The song “Suzanne” by Leonard Cohen is not the usual fare for GRAND PIANO PASSION™. Yet I found myself admiring the song’s seductive, haunting quality when I researched this mini-documentary on the making of The Cohen Variations.
Nancy M. Williams, Founding Editor
The piano duet pair Anna Shelest and Dmitri Shelest first met at the Kharkiv Special Music School in Ukraine when they were 12 years old.
When I joined the concert pianist Simone Dinnerstein in her home studio, I asked questions not as a classical music critic or a piano pedagogue.
If there is a single piece of music that unifies adult piano students of all ages and across all geographies, it must be the Bach Prelude in C Major, the score technically approachable, yet the harmonies like voices of seraphim.
If you listened to all of the recordings of the Debussy Clair de Lune available online, you would need at least eight hours. A GRAND PIANO PASSION™ commenter named Arlette did exactly that, and she chose as her favorite a rendition by Ricker Choi because it measured up to her emotional connection with the piece.
The Bach French Suites, groupings of short pieces originally most likely written for the harpsichord, now played on the piano, provide many of the benefits of studying more complicated music by Bach.
For many years, I regarded my adult piano lessons as showtime. Of course my teacher and I worked through the material, but I saw the lesson primarily as a chance to perform work I had accomplished the week before.
When I returned to the piano shortly after my 40th birthday, at first I dutifully studied the Clementi Sonatinas.
The Claude Debussy First Arabesque, composed in 1888 in the key of E major, is like an arabesque, an ornamental design consisting of intertwined flowing lines. Yet there’s more in the music then its contours. The First Arabesque has strong antecedents in Bach.
Lately, I’ve developed a bad habit during my piano practice. About 15 minutes in, I glance over at my computer monitor, logged off, the screen a still black.
A closer look at the Liszt Un Sospiro reveals patterns in the rolling arpeggios, an Impressionistic quality, and some historical background on the piece. The most striking part of Un Sospiro is its ethereal and poetic qualities, with its rolling arpeggios and flowing melodic line creating an atmospheric mood.
Almost a quarter century after August Wilson wrote his play The Piano Lesson, CBC News in Ottawa buzzed on May 29 that “Police seek grand piano missing from Kingston-area home”.
The shape of Thomas Maitin’s face is almost perfectly round, his complexion clean for someone in his late 50s, the clarity of his bearing hinting at the purity in his music.
The Claude Debussy Clair de Lune, released in 1905 and today a favorite of piano students and concert pianists alike, presents the challenge of an emotional interpretation.
The word “piano” doesn’t appear once in The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do in Life and Business (Random House, 2012). Yet this engaging book by New York Times reporter Charles Duhigg offers a useful perspective on how to create good habits for piano practice.
The Music Animation Machine helps pianists visualize the counterpoint in Bach with videos showing each of the voices.
For Mother’s Day this year, don’t bother presenting Mom with a bouquet of plump peonies, gangly irises, and svelte tulips. Hold off on the box of dark chocolate truffles. Don’t even think about the simple gold necklace dangling with a charm.
Adult students who are advanced beginners need attainable piano repertoire. So I was happy to review Piano Accents: Latin America, a new piano book of nine songs arranged and composed by Neeki Bey and Gail Fischler.
After I learned the second movement of the Schubert Sonata in A Major, D664, my new piano teacher, Mark Pakman, explained I would now shift my practice of the Andante into “performance mode.”
I am at East Coast Piano, a boxy, windowless warehouse store on New Jersey’s Route 46, because my husband, David, has insisted.
The repeated tenor notes, which patter underneath all but a few of the measures in the Chopin Raindrop Prelude—first A-flat, then G-sharp, then back to A-flat again, so evocative of raindrops—make the piece almost wholly unique in classical piano music.
Affirmations, those positive statements I chant to myself, are one of my secret pleasures.
Rabbi David Posner, amateur pianist, plays the Brahms Intermezzo B-flat Minor: a video, his story and insight from a music masters student at Mills College.
Sometimes when seated at the piano–besotted with the harmonies, exalted by the rhythms–adult piano students relegate their careers to time-consuming day jobs. Their chief concern becomes finding time to practice piano.