What would our precious Domenico be without his Baroque era adornments, embedded trills, heart-throbbing melodies in gypsy, folkloric framing! And who can overlook the flamenco guitar, rhythmic castanets and tambourines in full keyboard orchestration under Portuguese and Spanish royal influence. Yet the very first Scarlatti sonata given to me by my beloved NYC mentor, Lillian… Continue reading Domenico Scarlatti and trills!
A wellspring of inspiration poured forth in a Tweet posted by virtuoso cellist, Steven Isserlis whose vivid musical imagination fuses with his seamless technique. (We share common Oberlin Conservatory "roots" and an insatiable love for J.S.) It was no accident that while unearthing a perfect gem among a collection of Bach Little Preludes, I encountered… Continue reading How Bach should be played is Twitter-framed!
It's been decades since my beloved N.Y.C. piano teacher, Lillian Freundlich bestowed upon me the gift of Domenico Scarlatti Sonatas. And at the time, (while I was a student at the New York City H.S. of Performing Arts) I had no idea that those she had selected were permeated with the basics of technique bonded… Continue reading A Domenico Scarlatti Sonata that enables Finger and Forearm Staccato
What a divine pairing from J.S. Bach's Well-Tempered Clavier, Book 2! The ethereal, "sighing" Prelude is joined by a somber, though monumental Fugue in three voices. The Subject with its characteristic three-8th note repetitions followed by two-16ths, meanders in stepwise movement with small skip deviations while its borrowed melodic and rhythmic components weave through the… Continue reading First Love Bach Fugue in F minor, BWV 881
It's well-known to a wide audience of admirers that Elaine Comparone has a commanding presence at the harpsichord. And while she sits this one out in a bedazzling reading of Bach's D minor concerto, she's made headlines standing before her beloved as Queen of a Chamber Band that's produced reams of high quality performances. Comparone,… Continue reading She plays “red-blooded” harpsichord!
The Sinfonia in F minor is a tour de force work of art, perhaps evocative of the composer's Musical Offering in its strikingly atonal sections. Yet there are definitive cadences in Major and minor keys that occur at the terminus of tonally ambiguous tunnels. Bach wrote a preface to the two and THREE Part Inventions… Continue reading J.S. Bach and blurred tonality (learning the three-part Invention or Sinfonia in F minor, BWV 795)
Over a year ago, I posted a tutorial about the harmonic rhythm of Bach's C minor Prelude (WTC I) to help myself and others navigate strings of 16th notes with an awareness of shape, direction, and resolution. This was my springboard to learning the composition and it remains a good reference. http://youtu.be/yAa8YcW7lMI However, my you… Continue reading Comparing Interpretations of Bach Prelude in C minor, BWV 847 (Well-Tempered Clavier Book 1)
Yesterday, my Logitech cam was un-clipped from the Big Mac during a lesson to Greece. The pupil, hanging out on the island of Kos, needed a graphic representation of my hands braving a few difficult measures in Bach's Little Fugue in C Major, BWV 952. It's the composition where the composer challenges the player to… Continue reading Bringing the Keyboard closer to the long distance piano student
Today was an ear-opener, though I admit to having had a set of preconceived ideas about this Bach composition. (in two-part counterpoint) Just from having studied it myself, parceling out each separate voice in a step-wise, layered approach, I could impart what I learned as a self-delivered lecture. But the ingredient, of adding a student… Continue reading Piano Lesson: What I learned from an adult student about Bach Invention 4 in D minor (VIDEOS)
I've been practicing a slew of them at the instigation of a go-getter Skype student who sends these in droves. It means I have to set everything aside and dive in, to keep up with the turnover. I had one other adult student who rivaled the importer of Baroque beauties. She loved Chopin so much,… Continue reading My Favorite J.S. Bach Little Preludes