His sense of the LINE.
Piano Sonata No.18 in D K576: II.Adagio / Mozart
Pianist: Daniel Barenboim
grace, wit and power
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart:
Piano Sonata in C minor, KV. 457 - III. Allegro assai
Mitsuko Uchida, piano
Vladimir Horowitz gettin’ down at Studio 54 (1978)
Over the years I have observed that the rigid protocol in classical music whereby solo performers, especially pianists, are expected to play from memory seems finally, thank goodness, to be loosening its hold. What matters, or should matter, is the quality of the music making, not the means by which an artist renders a fine performance.
The nocturnes were Satie’s last works for piano.
Nocturne No. 2 by Erik Satie
I’m a huge Brahms fan too, but why is all his piano music so hard!?
My Brahms career apparently will continue next semester. It’s kind of odd how this happened, in a way. I’m not sure I believe in fate, but this scenario makes a pretty good argument for its existence.
As I mentioned yesterday, I recently went through a Brahms obsession, and I listened to just about every piece by Brahms I have in my music library. One of these was his piano quintet. Of the pieces I listened to, I think this one might be my favorite. I have no rationale for this conclusion except to say that the piece is amazing. Sometimes, you know, words just can’t do justice to the intricacies of a good piece of music!
Anyway, I decided that I had to play Brahms’ piano quintet. Unfortunately, during the fall semester, I was already booked full in terms of chamber music, so had I been offered another project, it would have been madness to take it on. And then the semester ended. All my previous chamber obligations were fulfilled. And lo and behold, I finally had leftover credits in my schedule for next semester to be able to take the string quartet class offered at my school!
And just as I was starting to think about asking certain people if they wanted to form a quartet, one of those people messaged me on Facebook. “Hey, a couple other people and I are forming a group for the string quartet class next semester and we need a cellist! Would you be interested? We’d be playing Brahms’ piano quintet.”
I can’t even tell you how immediate my response was.
Without further ado, here is probably my favorite movement from the piece: the third movement of Brahms’ Piano Quintet in F Minor. Enjoy!
I haven’t watched this yet, but I do remember posting Daria’s wonderful video of her playing Handel from the back of a truck while driving throughout Amsterdam.
WATCHING: TEDTalk from happy AMSTERDAM, talented Dutch pianist, Daria van den Bercken: A State of Wonder http://bit.ly/YRkkpp Rethinking how to share beautiful music
Kensington decided to give me a lesson on Debussy’s Arabesque no. 1. His main critique was that I need to take the tempo down a notch and work on playing the triplets more evenly. He also reminded me to bear in mind the image of an arabesque in ballet or architecture, and that my shaping of the opening line must reflect those graceful curves. He said he thought I did well internalizing the character of the piece, but if I played with more clarity, “ït would help Debussy’s liquid surreality seem less muddy. In order to be effective it must needs be crystal clear.” (his words)
Thirty-nine years and 50,000 instruments later, Carl Demler has been wrong exactly twice.
This is a great profile of a NYC piano mover.
“Once we were called to move a concert piano out of a 17th-floor apartment building, but it wouldn’t fit in the elevator,” Demler remembers. “We considered hoisting it out the window, but that costs a lot of money, because you have to close down the street and rent a crane.”
Instead, Demler opted to strap the piano to the top of the elevator car, bringing it down through the shaft, which gave him a few more inches to work with than inside the elevator itself.
“We did that quite a few times back when we started, but now buildings won’t let you do that,” he says with equal parts nostalgia and outrage.
On another occasion he hoisted a piano onto an apartment building’s roof, then carried it across to the adjacent property so as to take advantage of a wider staircase.