Matters of interpretation came up at the "Y" Gym yesterday when I bumped into the pianist from a North Berkeley house of worship. Aline is a fine musician who intersperses the service with great masterworks. Recently she played Grieg's "Wedding March" during the basket-passing which lifted spirits as it amassed $$$$. At that very instant,… Continue reading Interpreting piano music: Should we truly realize the composer’s intent?
During the night, I stumbled upon a piano solo with orchestra arrangement of "Fur Elise" that included a set of nuanced special effects. First, the pianist, nonchalantly flowed into the first theme to a stream applause, reminding me of the time I played this same piece without embellishment in the dining hall of Fig Garden… Continue reading Beethoven’s Fur Elise with orchestra? or without (Videos)
First, I have to admit that my prized Yeti mic suffered yet another break-down. "Break" is to be emphasized. I tripped over the wire on the way to Haddy Haddorff, and the sensitive connector from iMac's USB port to the mic itself was altered. Yeti wouldn't register on "Preferences" as an external no matter how… Continue reading Chopin Waltz in Ab Major, Op. 69 No. 1–considerations of mics, recording conditions, and tempo, with performance comparisons
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
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D0SfJSgp71U About twenty years ago, before I was enlightened about the risk of injuries when I practiced and how to avoid them, I sustained a ligament tear of my ring finger, right hand. It was while playing the Schumann Carnaval, and just before it happened, I had held my hand in a rigid arched position… Continue reading Piano Instruction: Avoiding Injuries, using “Butterfly” by Edvard Grieg as a slow practicing example (Videos)
I was about to throw my camcorder across the room as the supposedly fully charged battery was flickering and about to shut down! There was no reason for the cam to go on strike, especially within minutes of Evan's arrival. He was the last piano student of the day, and had just entered my studio… Continue reading Grieg’s music survived a failing lithium battery!
"Butterfly" is one of my favorite pieces from the Romantic era. A charming character piece, it takes flight from the very first measure in a stream of rapid sixteenth notes, weaving through two related keys. The composer, Edvard Grieg, wrote ten sets of these colorful, descriptive miniatures that attached illuminating titles. They form a collection… Continue reading Butterfly by Edvard Grieg