Tag Archives: Johann Sebastian Bach

The Secret Piano: From Mao’s Labor Camps to Bach’s Goldberg Variations

Originally posted on Ramblings:
I have been captivated, to the point of losing sleep, by The Secret Piano: From Mao’s Labor Camps to Bach’s Goldberg Variations, the autobiography of Zhu Xiao-Mei, a pianist who was born in Shanghai in 1949, the year…

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Joyous Goldbergs

A warm August morning. The foothills of southern Alberta still green, the majestic Rocky Mountains just ahead. It was a lovely, lonely stretch of highway. I was driving the car; my husband was just ahead of me cycling up the … 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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Take a line for a walk

“When performing Bach one is constantly reminded of Paul Klee’s dictum that the art of drawing is ‘taking a line for a walk’.” ~ Peter Hill _______________________________________________________________ Quote by Peter Hill, in the liner notes of his recording of Bach’s … Continue reading

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Composers refuse to be bound by rules

“Some people will perhaps wonder why I have undertaken to write about music, there being so many works by outstanding men who have treated the subject most thoroughly and learnedly; and more especially, why I should be doing so just … Continue reading

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Brain scarf

File this one under “What will they think of next?” NeuroKnitting. You end up getting to wear a knitted scarf with a pattern based on your own brain activity while listening to, in this case, some of the Goldberg Variations. … Continue reading

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It’s Bach

I – we – get asked who our favourite composer is. That’s an easy one. It’s Bach. Occasionally that answer might depend on my mood, in which case, that’s my answer, but usually it’s Bach. I like the energy, the … Continue reading

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Intensely interior music

My own experience of the Bach’s Goldberg Variations is Glenn Gould’s 1981 recording. My interpretation is Gould’s. Such is the power of the first hearing of a piece of music. I’m not alone in this. Nor am I alone in … Continue reading

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My little piece of heaven

Wednesday morning. 11:00. The start of the best teaching hour of the week. I have an adult student then – a teacher herself – playing at an early advanced level. She has no examination goals, just the thirst to learn. … Continue reading

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When it’s OK to give up marks. And when it’s not.

A friend and colleague in town also blogs. She’s been blogging longer than I have. We meet for coffee sometimes to talk about teaching and blogging and all kinds of things. A couple of weeks ago we met with Kay, … Continue reading

Posted in Examinations, General, Piano pedagogy, Practice Tips | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Memory: 3 Tips and 3 Posts

“For me there was something touching about seeing a great pianist play a Bach prelude and fugue using the score. Every wondrous element of this complex music is right on the page. It looks almost as beautiful as it sounds.”*  … Continue reading

Posted in Bach, Business of Teaching, Musings about Chopin, Practice Tips, Quotes | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Blogs worth exploring

A few treasures I’ve discovered in the last few weeks: Weird Music History – You won’t find a bio of Bach or Chopin here. You will find snippets of interesting trivia from Beethoven, the Beatles, and beyond – written/compiled by … Continue reading

Posted in General, Inspirational, Music History, Music Humour | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 8 Comments