Pianist to Pianist

A collection of pianistic, pedagogical, methodical, musical, artistic, and cultural contemplations, concepts, observations, and concerns, from pianist to pianist, pedagogue to pedagogue, musician to musician and from a curious and critical observer.

It is neither arm weight itself nor finger independence alone but rather the hierarchical organization and coordination of smaller finger movements under a larger movement of the arm, a gesture facilitated by a pivotal point at the elbow, which enables rich piano playing. Arm weight...

We know of Liszt's and Chopin's infatuation with Italian Belcanto and their integration of vocal techniques (e.g. Fioritura) in their piano music as well as their desire to imitate a singing voice on the piano. And don't we tell our students to listen to Callas and to Caruso and to try to learn from them?

Aren't we obliged then to also know and understand the sound properties of older keyboards instruments and attempt to learn from them? To understand and implement Beethoven's piano sound from e.g. the perspective of a Broadwood piano instead of adapting music history to a single 150 year old (the age of our modern concert grand) soundscape would certainly enrich piano performance.

Further: Beethoven called the FortePiano in jest a "Stark-Schwach Tasten-Kasten" (strong-weak key-chest) - that's what he composed for, but what did he really hear in his mind? Many piano pieces are conceived as instrumental music "transcribed" to piano - and shouldn't they be understood and interpreted as such? Trying to play everything from the possibilities of the "modern" grand is ever so limiting. But trying to understand how to interpret Beethoven only from a historic instrument perspective only is also misguided. What about the sound of a string quartet or an orchestra?

On stage, when you loose control you tend to speed up, which equals Flight: handing control over to behavioral functions and letting your legs or your hands run you out of the problem zone. Not good for creating art. You have to face the reality of...