Chopin, the “classical-romantic” has always been dearest to my heart. Each note he wrote has a past, a destiny: in his work, everything is unified; it all hangs together. No composer is closer to him than Mozart and Bach. His music is eminently contrapuntal: take, for example, the 4th Ballade. From a structural point of view, it is indeed striking to see that this work only has one precedent: the last movement of the Eroica symphony by Beethoven. No matter what he said about the matter, Chopin was greatly influenced by Beethoven: he admired Fidelio, as his students revealed. I’m among those who believe that the Fantaisie-Impromptu was not published during his lifetime because of its obvious similarities with the Moonlight sonata: it has the same arpeggios, the same frantic pace! Chopin surely had a love-hate relationship with Beethoven. Examples of this are numerous: Chopin had his students work on the Sonata Op. 26, and it’s not out of the question that its funeral march influenced his own.
—  Murray Perahia

Photoshooting lydiaplain for her ‘Urban Day’ zone…

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Some of the beautiful things my piano teacher says about being a classical musician:
  • 1:It is this thing you shouldn't do, you should study law if you want to ensure living... but for some people, like us, it is the love of our lives and no one can take it away from us. We shouldn't but we do.
  • 2:I hate it, it is the worst thing I could have chosen to do in life, but every time I have tried quitting I am forced back in. I am not myself without it, and I don't know if that is a good or a bad thing.
  • 3:Study, work hard if this is what you want because getting to do this is the most amazing experience you will ever have.

The Homeless Piano Player Whose Concerts Are Stunning His Florida Hometown, and Then the Internet

He was only hoping to make some tips. But now, homeless man Donald Gould is an bona fide Internet star – and he might just score a regular piano-playing gig in Sarasota, Florida.

A video of Gould, 51, playing a cover of Styx’s “Come Sail Away” on a Main Street sidewalk went viral on Facebook in recent days. And no wonder – the woman who uploaded it, Aroar Natasha, knew she was seeing something special.

Read more and watch him play

See an interview with him below.  -  Facebook

BRAZIL, Sao Paulo : Brazilian pianist Ricardo de Castro Monteiro performs in the air on a piano hanging from wires during the annual “Virada Cultural” event, in Sao Paulo, Brazil, on June 21, 2015. The Virada Cultural is a cultural party that offers 24 hours of uninterrupted attractions such as music, dance, cooking, theatre, exhibitions of art and history and other forms of expression on stages around the city. AFP PHOTO / Miguel SCHINCARIOL                        

Trills – six random tricks by Stephen Hough

Following on from my two earlier posts on trills, their evenness and their fingering, here are a few random tricks I’ve discovered over the years:

1) If a trill (say, from B to C) is causing you problems try thinking it downwards (from C to B).

2) As well as slowing down your trills to gain evenness, try measuring the shorter ones in exact numbers of notes. We sometimes think a measured trill will sound stiff, but any trill does actually have a finite number of notes; sometimes it can be useful to decide on that number before playing.

3) Starting a trill can be tricky. Try starting the trill slightly slower and making an accelerando – but this should be imperceptible.

4) Ditto with ending a trill. Sometimes we can swallow the endings of trills and create a lump.

5) Experiment with fingerings. It can be good sometimes to start with 13231323 and then switch to 1313.

6) If you want to make a diminuendo in a strong 1313 trill, try switching to 1212. This automatically makes the rotating movement of the wrist less wide thus automatically reducing the trill’s volume.