Category Archives: Beethoven

It’s all right … I can still play

_________________________________________________________ Image credit: Charles Schulz via Polyphony Rocks

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“You think about the music … how lucky you are to be performing it”

There was an amusing interview with pianist Mitsuko Uchida in The Guardian last month. I happily discovered I share a couple of non-piano passions with her – the Tour de France and sudoku (“It keeps your mind alert but with … Continue reading

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“One note follows another with complete inevitability”

Leonard Bernstein plays through – on piano and with an orchestra – some fragments and sketches that Beethoven rejected when composing his Fifth Symphony. It’s a fascinating look at what might have been. Or might not have been. And it … Continue reading

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Expand your universe

“Beethoven tells you what it’s like to be Beethoven and Mozart tells you what it’s like to be human. Bach tells you what it’s like to be the universe.”   ~Douglas Adams               ________________________________________________________________ … Continue reading

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Pedal to the metal

As an accompanist I was forced to learn a ton of music. Zillions of notes – sometimes overnight. Especially at those summer camps for strings. Students came prepared with things like the Franck Sonata or Ravel’s Tzigane, handing me the … Continue reading

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Too personal, almost naked

“I feel uncomfortable listening to Beethoven. I think he is too personal, almost naked.      Give me Bach, rather, and then more Bach.” ~Albert Einstein ______________________________________________________________ Quote from an interview with Lili Foldes via chopinsnudes. Image: Parabola Magazine Related articles The … Continue reading

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If you’re gonna do it, do it well

This is for me – and for any other teacher considering a year-long incentive program: Don’t do it unless you’re willing to follow through. On administrative details – like planning lesson time – and recording success along the way. At … Continue reading

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Stay awake, Mr. Beethoven

I have to admit I’ve had the odd moment like this …

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I would have towered over Beethoven

… by an inch and a smidge. _____________________________________________________________ Image: via Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra

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It’s okay to not love Beethoven

Tchaikovsky didn’t. He adored Mozart. And considered Bach, Handel, Gluck and Haydn mere forerunners to Mozart. From his diaries (1886):  “… I shall start with Beethoven, whom it is usual to praise unconditionally and whom it is commanded to worship … Continue reading

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“Where the body goes, the spirit follows”

“If you want to (play), plant your backside in front of the (piano). Don’t get up from the (bench), no matter how many brilliantly-plausible reasons your Resistance-churning brain presents to you. Sooner or later your fingers will settle onto the keys. … Continue reading

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Beethoven. Pushing us beyond our limits.

Beethoven gave us some fast – sometimes obscenely fast – metronome markings. These speeds have been debated for almost 200 years already. What was he thinking? Was his metronome faulty? Were there clerical errors at the publishing house? He was … Continue reading

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