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)
This particular student has come a long way in the six years we've worked together, and as always been the case, I've probably learned more from her than in reverse. From my second piano, I can gaze over at my pupil sitting at the grand and grasp a whole body in-motion perspective of her playing.… Continue reading Piano Technique: An adult student works on rolling forward wrist motions in Two, Three, and Six-note groupings (Video)
I'm overwhelmed with joy to nurse along this child's musical growth. In truth, I'd never expected a 4-year old to be ready for private instruction. The undertaking was creative and experimental, falling into the iffy range of outcomes. A fledgling who has ingested the physical connection between the singing tone and how to produce it,… Continue reading Rina, 5, shows outstanding progress over 6 months of piano lessons! (Videos)
There are snips of folkore surrounding this elder statesman of the piano, but aside from slights about his teaching etiquette and temperament, I've always adored Menahem Pressler's artistry. An "old" 1974 recording of the pianist's Mozart's Bb Concerto, K. 450 is an ambrosian delight. The playing is pure singing poetry permeated by impeccable phrasing. An… Continue reading Menahem Pressler, Mozart, and Masterclasses (Videos)
Irina Morozova, a name that drew my attention amidst a flood of star-studded "Irina's" in the teaching and performing realm, came through with shining colors in her nuanced readings of George Gershwin Improvisations. The CD title, "Gershwin Virtuoso Transcriptions" encompasses "improvisations" originally delivered by the composer himself on piano rolls, later transcribed by Artis Wodehouse,… Continue reading Irina Morozova, pianist, shines playing Gershwin Virtuoso Transcriptions on CD!
Seymour Bernstein, author of With Your Own Two Hands, remarked that "Chopin wrote out an outline for an intended method of teaching piano. And when he died he left it to Charles Alkan who never finished it. Wouldn't you think that Chopin would stress at the beginning that everything depends upon a deep emotional involvement… Continue reading The Piano Repertoire: Does making fingering/hand adjustments constitute a “swindle?”
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=knhMGbpg8Fk This Baroque era composer never ceases to amaze me. A forerunner of the virtuoso school of keyboard playing, Domenico Scarlatti offers a potpourri of what seems like incompatible ingredients in one short Sonata serving. (K. 492, L. 14) He starts with a sprightly staccato opening in the MAJOR mode in parallel thirds then continues… Continue reading Domenico Scarlatti with wailing gypsies, flamenco flourishes, and daredevil displays (Sonata in D, K. 492)