Playing On the Modern Piano – Part I

The rapid change of keyboard instruments in the 18th century and early 19th centuries reflect a change in musical communication which had been described by the conductor and early music specialist Nikolaus Harnoncourt (In his Baroque Music Today, 1988): ‘Articulation is the technical process in producing speech, the way in which different vowel and consonants... Continue Reading →

The Origin and Movement of Classical Style

Strom and Stress movement (Sturm and Drang 1760s- 1770s) was preceded by the literary movement in North Germany followed by musical phenomenon in Austria. Compositions composed in the 3rd quarter of the eighteenth century were in Major Keys. Minor Keys were used to express anger or sadness characteristics in performance. Haydn’s symphonies from No. 39... Continue Reading →

Classical Articulation and Phrasing

Articulation encompasses the degree of separation between notes and the degree of emphasis the notes are given. It is denoted by dots, slurs, strokes, rest and even rhythmic values. In eighteenth century, music, the articulation lies in the heart of the performance in the performers repertoire. General practice for most eighteenth century music was that... Continue Reading →

Notation in Classical Era

When notes are played in neither staccato nor legato the fingers should be raised from the key a little earlier than the value f the note requires. In 1801, Muzio Clementi wrote that ‘the best general rule is to keep down the keys of the instruments, the FULL LENGTH of every note’. When Mozart wanted... Continue Reading →

Composers at the Keyboard

After Franz List , there were not many great composers. Mozart, Chopin and Beethoven as great as they were as pianists, there were also great composers. Johann Brahms was trained as a pianist in his youth, but he did not practice enough to keep his fingers loose. Critics said he lacked the finishing touch, was... Continue Reading →

Ladies’ Pianists

9 Year Old Teresa Carreño Teresa Carreño, had an overpowering personality, overpowering talent, physical strength, and technique. Besides that, she was one of the most beautiful women of her time. In 1872, she was on a tour of England with James Henry Mapleson, the impresario, as a piano soloist with his opera company. Mapleson persuaded... Continue Reading →

Other Pianists Post-Leschetizky

Even though Liszt and Leschetizky dominated the teaching during the latter half of the nineteenth century, this did not mean other teachers and other pianists were less important.  Vladimir de Pachmann belonged to no school and had no followers. His fame came from his shenanigans. Vladimir de Pachmann Pachmann would talk, mutter, grimace and lecture... Continue Reading →

Other Liszt Giants

Eugene d'Albert For all of the brilliant talents that flocked to Liszt’s last classes at Weimar, he was particularly proud of Eugene (or Eugen) d’Albert. Liszt called him ‘our young lion’ or ‘Albertus Magnus’ was another pet name that Liszt gave him. He was the son of a French father and German mother. In 1876... Continue Reading →

Paderewski – The Lucrative Pianist

Leschetizky’s most famous student was the most publicized, most admired, and most legendary pianist after Liszt. Ignaz Jan Paderewski has been the headliner for more than half a century and had made ten million US dollars.  He bought himself a house in Paris, a Château in Switzerland and indulged in expensive hobbies and habits. Rosenthal... Continue Reading →

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