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 →

The Leschetizkianers

Leschetizksy In the first quarter of the twentieth century, was dominated by Liszt and Leschetizky. In comparison, Leschetizky has equal if not more impressive list of pupils. Paderewski who put Leschetizky successfully and securely on a map as a teacher. Paderewski was certainly not the best student of Leschetizky’s, but he is the most famous... Continue Reading →

The Iron Man

Could Beethoven have had a younger sibling or an illegitimate child? Anton Rubinstein was absolutely a Beethoven like figure, making the piano erupted volcanically, always played the wrong notes and broke the strings. The Russian with thick ugly hands and thickly padded fingers was recognized as the greatest pianist after Liszt. His pinky was a... Continue Reading →

The Passionate Intellect

By 1806, recital programs began to take place in a chronological program order with Bach, Scarlatti, Beethoven, Chopin, and many other romantic composers with Liszt’s Rhapsody as the finale. In 1830, several major schools began to emerge – German, Russian, elegant French, and the eclectic English one. Piano was being developed into the substantial instrument... Continue Reading →

The Virtuous

There were all the showmen like Thalberg, Herz, Dreyschock, Gottschalk and other virtuosos who were the salonists, martinee idols, tinklers in their own ways. They were counter balanced by another group of great pianists, the real virtuous ones. The ones who dedicated themselves to be the best in music and the ideals of art.  Initially,... Continue Reading →

Hysterical Franz Liszt

When Liszt (1811 - 1866) played the piano, ladies flung their jewels on stage instead of bouquets. They rushed madly to the stage to fish out the stub of cigar that Liszt smoked and the ladies who recovered them carried them in their bosom to the day she died. Other ladies came away with priceless... Continue Reading →

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