Autumn 2020: Recordings

Frederic Chopin's music is among the most performed and oft-recorded of its genre. This presents an interesting challenge for modern pianists: how might one approach the music of a composer whose performance traditions are so well-established? Here, Viv McLean invites us to explore the complex and sometimes competing facets of Chopin's musical...
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Monday, 09 November 2020 04:56
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Spring 2020: Recordings

Tan, a longtime friend and collaborator of George Crumb, introduces Book 1 of Crumb's first large-scale work since his monumental Makrokosmos, composed forty years ago. Based on paintings by a variety of twentieth-century artists, these ten works translate visual art into sound with Crumb's signature extended effects and musical quotations. "Wheatf...
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Friday, 16 October 2020 09:14
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Winter 2020: Recordings

ROMANCE:THE PIANO MUSIC OF CLARA SCHUMANNIsata Kanneh-Mason, pianoDecca[Total Time 76:00]www.deccaclassics.com Contributing to this year's bicentennial celebration of Clara Schumann's birth is the debut album of the twenty-three-year-old British pianist Isata Kanneh-Mason. In 2015, while a student at the Royal Academy of Music, Kanneh-Mason, a...
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Autumn 2019: Recordings

FARRENC: VARIATIONS FOR PIANOBiliana Tzinlikova, pianoPaladino Music PMR 0088[Total Time: 53:02]www.paladino.at This is a significant new recording of Louise Farrenc's piano works. The program consists of four sets of variations, all written in the 1830s, including Air russe varié (on the composer's own theme), one on the cavatina "Nel veder l...
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Summer 2019: Recordings

D'Albert was a prized student of Liszt and his piano transcriptions of Bach's organ works bear the influence of his master. Unlike some transcribers, who sought to glorify Bach by embellishing his works in grandeur, both Liszt and d'Albert stayed largely reverent to the original works. One exception here is d'Albert's version of the Passacaglia and...
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Spring 2019: Recordings

The two leading piano manufacturers in Paris during Chopin's lifetime were Érard and Pleyel. Chopin preferred Pleyel's instruments, praising what he heard as a more compelling cantabile, and subtler tonal palette. The 1847 Pleyel here possesses remarkable clarity, due in part to its quick decay time. Rutkowski's prowess with convincing agogic expr...
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Autumn 2020: New Music and Materials

(S3) SAPLINGS: 21 INTERMEDIATE PIANO SOLOS published by Red Leaf Pianoworks  While presenting at and attending the Canadian Music Teachers Conference last summer in Winnipeg, I was introduced to a new collection hot off the press called Saplings. This collection is written with the intermediate pianist in mind and features eleven Canadian...
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Summer 2020: New Music & Materials

Emilie Lin has arranged five traditional melodies in her publication Hearts of Asia: Chinese Folk Songs, published by FJH. The first four pieces have lovely, cantabile melodies which are divided between the hands. They also have simple, beautifully written duet parts which could be played by a teacher, parent, or student at the early-intermediate l...
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Spring 2020: New Music & Materials

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Dennis Alexander's Concertino for the Young is an attractive and engaging solo with piano accompaniment that closely mimics classical concerto style. This work, accessible for a later-elementary piano student, is written in typical concerto form with fast first and third movements and a slow second movement. Traditional concerto elements also inclu...
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Winter 2020: New Music & Materials Reviews

(S4) TOCCATA "HYGAGAN," OPUS 229by Dianne Goolkasian Rahbee From the FJH Contemporary Keyboard Sheets, Toccata "Hygagan" by Dianne Goolkasian Rahbee is an engaging and virtuosic late-intermediate piano solo.Born in Massachusetts, Rahbee is a first-generation Armenian American. She was a piano major at Juilliard, and a self-taught composer who ...
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Autumn 2019: New Music & Materials

(S4-5) PIANO PIECES by Otilie Suková Very little is known about the composer Otilie Suková (1878–1905), yet a great deal is known about her famous father, Antonín Dvorák. Nonetheless, Bärenreiter Urtext has presented pianists with a gem: a collection of four short piano pieces by this relatively unknown composer. The p...
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Summer 2019: New Music and Materials

