News for Students
“We humans need music” – Martha Argerich at 80 – Ever Totally Irresistible! Noticed everywhere and named one of the greatest pianists of our time, Martha Argerich turned 80 on June 5. When hearing Argerich play, philosopher and musicologist Theodor W Adorno’s words instantly come to mind: “The most difficult should sound easy and effortless, overcoming all obstacles to return to a liberated game.” I know all of you realize that Martha Argerich has long been one of my "piano She-heroes!" I have linked a great article in Pianostreet.com with a video from Medici.com called "80 Minutes with the Magical Martha"....please watch and enjoy - she is truly a legend in our time.
"IT'S NEVER TOO LATE TO PLAY THE CELLO" (or the PIANO !!) For my adult students (and kids - you should also read), please read this article and feel GOOD about what you are doing for yourself through piano lesson, piano practice. As Dr. Jiji says in this article, "getting older isn't getting worse." Enjoy your artistic moments!
Ah, Brahms!! I have such great fondness for this composer, and have had for so many years! I promised a link to this article, which includes lovely listening examples, and I hope you enjoy! More on Brahms to follow......
I have so enjoyed listening to many, many concerts videotaped at Wigmore Hall in England these past months! I have mentioned to some of you, and I encourage all to go to Wigmore Hall's website and sign up to view concerts for free (they do ask for a small donation, but not mandatory!) I have heard great piano performances: Stephen Hough, Misha Rushdie Momen, Jonathan Plowright, Eric Lu, Mahan Esfahan (harpsichord extraordinaire), Imogen Cooper, Danny Driver, Leon McCawley, Kirill Gerstein, Cedric Tiberghien. I want to be sure that you are aware of two upcoming in the next few weeks........Andras Schiff playing Bach and Beethoven on May 28th, and Mitsuko Uchida playing Schubert Impromptus on June 2nd (linked on their names). Let's listen, then let me know what you liked best, ok?
WHAT is an "Etude"?? Harvard Dictionary of Music describes as "A composition designed to improve the technique of an instrumental performer by isolating specific difficulties and concentrating his or her efforts on their mastery. A single etude usually focuses on one technical problem; etudes are usually published in groups more or less systematically covering a range of such problems in a range of keys." This month we will focus on etudes. If asked to name one famous collection of etudes, many pianists would come up quite easily with those written by Czerny and Hanon, but immediately thereafter, one would probably say those by Chopin (I linked Pollini playing all twenty-four). There are, however, thousands of etude for piano, and every pianist should have a good number under their fingers! Those etudes by Claude Debussy are among the most glorious, in my opinion; listen here to a young Mitsuko Uchida practicing during an interview regarding her performance of the Debussy Etudes and see if you agree! To listen to the set in entirety, I link one of my fav pianists, Jean-Efflam Bavouzet, performing the Debussy. Now, another set of etudes that I just adore are those incredibly difficult ones by Gyorgy Ligeti. Listen to No.13 dubbed "the Devil's Staircase", performed here by another favorite pianist of mine, Pierre-Laurent Aimard. There is also a good video by Aimard where he discusses this work in detail. Alright, enough! Now, let's get those fingers moving! What etude are YOU working on today?
Thank you for your nice comments on my most recent online recital, "The Thing with Feathers"..... I truly enjoyed putting this recital program together and practicing towards for several months! Interested in watching? Contact me for a link!
One of my favorite quotes by Sergei Rachmaninov:
“Music is enough for a lifetime, but a lifetime is not enough for music.”
Hey, gardener/pianists, check out student Gwen's wonderful garden blogs! Visit Gwen's