April 19, 2014
Charles T. Downey reviews Lugansky’s recent Prokofiev: “Nikolai Lugansky is an exceptionally accomplished pianist, someone with technique to burn but who plays with consummate restraint. The combination leads some, who judge principally with their eyes, to find him cool or distant, but to those who listen, he consistently dazzles the ears. This makes him ideally suited to the major piano concertos, and he has blown me away in the Rachmaninov third concerto, with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra two years ago and the Philadelphia Orchestra before that, if less so in Beethoven’s fourth concerto with the National Symphony Orchestra in 2011. The Russian pianist has just made a recording of Prokofiev’s daunting third piano concerto and has been making the rounds with it, including in this week’s concerts with the NSO, where I heard him play it on Friday night in the Kennedy Center Concert Hall. … Lugansky hit all the right marks in this complicated concerto: helter-skelter runs at super-fast tempos, a tongue-in-cheek take on the first movement’s goofy second theme (accompanied by castanets), impeccable hand crossings, a steely accuracy in the large-handed berserk chordal sections, but also a dreamy take on the piano’s musings at the recapitulation, where the tender opening clarinet solo returns. …” (via Ionarts: Lugansky in Blistering Prokofiev 3)

Charles T. Downey reviews Lugansky’s recent Prokofiev:
“Nikolai Lugansky is an exceptionally accomplished pianist, someone with technique to burn but who plays with consummate restraint. The combination leads some, who judge principally with their eyes, to find him cool or distant, but to those who listen, he consistently dazzles the ears. This makes him ideally suited to the major piano concertos, and he has blown me away in the Rachmaninov third concerto, with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra two years ago and the Philadelphia Orchestra before that, if less so in Beethoven’s fourth concerto with the National Symphony Orchestra in 2011. The Russian pianist has just made a recording of Prokofiev’s daunting third piano concerto and has been making the rounds with it, including in this week’s concerts with the NSO, where I heard him play it on Friday night in the Kennedy Center Concert Hall. … Lugansky hit all the right marks in this complicated concerto: helter-skelter runs at super-fast tempos, a tongue-in-cheek take on the first movement’s goofy second theme (accompanied by castanets), impeccable hand crossings, a steely accuracy in the large-handed berserk chordal sections, but also a dreamy take on the piano’s musings at the recapitulation, where the tender opening clarinet solo returns. …”
(via Ionarts: Lugansky in Blistering Prokofiev 3)

April 19, 2014
Lesson 39: Minor fall, the major lift…

mygrandmotherspiano:

Miserable lesson was miserable.

I have no idea what the hell was going on with me today. I worked really hard this week and felt like I made some real progress, but for some reason, today I just fell apart at the keyboard. Screwing up fingerings that I hadn’t screwed up since I first started the piece… completely forgetting to use pedal even though my foot was on the damn thing the whole piece. It was ridiculous. I don’t even know what happened…

So you know what? I’m going to go plant a garden.

Peace.

Can I just say I had the same experience this week. I’d been feeling so good about my progress lately, and then my lesson on Tuesday was totally borked. Must be the change in weather or Mercury retrograde or somesuch. 

Anyway, this week I had a second lesson on Friday morning, and I went in feeling vaguely anxious, but my teacher totally talked me down from the ledge. His trick was simple: listen to the sound you’re making. Really listen and be in the moment, not thinking about the measure ahead or what just happened in the measure past. Focusing on the ring of the sound from this piano right now in this room really helped me let go of all the unnecessary nonsense that was holding me back. 

Funny I keep having to re-learn the same lesson again and again in different disguises.

April 19, 2014
explore-blog:

Agnes Martin on art, happiness, pride, and failure – a rare and wonderful 1976 interview with the iconic, reclusive artist.

explore-blog:

Agnes Martin on art, happiness, pride, and failure – a rare and wonderful 1976 interview with the iconic, reclusive artist.

(via sillywhatwell)

April 19, 2014
meandthedevilblues:

I miss this piano a little… They keys were heavier and less bright sighs*

meandthedevilblues:

I miss this piano a little… They keys were heavier and less bright sighs*

April 19, 2014
I imagine this sequence as a movie montage, with the pages of a calendar peeling off between frames.

I imagine this sequence as a movie montage, with the pages of a calendar peeling off between frames.

(Source: 88solutions)

April 18, 2014

whitejuices:

Michel Béroff
Debussy: Deux Arabesques No. 1 (3:27)

His tempo choice is more on the glittery side than the dreamy, but plenty of lovely moments in this performance all the same.

April 18, 2014
harmoniamundiusa:

"Paul Lewis is famous for his Beethoven, and Seattle Symphony listeners found out exactly why…Poetry, clarity, virtuosity and intelligence were there in abundance, in a reading that was remarkable for the variety of touch and dynamics…Lewis’ playing has exceptional evenness and clarity; it’s evident that he has a great affinity for Beethoven.” - The Seattle Times: http://ow.ly/vVYa5 Try Lewis’s complete Beethoven concertos with BBC Symphony Orchestra and Jiří Bělohlávek: http://ow.ly/vVYoD

harmoniamundiusa:

"Paul Lewis is famous for his Beethoven, and Seattle Symphony listeners found out exactly why…Poetry, clarity, virtuosity and intelligence were there in abundance, in a reading that was remarkable for the variety of touch and dynamics…Lewis’ playing has exceptional evenness and clarity; it’s evident that he has a great affinity for Beethoven.” - The Seattle Timeshttp://ow.ly/vVYa5 

Try Lewis’s complete Beethoven concertos with BBC Symphony Orchestra and Jiří Bělohlávekhttp://ow.ly/vVYoD

April 18, 2014
marietoburrito:

9. A wonderful duo #piano concert #100happydays

marietoburrito:

9. A wonderful duo #piano concert #100happydays

April 16, 2014
(via The Collaborative Piano Blog: Meme of the Day - The Performing Engagements Guarantee)

(via The Collaborative Piano Blog: Meme of the Day - The Performing Engagements Guarantee)

April 16, 2014
Frances Wilson interviews Mark Polishook
FW: What do you consider to be the most important concepts to impart to beginning students, and to advanced students?
MP: Being in the moment with the music we’re making. Focusing on right now. To do that we have to relax. Which isn’t a question of “Are we relaxed? Yes or no?” It’s that relaxation is a continuum. Which means we can always bring it to deeper and deeper levels.
Also important is listening to the sound that comes from the piano. Listening to how the piano resonates. How it projects. One way forward with this play and listen to single, sustained notes – long tones at the piano.
It’s like magic but ears and mind usually then go right to the moment – because they’re listening to the attack, sustain, and decay of each note and then each note after that.