THE FANTAISIE-IMPROMPTU’S FORGOTTEN COMPANION: Ferdinand Hiller’s Hommage à Baroness d’Este

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 Ferdinand Hiller (1811–1885) is not a name often recognized today, but he was well known as a composer, pianist, and conductor in his day. He spent the early years of his career in Paris and became a close friend to Frédéric Chopin when the latter moved to that glittering cultural capital in the early 1830s. The two young composers shared a s...
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Chopin and the Keyboard: Extracts from Fryderyk Chopin: A Life and Times

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As a child Chopin was precocious. He was writing verse at the age of six and composing music from the age of seven. His very first composition was a Polonaise in G minor (1817). The piece may be compared with anything that Mozart was writing at the same age. But the most remarkable thing about Chopin was his predisposition towards the piano. As a p...
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Inside the Studio with Spencer Myer

In this lesson, we explore ways for Maddox to make his motion more fluid in Chopin's Etude Op. 10, no. 10. He is stressed about the right hand, so we first address body positioning to increase ease of motion, and then we proceed to examine how to rethink groupings in the left hand to make leaps more fluid. Music Featured: Frédéric Chopin - Etude in...
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The A-B-C’s of Nocturne Repertoire: Alexander Before Chopin

Piano students transitioning from method books to standard intermediate repertoire often yearn to study the beautiful and deservedly popular Chopin Nocturnes. However, these require oft-underestimated musical sensitivity and technical command. Jane Magrath recognizes this in The Pianist's Guide to Standard Teaching and Performing Literature, statin...
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Chopin: Waltz in B Minor, Op. 69, No. 2

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Preparation and Presentation Context: Pieces that are helpful to have experienced or played before approaching this one Pyotr Tchaikovsky, The Sick Doll, op. 39, no. 6Dmitri Kabalevsky, Slow Waltz, op. 39, no. 23Frédéric Chopin, Waltz in A minor, op. post.Edvard Grieg, Waltz, op. 12, no. 2Samuil Maykapar Waltz, op. 28, no. 5 Get Ready: Creative act...
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Spring 2019: Keyboard Kids' Companion

To print or save, use the PDF below. Hover your cursor over the document and a black bar should appear with print and download icons. Download PDF File Here
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Spring 2019: New Music Reviews

 (S1-3) Imaginations Books 1 and 2, by Kevin Olson.  Kevin Olson has a knack for creating fresh and original sounds at every teaching level. While incorporating the reading, rhythmic, and technical skills needed to advance the piano student, Imaginations offers a wide variety of appealing pieces. With titles like "Android Attack," "Pengui...
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Deciphering Chopin’s shorthand in the posthumous Mazurka in F minor

If someone had told me a decade ago that I was going to produce the first (and, so far, only) published reconstruction of Chopin's posthumous Mazurka in F Minor that includes every uncanceled measure of the composer's sketch, I would have laughed. But apparently when a performance opportunity inspires a research obsession, unexpected things can hap...
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Performing Chopin in the style of Chopin?

Interest in historically-informed performance continues to evolve as scholars and serious-minded pianists gain more knowledge regarding nineteenth-century performing styles. Though much progress has been made in this field, a question still remains: Is there a definitive performance practice that enables pianists to play the works of Chopin in the ...
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April 3

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1832 - First duo performance of pianist Franz Liszt and Frederic Chopin, in Paris, which was at a benefit concert organized by Hector Berlioz for his bankrupt Shakespearean actress wife Harriet Smithson.  They performed together on seven occasions between 1833 and 1841. 
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March 17

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1830 Premiere of Frédéric Chopin's Piano Concerto No. 2 in F minor, Op. 21, with Chopin as soloist, in Warsaw.  
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March 1

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1810 - Birth of pianist, Frédéric Chopin in Zelazowa Wola, Poland. He died on October 17, 1849, in Paris, France. Some of the world's most beautiful music was composed in between. Here's a favorite recording from pianist Krystian Zimerman.
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Why don't you come out of the pantry? Is left-handed piano music anything more than just a historical curiosity?

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Why should a pianist with both hands in perfectly working order bother to devote their time and energy to study—not to mention perform—compositions or arrangements for the left hand alone? Is there any value in exposing oneself to that obscure genre? And what if you actually have some inclination towards it, but a...
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Playing composers' slurs: From Mozart to the nineteenth century

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In recent decades, scholars and publishers have reproduced composers' original notations in so-called Urtext editions. In these scholarly editions and facsimiles of composers' autographs, pianists will notice two slurring patterns—slurs obviously cutting off a phrase or a melody, or a slur ending before the bar line when the end of the phrase or me...
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Behind the Notes: Music Edited by Ignaz Friedman

Behind the Notes: Music Edited by Ignaz Friedman
When learning a new musical work, we trust that all the notes confronting us have been accurately deciphered from a manuscript or its earliest source. While this is a must, it only serves to get one's footing, something quite hard in a time that has banished older editions as irrelevant loads of personal commentary and misguided revisions...
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Beethoven goes to Hollywood (and takes a few friends along)

Beethoven goes to Hollywood (and takes a few friends along)
As a faculty member at the East Carolina University School of Music, I frequently taught our Piano Literature sequence. The last time I led these classes, I decided to add a new component to the second-semester schedule: films about pianist-composers. Hollywood through the years has found the artistic life irresistible, and there are quite a f...
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A left-handed complement to Frédéric Chopin: An interview with Ivan Ilić

American expatriate pianist Ivan Ili´c has just finished a semi-private recital of Godowsky's Chopin transcriptions for the left hand at his Bordeaux apartment, and the thirty guests are sipping Bordeaux rouge in his dining room. Most of us had been unfamiliar with the repertoire before this event, and many seemed awestruck that so much music could...
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The life of Chopin (and autographed piano)

The Chopin Foundation of the United States has in its possession a rare and unique item: a Pleyel piano with the autograph of Frederic Chopin. This well-traveled piano has touched many lives and resided in multiple countries, not unlike the man who signed it. As we celebrate the 200th birthday of this influential composer, it is notable to con...
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Which Chopin?

There have been numerous collected editions of Chopin's music since his death, and few of them agree on anything. Why is this? The answer lies principally in the complexity of the source tradition, and I include under that heading both manuscript and early printed sources. It may be helpful to attempt a rough classification of these sources. Sketch...
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Chopin and Pleyel

Translated by Deana Shuman   The first concert in Paris Chopin's first concert in Paris (February 25th, 1832) played a determining role in the artist's career, leading to his recognition as a composer and a pianist, providing him contacts with music publishers, opening the most influential salon doors to him, and thereby assuring him a st...
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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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