Virtuoso Piano Technique

The flat fingers technique is an arcane but not entirely lost art. Here are a few pointers:

It is important is to play the black keys on their deep end allowing the thumb to move below on the whites, and to let the thumb move under and between extended fingers and even off the keyboard when necessary. The hand should be almost flat, the knuckle-ridge relaxed, and the wrist on the level of the fingertips. It is not to be played with force. The flat finger is an extension of the entire key, touching down almost at the extended joint; the whole finger pillow on the key, gripping or tapping it gently.

To calibrate the arm balance imagine a straight line extending from the elbow, through the forearm and wrist, leading to the fingertip, that reaches through the key, over the pivot, behind the fall board, to the jack tip propelling the hammer; this is your bow on the strings. The different touches the flat fingers technique engages on the key range from a kneading depression to the bottom of the key bed to the lightest tapping of just the surface of the key. It is not to be played with tension.

One has to in effect develop three kinds of piano technique: a Classical (simple clusters, Art song, orchestral transparency), a Romantic (complex clusters, Bel Canto singing, orchestral might), and a Modern (fists, elbows, paper clips). One builds on the other. When the techniques were established...