen, and the continuation of the Beethoven concerti cycle with the London Symphony Orchestra and Sir Colin Davis. Uchida will perform chamber music at the Mozartwoche festival in Salzburg, with the Hagen Quartet in a tour of Japan, and with Magdalena Kožená in Europe. She will give solo recitals in Tokyo, Salzburg, Berlin, Paris, London, Chicago and New York.

“Mitsuko Uchida performs with the world’s finest orchestras and musicians. Some recent highlights have been her Artist-in-Residency at the Cleveland Orchestra, where she directed all the Mozart concerti from the keyboard over a number of seasons. She has also been the focus of a Carnegie Hall Perspectives series entitled ‘Mitsuko Uchida: Vienna Revisited’. She has featured in the Concertgebouw’s Carte Blanche series where she collaborated with Ian Bostridge, the Hagen Quartet, Chamber Orchestra of Europe and Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra as well as directing from the piano a performance of Schönberg’s Pierrot Lunaire. Uchida has also been Artist-in-Residence at the Vienna Konzerthaus, and with the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra, where she performed a series of chamber music concerts and a Beethoven Piano Concerti cycle with Sir Simon Rattle.

“Mitsuko Uchida records exclusively for Decca and her recordings include the complete Mozart piano sonatas and piano concerti; the complete Schubert piano sonatas; Debussy’s Etudes; the five Beethoven piano concerti with Kurt Sanderling; a CD of Mozart Sonatas for Violin and Piano with Mark Steinberg; Die Schöne Müllerin with Ian Bostridge for EMI; the final five Beethoven piano sonatas; and the 2008 recording of Berg’s Chamber Concerto with the Ensemble Intercontemporain, Pierre Boulez and Christian Tetzlaff. Uchida’s most recent releases are CD’s of Mozart’s concerti K.488 and K.491, and a second disc of K.466 and K.595, both with Uchida directing the Cleveland Orchestra from the piano; and an acclaimed disc of Schumann’s solo piano music, featuring the Davidsbündlertänze and the Fantasie.

“Mitsuko Uchida has demonstrated a long-standing commitment to aiding the development of young musicians and is a trustee of the Borletti-Buitoni Trust. She is also Co-director, with Richard Goode, of the Marlboro Music Festival. In June 2009 she was made a Dame Commander of the Order of the British Empire.”

December 2011

J.S. Bach Invention 13 in A minor, pianist, piano, piano instruction, piano instructor, piano lesson, piano lessons, piano pedagogy, piano practicing, piano repertoire, Piano Street, piano student, piano studio, piano teacher, piano teaching, piano teaching repertoire, pianoaddict.com, pianoworld, pianoworld.com, playing piano, publishersmarketplace, scales, scales and arpeggios, Shirley Kirsten, Shirley Kirsten blog, Shirley Smith Kirsten, slow mindful practicing, solfeggio, sonatina, Steinway M grand piano, Steinway piano, studying piano, talkclassical.com, Teach Street, Teaching Bach two part inventions, teaching piano, teaching piano to children, word press, wordpress.com, you tube

“Piano Student of the Week,” Claudia S. practices Bach and improves her playing (Video)

Claudia is one of the old-timers around here at age 11. She came to study piano with me when she was just 6 and in those days, I gave her Noona’s “The Red Drum,” in addition to selections from Book One, Royal Conservatory of Music, University of Toronto: Hook “Minuet,” Schein “Allemande,” Telemann “Dance” in G minor, J.S. Bach “Bouree,” Tansman “Arabia,” Poole “Mist”; “A March” by Paciorkiewicz, Lubarksy “The Busy Hen,”Rybicki “Cradle Song,” and Fritz Le Couppey “The Shepherd’s Pipe.”

I never used method books in her studies because Claudia was well into note reading at the time, and was ready for some ear perking repertoire. In addition, we started five finger positions in all parallel major and minor keys, which led to full scale and arpeggio study. She has now come a long way, doing the equivalent of a gymnastics display at the piano each week. We spend the first 20 minutes turning scales and arpeggios into whirlwind spins in every manner you can imagine, parallel/contrary motion, in 10ths, 6ths, 3rds, and more.

I can recall Claudia’s first recital in my home like it was yesterday. She played the most of any other student, because she had enough learned pieces in her fingers to give a full scale recital of her own, and that was the memorable day that one of my adult students, a 6’5″ strapping fellow, clunked his head on my chandelier, barely making it to the Steinway in a half dazed state. But the show went on….

Claudia’s serious-minded attitude about piano study

With her strong work ethic, Claudia sets a good example for other students. She practices steadily and has the patience to learn pieces applying a stepwise approach. Claudia also dutifully completes her Theory assignments in the Snell-Ashleigh workbooks, transposes pieces, learns Solfege, names intervals and improves her ear-training skills.

The fruits of her labor are rich and bountiful.

