I couldn't help but obsess over why Grigory Sokolov, for example has no foreseeable concert appearances in the US. Surely I would have flown to NYC, perhaps for a LIVE main course plus a dessert of encores at Carnegie. Horowitz said on camera, circa, 1987, that the 57th Street Hall of musical fame was NOT… Continue reading Ruminations about why some virtuoso pianists book on the continent, leaving the US behind
A historic, 50 minute-long, Maysles made film gives a unique glimpse of the pianistic legend as he records Mozart concerto no. 23 (A Major) under the baton of Guilini (personally selected) In between movements, Volodya schmoozes with the page turner, fawning journalists, plus an assortment of friends, hero-worshippers, whose conversations are permeated by off the… Continue reading A remarkable, up close and personal documentary about Vladimir Horowitz (on You Tube)
After listening intently to Horowitz's reading, I was curious to find others to compare. No doubt a diversity of opinion surrounds any performance, but I had some ideas about why I liked one reading over another. Daniel Barenboim: I always find that his playing is not only inspiring but thoughtful. He delivers an intimate performance… Continue reading Comparison of five performances: Liszt Consolation No. 3 (Piano-videos)
The musical universe is smaller than we think. And perhaps this writing will incubate a linked chain of "connections" that will go further--especially since my relocation to Berkeley, California (September, 2012) So here it is: Now that I'm well past my Oberlin Conservatory student years, I notice that Lillian Freundlich, my beloved teacher during my… Continue reading Shrinking degrees of separation in the music world?
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://youtu.be/7no8U9pV_SI 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… Continue reading Piano practicing, performance, and gym routines: Always Reach Beyond! (Video, Bach Invention 8 in F)
I watched in disbelief as my 55th take of the C# minor Chopin Waltz Op. 64 went up in smoke. That is, it had been the most satisfying re-do, until I discovered that for 50% of the iMac iMovie, (commencing on p. 2) my hand motions and the music were out of synch. Add to… Continue reading The woes of technology: No, I wasn’t finger synching someone else’s Chopin Waltz in C# minor (Videos)
My two-year long romp on the piano finding trail with York as my professional companion and consultant had been worth all the time spent in, around and under pianos. How else would I have acquired knowledge about the piano’s harp, or cast iron plate were it not for his having the bravado to dismantle it… Continue reading DREAM PIANO: Overview and Acknowledgments
Update: Approaching still another New Year, I will add more favorite performances by pianists to the group: These inspiring players include Irina Morozova, Cyprien Katsaris, and Georgy Cziffra plus Yeol Eum Son playing Gershwin's "Embraceable You." http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ENgYKfy6WAs http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BYY47zdi8So http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mdN95IQ83d8 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XhtDSpI_KVs ****** Since it's the New Year, here are some of my picks, though I'm a… Continue reading My Favorite Video Performances of Beloved Pianists: Do you have some to share? (UPDATED)
I'm worried. I drove over to Fresno Piano on Ashlan this afternoon after my return from the Bay area. With an instant camera tucked in my pocket, I would prove my point that acoustic pianos were on their way out and digitals were fast taking over the marketplace. Even before I reached my destination, I… Continue reading Is the Acoustic Piano Culture at Risk?