(S2) Bastien New Traditions All In One Piano Course, 2B, 3A, 3B, by Lisa, Lori, and Jane Bastien. In a grand family tradition, these materials continue the recently published Bastien New Traditions All In One Piano Course by Lisa, Lori, and Jane Bastien. As with the first five levels in the new series (Primer A through 2A), Lessons, Theory, Techniq...
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Saturday, 07 November 2020 06:24
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Clara Schumann: Role Model for the 21st Century

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Clara Josephine Wieck was born two hundred years ago on September 13, 1819, in the German city of Leipzig. Her father Friedrich chose the name Clara, which meant bright, shining, or famous, and from her birth was determined to turn her into a piano virtuoso. By age eleven, she was touring Europe as a concert pianist, often playing her own compositi...
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From Schumann to Schoenberg

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Cover: Blaues Selbstportrait, 1910 by Schoenberg Breakfast was not a good idea before tackling measures seven and eight that featured sixty-fourth notes and tremolos, as well as a meter shift from 6/8 and 3/8 to 2/4, among other mind-bending directions. Is playing music meant to induce nausea?  At age ten, I took one year of piano lessons. Ado...
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Rhonda Blinne
Interesting article...demonstrating that “age” need NOT be a deterrent is starting (or resuming) music making!
Thursday, 27 August 2020 10:09
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“To Know is Not Enough” - Perspectives on Music, Practice, and Teaching with Arnaldo Cohen

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Hailed as "one of the world's greatest living pianists," Arnaldo Cohen has entered a rarefied echelon among international artists. With performances spanning the globe, Mr. Cohen has appeared as a soloist with many major orchestras including the Philadelphia Orchestra, Cleveland Orchestra, Los Angeles Philharmonic, London Philharmonic, and Bavarian...
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Tuesday, 29 September 2020 05:23
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bitKlavier: Expanding Musicianship bit by bit

Jai Raman, a sixth-grade student at the New School for Music Study, was not excited to study Johann Sebastian Bach's Prelude in C Minor, BWV 999. When he began the piece with instructor Kristin Cahill, Jai was quite adamant that he had no desire to play the music of Bach, or any composer prior to Brubeck. Jai thrives on jazz and contempor...
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An Interview with Leon Fleisher, Part Two

CC-Jan-Feb-2009---1
In the Autumn issue of Keyboard Companion, Leon Fleisher discussed his childhood years, his studies with Artur Schnabel and Karl Ulrich Schnabel, and the early years of his career. He also discussed the onset of focal dystonia, the diagnosis and management of the condition, and his advice to other pianists for avoiding dystonia.  "The&nbs...
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Happy 80th Birthday, Leon Fleisher! Nearly four score of legendary music-making: Part one

from the series: The Word Around Us: News & Views Appearances on 60 Minutes, NPR, and CBS Tonight; features in The New York Times, People, Vanity Fair, and Reader's Digest; blog reminiscences from a childhood neighbor; Grammy Award nominations and an Academy Award nomination for a film documentary about his life; recipient of the Kenn...
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March/April 2018: First Looks: Apps for teaching

Looking for fresh ways to prepare students for an upcoming theory test? Need a new method to reinforce and build student confidence in any music-related topic? Consider using Heads Up or Kahoot.  Heads up  Ellen DeGeneres introduced Heads Up for her show years ago, as it makes a terrific family game for holiday fun. The app comes with a v...
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DIGITAL ONLY CONTENT: Speak out! Five-and-a-half minutes with composer, Lynda Lybeck-Robinson

Lynda Lybeck-Robinson
I met Lynda on FaceBook about five years ago and life has brought us together in real life many times since. The harmony in her compositions is a refreshingly unexpected departure from much of the pedagogical literature, and my students (young and old) all know who Ms. Lynda is. She mentions "Coal Miner's Lullaby" from Alaska Sk...
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Thursday, 02 April 2020 04:29
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Piano Magazine is the leading resource for pianists, piano teachers, and piano enthusiasts. We bring you informative, interesting, and inspiring ideas on all aspects of piano teaching, learning, and performing. The official name of Clavier Companion magazine was changed to Piano Magazine in 2019.

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