Currently she’s studying the Bach Prelude and Fugue in C minor, BWV847, Invention 13 in A minor, and the Chopin Waltz in C# minor, Op. 64 no.2. Quite a nice music menu for an 11-year old.

Here’s a sample of her riveting focus on improving the Bach Invention 13. We were using rhythms to refine the climactic measures on the last page:

Who would have imagined this very poised youngster gracing a 9 foot piano at Fresno State’s recital hall? (MTAC Baroque Festival)

I still remember her as a sweet, sensitive and wide-eyed 6-year old. How time flies. And during these many years, she’s racked up international travels to Korea, Germany, and Austria (Salzburg) Her horizons are ever-expanding as is her language acquisition of Korean and French. German, anyone?

Flash forward to the present for a glimpse of Claudia’s repertoire:

Bach Invention 1 in C; Invention 4 in D minor; Invention 8 in F and 13 in A minor; Prelude and Fugue in C minor, BWV847; Beethoven Fur Elise, Chopin Waltz in A minor no. 19, Op. Posthumous, Mozart Sonata complete K. 545

In the past:
Beethoven Sonatina in F Major; Clementi Sonatina Op. 36 no. 3; Mozart Dance in F; a collection of Saint-Saens Carnival of the Animals character pieces arranged for piano; J.C. Bach Prelude in A minor; Andante in A minor, Rameau Menuet en Rondeau, Kabalevsky “Clowns,” “Joke,” and “Funny Event.”

Noona “The Red Drum,” a set of pieces from Faber’s classical duets including “Snake Dance,” Pachelbel Canon arrangement, Piano selections from the Celebration Series, Toronto Conservatory, as previously mentioned.

Claudia in video and photos: Looking back over the years

https://arioso7.wordpress.com/2011/09/06/a-piano-students-milestones-and-memories-in-photos-and-video/

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Ethereal piano playing: Another Irina, with an i in the middle, brings heaven to earth

This is the special month of Irina, Irena, and still another Irina. The latest messenger of beauty via You Tube is Irina Morozova. And as fate would have it, one of my readers, owner of a Knight piano treasure, e-mailed me a sample of her Bach-Siloti, which sent me feverishly finger-tapping the search window for more.

Out popped the Chopin Barcarolle performed with gorgeously spun out lines, to die for singing tone and phrasing. Not to be territorial about playing, but the Russian School of teaching piano is glaring for its focus on producing a molto cantabile.

The wrists are not flat. The hand position is not rigid. There’s a flow from the heart into the fingers via relaxed arms and supple wrists. The motions are curvaceous as one note breathes into another at the right moment. Morozova renders a warm, Romantic era interpretation that has a relaxed roundness.

We learn from artists like her who make piano playing so fluid, that the mystery of how it’s done can be unraveled by listening attentively and carefully observing.

Chopin Mazurka in G minor, Op. 63, no.3

I love this interpretation.

And on to a divinely played Chopin Barcarolle:

Irina Morozova, Bio:

Piano; B.M. with Honors, Rimsky-Korsakov College of Music; M.M., Manhattan School of Music; piano studies with Vladimir Shakin, Galina Orlovskaya, Arkady Aronov; performances include Berlin Radio Symphony Orchestra, New American Chamber orchestra; participated in Film America’s “Music in the 20th Century” series; awards include Frinna Awerbuch, San Antonio International Piano Competitions; teaches, performs at International Keyboard Institute and Festival in NY; faculty, Mannes College of Music, Manhattan school of Music, Special Music School.

“If music be the food of love, play on….”

Other Links:

Irena Orlov


https://arioso7.wordpress.com/2011/11/26/reaching-beyond-a-documentary-about-an-inspiring-piano-teacher/

Irina Gorin


https://arioso7.wordpress.com/2011/11/23/when-great-piano-teaching-must-be-recognized/

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Piano practicing, performance, and gym routines: Always Reach Beyond! (Video, Bach Invention 8 in F)

I take my inspiration from the two Irina/Irena-s, each pronouncing their names slightly differently. Irina Gorin is the ingenious piano teacher from Carmel, Indiana via the Ukraine, and Irena Orlov is from Washington D.C.’s Levine School of Music via Leningrad. They both inspire students to explore and draw out their deepest creative expression.

That’s what we should all be doing in our personal practice sanctuaries. I certainly try to evaluate and re-evaluate my own performances, whether they’re recorded for myself to review, or for You Tube. Regardless of having an audience of one, or many, the process of learning from experience, examining phrasing, physical comportment, and anything that might have intruded upon a free flow of physical and emotional expression (there’s that word again) is worth noticing.

That’s why I believe that videotaping yourself is an amazing teaching tool– one that can spur musical growth if you, the player, can distance yourself enough from the recorded sample to make some valuable observations. In other words, don’t be hard on yourself. Look at the mirror of your playing like it was someone else’s image– Think of a friend, whom you would not harshly criticize. Underline “O” for objectivity.

