Gustav Klimt, ‘Schubert at the Piano’, 1899, oil on canvas.
Can’t believe that I have never seen this before - one of my favourite composers, by one of my favourite painters. It was among the paintings destroyed by Nazis in Austria in 1945.
Bojangles, the classical pianist. She’s the actual musician, not me. #bojangles #catlife #piano #sunday #home #happy
excusemewhileimuse asked: omg Maria Joao Pires is the only reason why I fell in love with piano in the first place. I saw the video of her playing Chopin's Nocturne No. 1 when I was like 7 or 8 and I was absolutely spellbound. I had been trying to find out who she was ever since, but I saw your picture and I immediately recognized her!
I’m embarrassed to admit I only just discovered her. I have this DG compilation album and for some reason I have never played her recording of the Nocturnes that is part of it until tonight. I was spellbound!
Maria João Pires: Bach - French Suite No. 2 in C minor, BWV 813 (by TheWiseMonkey89)
Maria João Pires plays Chopin (by deutschegrammophon1)
She has such a distinctive ringing tone. Lovely.
Friendly reminder that this is a picture taken at my home~
I always end up enjoying a Hindemith sonata more than I think I will.
Sonata for Bassoon and Piano by Paul Hindemith
Performed by Rachel Gough, Pianist Susan Tomes
I. Leicht bewegt
II. Langsam - Marche - Beschulß - Pastorale - Ruhig
Written in 1938, the composition of this sonata coincides with the year that Hindemith and his family fled Nazi Germany and moved to the United States.
Been there. Only thing I’ll add is that after a few years of lessons now I can say that I definitely learn more from those where I leave feeling unsatisfied and frustrated than I do from those (rare) lessons where everything “works”.
I never go into a lesson feeling good or fully prepared, despite the time spent every day on the music and exercises I’m assigned. And I’ve yet to come out of a lesson feeling like I really played my best. I keep skipping fingers in patterns I’ve rehearsed ad nauseum, or forgetting that key signatures exist all together… always weird problems that I don’t have when I’m practicing. Add those to the shortcomings I already have, such as never managing to get to all the music I’ve been assigned, and I feel like it makes me look like I’m unprepared… unpracticed… It’s frustrating and more than a little embarrassing.
I’m told by my friends who are professional musicians and music performance majors that this is a common problem/phenomenon. And this is really my first time taking serious music lessons with a teacher who is approaching me not as an amateur. So I guess there’s a certain amount of acclamation to this whole deal… (There’s a whole post coming about this FYI)
I suppose I have an overly academic approach to this, and maybe I shouldn’t. In fact, I’ll bet that I shouldn’t since this is music and not algebra. But I approach each lesson like it’s test-day in high school. I should understand these technical and musical concepts and be able to execute them on command. I should have X-amount of work done on a piece of music and be able to give evidence to that fact. And when I can’t do all of that, I feel like I’ve done poorly on the “test” that is my lesson. Maybe not failed… but a C+ at best.
But what I have to remember in all of this is that I am making progress. Faster than I thought I would given how very slowly I feel like my brain moves when it comes to hard-coding technique, to borrow a phrase from my teacher. But I have to stop myself and think… four weeks ago, if you had handed me a Bach piano prelude and told me to play it, I would have laughed at you. And while I’m no where near able to play it smoothly, I can fumble my way through it, complete with a little bit of pedal. I’ve gone from barely able to plunk out a single melody line to being able to play with both hands, reading two clefs at the same time… it’s astonishing and I try not to think about it too hard. Sort of like having a pleasant dream, realizing you’re dreaming and not wanting that realization to cause you to wake up.
And even more important is that my teacher is happy with my progress. I’ve been taking lots of steps back and deep breaths in all this and remembering that he knows what he’s doing. He helpfully pulled back the curtain on the magic trick of teaching a little bit and told me why he’s picked the music he has and that has helped me understand that I’m not as behind as I sometimes feel like I am. In fact, I get the feeling from how he’s talking, I am moving faster than he thought I would.
So the short version is this: I’m still working on Bach and Bartok. Progress feels slow and clumsy but I’m getting somewhere. Scales in more than one octave make me want to pull my hair out, but the chord progressions are getting easier and more automatic. I’m even using pedal! I go into lessons feeling inadequate to the task and come out pleasantly surprised by what I’ve accomplished. Let’s hope this pattern continues.