Tag Archives: piano music

The luckiest person alive

“Every day, life is beautiful… Music is a dream… I felt this is the only thing that helps me have hope. A sort of religion. Music is God.” (Alice Herz-Sommer) Here’s an inspirational video about the oldest Holocaust survivor still … Continue reading

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Was it the piano or the pianist?

I recently went to a recital given by last year’s Honens winner Pavel Kolesnikov. It was on the new C. Bechstein piano recently acquired by the University of Calgary’s School of Creative and Performing Arts. This was the piano’s debut. My interest … Continue reading

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Somewhere over the rainbow

In the RCM Grade 9 piano repertoire book – a piano reduction of George Shearing’s arrangement of Harold Arlen’s Somewhere Over the Rainbow. Every grade 9 student latches onto this piece first. They’ve likely played simplified versions along the way, … Continue reading

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Yay! I can just use my ear

or How To Pedal Chopin’s Waltzes Another great session at the recent APTA Conference was Allen Reiser’s Chopin in 3/4 Time. The Waltzes and Mazurkas. How they’re the same – and different – and a few tips on how to … Continue reading

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The Back Room

It was a small war-time house with white wood siding and red trim. A few metres away sat a garage. The door was nearly falling off the hinges, barely protecting the navy blue VW bug inside. In June mature lilac … Continue reading

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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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Chopin on Scarlatti: “He sometimes reaches even Mozart.”

“My colleagues, the piano teachers, are dissatisfied that I am teaching Scarlatti to my pupils. But I am surprised that they are so blind. In his music there are exercises in plenty for the fingers and a good deal of … Continue reading

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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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The silence and the sound

Sadness gives depth.  Happiness gives height.  Sadness gives roots.  Happiness gives branches.  Happiness is like a tree going into the sky, and sadness is like the roots going down into the womb of the earth.  Both are needed, and the … Continue reading

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The Cat and the Mouse

The picture says it all. So does the music. The Cat and The Mouse by Aaron Copland. For awhile there it was the ubiquitous 20th-century piece in festivals, exams, concerts – wherever you needed that token bit of contemporary music. … Continue reading

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A passport to anarchy

Carl Czerny – composer of that myriad of musically boring etudes – was a big fan of the ritardando. In his Klavierschule, he allows it everywhere: when the main theme returns when a phrase is to be separated from the … Continue reading

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You are still alive, still human, still open to beauty.

And as the ax bites into the wood, be comforted in the fact that the ache in your heart and the confusion in your soul means that you are still alive, still human, and still open to the beauty of … Continue reading

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