This type of mirrored self-analysis is the next best thing to having a teacher present looking over your shoulder. Or maybe you don’t want anyone encroaching on your space. Give yourself a breather and do a little self-assessment.

If you can spot places in your recording where something went awry, and not necessarily a glut of conspicuously wrong notes, you can try to pinpoint a physical problem, where perhaps a tense arm or wrist got in the way. You might remember at this moment, that you lost your breath and became anxious. Every aspect of one’s mental state and respiration factor into a total performance. Musical inspiration or intuition are not enough to get a pianist from the first measure to the final cadence. There must be a pacing, just like athletes know. Pianists are part athlete, part Terpsichore or any nyphm in the forest you choose to be–and part split personality when they’re playing. Vladimir Horowitz talked about fire and ice states when tackling the warhorses.

Being attuned to a relaxed physical state, in any case, works in a player’s favor

Which reminds me that today, a few hours before I attempted to record the whip-lashing, nerve-splitting, Bach Invention 8 on my iMac, I dashed off to Bally’s Gym, with my boots on, no less, and did a self-instigated photo shoot. Actually I aimed the silly Sony Cybershot at the mirror, not realizing that the flash (an automatic setting) would obliterate me, like I was blown up in one of those superhero video games. But at last, I survived once I knocked out the flash.

My goal was to get a pic of myself working out on the Gravitron where I build upper body strength and feel a good workout for my arms. It’s really helps leverage weight into the keys, so I strongly recommend it.

Here’s a fleeting look: I set the weight at 70, which means I’m pulling about 45 pounds. I follow up with 30-minutes of leg press, deep breathing all the way through.

Not to forget, that behind every performance, especially one being recorded, there’s a cat lurking in the wings ready to pounce at the wrong moment, sending any and all music to the trash! So make sure when you sit down to videotape yourself, that your feline is not permitted on the piano, in the piano, or near the piano. In this instance, Aiden was about to leap to the window sill to make his favorite racket, pawing the blinds.

RELATED:
Tutorial on this Invention 8, BWV 779–using a spring forward wrist motion:

https://arioso7.wordpress.com/2011/09/12/piano-instruction-j-s-bach-invention-no-8-in-f-bwv-779-using-a-spring-forward-wrist-and-hand-rotation-two-videos/

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An Adult “Piano Student of the Week” lands the Gold!

Today, I launched the piano Olympics.. well not really. No one in this studio of hard-working adults and children is competing for a medal, but just the same, I have shimmering GOLD stickers that are individually awarded to deserving students.

Today, Marie earned her sparkling medallion and proudly displayed it after some prodding.

In addition she was added to my Wall of Fame at the entrance way.

Here’s Marie in piano karma. Oops, Aiden interrupted her meditation….

More photos at the Steinway:

The Backdrop:
Marie began piano studies at my current studio in approximately 2007 when I had just moved from a knee-crushing cubicle to a civilized space.

She’d taken previous lessons, but had a significant hiatus of unknown length. I remember her first lesson well. She had no specific pieces to play for me but was ready, willing and able to embark upon a musical adventure.

The enthusiasm was there and remains to this day.

Here’s the musical terrain we covered:

Pentascales or five finger positions in Major/parallel minor relationship–all keys.

Four-octave Major and minor Scales and Arpeggios in parallel/contrary motion around the Circle of Fifths. (We’re currently adding 10ths and 3rds)

Repertoire, following a review romp through the Faber Accelerated Adult Beginner Books–Lesson, Performance and Theory:

James Hook Minuet; Anna Magdalena collection, Minuet in G, attributed to Christian Petzold, and not J.S. Bach as formerly believed; Clementi Sonatina in C, Op. 36 no. 1, (all movements), “First Sorrow” and “Wild Rider” from Schumann’s Album for the Young, Rameau Menuet en Rondeau; Mozart Dance in F Major; J.C. Bach Prelude in A minor and Andante in A minor; Szymanowska Mazurka; Chopin Prelude in A Major; Chopin Waltz No. 19 in A minor, Op. Posthumous; Beethoven “Fur Elise.”

Progress has been steady and satisfying. I enjoy Marie’s devotion to the piano, and laud her for acquiring a lovely, resonant Acrosonic Baldwin after letting go of her skittish Kincaid with its built-in handicaps.

The Acro is kept in tune, and has featured piano status as the centerpiece of her living room. A cage full of cackling parakeets is nearby, and a cat and dog who co-exist harmoniously, join in a chorus of approval while Marie practices.

I had the honor of presenting a concert on this very piano for Marie’s mother’s birthday. She was heading toward her 90th, but had a few years to go.

Apparently, mom had quite a musical background and taught Marie a bit of piano in Holland where the family lived.

I keep these as a reminder of Marie’s musical presence in between lessons.