If there ever was a pianist who embraced a style of playing that was in the service of sculpted phrases, regardless of wrist-breaking rules, it was Livia Rev. Her playing had choreographic freedom as she responded to the here and now of music-making, crafting phrases with a thoughtful relationship to what unfolded, in the before… Continue reading The sad news of Livia Rev’s passing at 101
Livia Rev, a seasoned pianist, ripened by her 99 years on earth, drew my attention during a You Tube search for performances of Chopin's Nocturne in F Major, Op. 15. (It was at a time when I was studying and teaching the composition.) The middle section of this work has a notable turbulent emotional shift… Continue reading Livia Rev, pianist, ripens with age
Most piano teachers get inquiries from parents who are riveted to "methods." The most frequently posed question is, "can you tell me how you teach?" Under duress and painted into a corner, a prospective mentor's perfect, all-encompassing answer seems unattainable. And upon closer consideration, a boundary limited approach for every student who crosses the threshold… Continue reading Does any one piano method or playing approach work?
Livia Rev, Hungarian born pianist, who's 98, demonstrates in her playing how flexible wrists and relaxed arms spin beautiful phrases in legato and staccato. In a romp through Czerny studies, we observe her conspicuous, elastic wrist motions. http://youtu.be/LWjnPeQmrKA In a separate video posted to you tube, Rev, literally takes a student's hands and dips the… Continue reading Piano Technique: Wrist flexibility and relaxed arms
One of my adult students echoed a belief that has resonated for generations in piano studios across the country, if not the world. The OLD school of thought was that you played piano with a rigid, arched hand, and if you slipped into a longer, relaxed curve, or dared to DIP your wrist below the… Continue reading Piano Technique: The dipping wrist, and how it defies convention (Videos)
So now I am into documentaries about piano teachers/performers who leave an eternal imprint on their students and upon the world. Livia Rev is one such special person who belongs in the good company of Irena Orlov, Irina Gorin, and Rosina Lhevinne. Note the frames on Bela Bartok, and Ms. Lev's connection to-- a letter… Continue reading The Old World playing, like fine wine, of Livia Rev, Hungarian pianist and teacher (see her teaching segments on the pliant wrist)