https://youtu.be/6BSvDPdSNt4 My tiny Berkeley apartment had been shrinking by increments with its herd of tight-squeezed grand pianos and digital keyboards. Count in a Baldwin grand acquired in April, 2015; a medium size Steinway grand (5'7") bequeathed by my father after Oberlin graduation, and two side-by-side digital keyboards--YDP 105, and Yamaha Arius 141. The electronics were… Continue reading One grand piano in, and another out, but not forgotten
The legendary pianist, Shura Cherkassky made triple ppps (pianississimos) melt in his hands through a fluid keyboard approach that encompassed an array of colors and shadings. In Shura's exemplary performance of Saint-Saens' Swan the pianist's multi-voice tier of dynamics was particularly astounding for its repository of textural timbres. Not surprisingly, the artist's touch sensitivity intertwined… Continue reading Tiers of dynamics, well-regulated pianos, and expressive playing
It's always telling to compare a piano's tone, resonance and decay in the showroom where purchased to its performance in one's living space. Unfortunately, one cannot transport the piano to one's home while evaluating it at the store. In this regard, I can share a pertinent experience where a 7' ft. Grotrian grand whose bass… Continue reading GRAND comparisons
How many piano teachers are invited to a student's lakeside home nestled in verdant beauty?! It was a splendid display of trees, including pines, cedars, spruce, casuarina, maples, birches, poplar, locusis, and sycamores, as well as native oaks. River otters, deer, and exotic birds, such as egrets and herons are known to inhabit an awe-inspired… Continue reading An afternoon with piano student, Judy and her Steinway ‘A,’ in nature’s paradise
I had a rip-roaring morning! Art, my next-door neighbor, who puts up with my round-the-clock practicing, was invited precisely at 11 a.m. to listen to my rehearsal in prep for my house concert set for next Saturday night. And naturally, as whimsical as everyone knows me to be, I did a MAN in the STREET… Continue reading A Home Piano Concert draped in technology (Video attached)
Today I was greeted by a rare Piano Ped. Forum Facebook post that celebrated a positive private teaching day. Teacher C. reported that all students had arrived on time for lessons, paid their fees pronto, and actually practiced. Bravo! Reams of peers LIKED the morsel of good tidings, except for one who JOKINGLY remarked, "Thanks… Continue reading A Piano Teacher’s Hodgepodge Life with its ups and downs!
Pianomania! is an apt title for a documentary about Stefan Knupfer, Steinway piano technician, who gallops upstairs and downstairs in a premier "Vienna concert haus," trying to meet the needs of performing pianists, recording artists, et al. They demand the kind of perfection in voicing, tuning, aesthetics that's often beyond human capability. One classic example… Continue reading Piano Mania! and the Bezerkeley arrival of Steinway 1098!
Last night I sat myself down at my imperfectly regulated Steinway M grand and managed to sigh several times through torrents of phrases crafted by design and inspiration to tug at the heartstrings. And in the video below, I journeyed in baby steps through this intensely emotional landscape pinpointing how I could flesh out the… Continue reading Playing through Chopin’s B minor Waltz with its sighing motif (Video commentary)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Xv1WpPXSQx8 Speaking of pianos, and decisions about which to use, I decided to give Haddy Haddorff another opportunity to sing like a nightingale. This was a late-into-the-night sound exploration following an earlier trip to the Mac Store at Fresno's Fashion Fair Mall. The Yeti mic was not registering--no sound--no explanation, though it was properly connected.… Continue reading Debussy Arabesque No. 1 and the back story (Video)
I've heard stories about great pianists such as Richter obsessing over a choice of piano for a concert. Allegedly, he was very fussy, and sometimes regretted the one he picked out for a recital. But when he found himself playing in Siberia and rural parts of the Russian landscape, he rose to the occasion, and… Continue reading Picking the right piano to record a selection (Videos)–“Fur Elise” by Beethoven