One of the fruits of forming a Short Story Book group, is meeting people who not only share an embrace of fine literature, but who might also enjoy a strong connection to the music world. Judith and Stan Jacobs fit nicely into this dual universe, having become members of my shrinking degrees of separation literary… Continue reading When Your Song Breaks the Silence: A book about Franz Schubert
Grigory Sokolov grabs a deserved spotlight in this bedazzling performance of Schubert's Klavierstucke No. 1 http://youtu.be/zuwi9W3A3tM Bruno Sainmangeon, producer and documentarian captured Sokolov in the same acoustically favorable Berlin space that Murray Perahia chose to deliver the memorable Bach Partita in E minor: http://youtu.be/ELShZDVjoFw Add in Perahia's most recent tour de force in Japan: Beethoven's… Continue reading Chiming in the New Year with my favorite piano performance picks!
Yuja Wang presented a colorful solo piano recital in more ways that one..
I hand-selected a particular recital for an outing with my adult student, Jocel. While he'd suggested a Yuja Wang foray at Davies Concert Hall in San Francisco, I prodded him to first experience the sublime artistry of Richard Goode. (Location: Zellerbach Auditorium in Berkeley, CA, CAL PERFORMANCES series) We were not disappointed. http://youtu.be/Dh4I_b9KipQ The last… Continue reading A Feast of pianist, Richard Goode’s Artistry and a walk down memory lane
"Looping" and "grouping" provide prompts for practicing relentless triplets in the opening section of Schubert's Eb Impromptu. Myriads of scale-like passages meander in unpredictable directions at times, often inserting half-steps under principle notes that carry a thread of melody that peaks with a sequence of secondary dominants to climax. But of poignant beauty is an… Continue reading Schubert Impromptu No. 2 in Eb, Op. 90: Looping and Grouping notes
I found the perfect solution to practicing the Schubert Fantasie in F minor without my duet partner, since she's absent for 6 days of the week. While we rehearse on Thursdays, the piano bench literally shrinks putting us both at risk for hand collisions and body blows. In truth, the pushes and shoves have more… Continue reading Going Solo with the Schubert Fantasie for 4-hands
The BACKDROP Over in Fairbanks, Alaska the awards ceremony that capped a prolonged Internet channeled e-competition was dragged out mercilessly. Every sponsor under the sun had to be acknowledged, including Yamaha International that put its Disklavier center stage, UP-staging the old-fashioned way of delivering music to audiences. Would you believe, laudatory performances were memorialized on… Continue reading Two side-by-side approaches to Schubert and ONE wins a prize
I remember an astonishing concert that I attended at Carnegie Hall where two distinguished pianists sang like nightingales at one 9 foot grand piano. It was back in the 1970's that I heard Paul Badura-Skoda and Jorge Demus perform the Schubert Fantasie in F minor as opener to a program featuring mostly Mozart works. The… Continue reading 4-hand piano prep and the joy of making music for two
Since I have two students immersed in this gorgeously spun out Impromptu, my review has been perfectly timed. http://youtu.be/daHh9E1rNos Schubert's composition challenges the player to be lyrical through swaths of triplets. These roll out as fast but contoured melody. Laying a good learning foundation requires attentive listening and a well-conceived fingering tied to Slow practicing.… Continue reading Revisiting Schubert Impromptu in Eb, Op. 90, No. 2
I decided to record the Schubert Impromptu in Eb, Op. 90 on my Steinway grand to compare timbre and tone with the Haddorff console, and my verdict is that the Steinway surpassed Haddy in clarity and range of dynamics. It's a rebuilt piano--work done by Dale Erwin of Erwin's Pianos, Modesto, and its projection is… Continue reading A Steinway grand piano, vintage, 1917, breathes life into a Schubert Impromptu, Op. 90 (Video)