Category Archives: Beethoven

“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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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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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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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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Sublime. Spectacular. And heartwarming.

Beethoven’s Emperor Concerto. It doesn’t get better. Jon Kimura Parker is here in a short (under 6 minutes) video – a concerto chat – that touches on all three movements. Watch to the end for a heartwarming story. Click here … Continue reading

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The really big picture

Music history – from antiquity to the present – in 8 minutes. By one of those awesome illustrators. I bow to such talent. Complete with all the musical examples.

Posted in Bach, Beethoven, Mozart, Music History, Music Videos, Musings about Chopin | Tagged , , , , , , | 4 Comments

“I want to play the Moonlight Sonata”

“As to choice in the study of your pieces, ask the advice of more experienced persons than yourself; by so doing, you will save much time.” ~Robert Schumann And then, for inspiration, listen to this. Listen – whether or not … Continue reading

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Bach, Bartok, Brahms, Bortkewicz, Burgmuller, Busoni, Buxtehude

Having completed all the As in my stash of unread music (one volume, 5 pieces of Albeniz), it’s time to move on the the Bs. This will take me a while. I’ve already sight-read through or performed or taught a … Continue reading

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Pedaling the Moonlight Sonata

Beethoven has given us the following mystifying instructions at the beginning of the Moonlight Sonata:   “Si deve suonare tutto questo pezzo delicatissimamente e senza sordino” which in plain English means to put the damper pedal down for the entire movement. … Continue reading

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Chopin’s Preludes as Respite

Having made it through the Hammerklavier – never have I been so happy to see a final barline – I treated myself to a read-through of Chopin’s Preludes, op. 28. A few of these pop up regularly on festival and … Continue reading

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Confronting Opus 22

In my quest to sight-read through all of Beethoven’s Sonatas, I knew I would at one point turn the page and there would be Opus 22 – mocking me, testing me to see if I have grown up yet. It … Continue reading

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