Category Archives: Pianists

Summer School honours Alice Herz-Sommer

Well, it’s all over for another year. The eagerly-anticipated Summer School for Pianists 2014 finished yesterday, and what a fabulous week! A terrific group of piano-loving participants, 5 tutors working flat out giving recitals as well as masterclasses, private lessons … Continue reading

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Of Pianos, Pedals, Pianists – and Tolstoy

In a recent televised interview, the writer Julian Barnes said that of all the pages that were re-written in a novel, the first page was the one that had the most revisions. That seems to apply to the opening of … Continue reading

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Work in Progress

She’s at it again.  Practising. In public. On the internet. Private instrumental practice used to be – well, private, but pianist Valentina Lisitsa has allowed us into her studio via a webcam as she prepares for concerts in the US and at … Continue reading

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H is for Hommage a S. Pickwick Esq. P.P.M.P.C. – Debussy

2012: Claude Debussy’s 150th birthday, Charles Dickens’ 200th birthday, and the pomp and patriotism of a Royal Diamond Jubilee. Debussy really scored a hat-trick with his piano Prélude Hommage a S Pickwick Esq. P.P.M.P.C., which has associations with all three. … Continue reading

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The Sounds of Silence

One morning recently, when an early start was less than welcome, Petroc Trelawney’s cheerful invitation on R3 Breakfast to suggest music to be played as a wake-up call prompted me grumpily to think of recommending John Cage’s 1952 work, 4’33”. The piece is … Continue reading

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D is for Danseuses de Delphes – Preludes, Book 1, No 1

375-330 BC, or thereabouts, and a supporting column is built near Apollo’s Temple at Delphi in Greece, with three sculpted dancers frozen in time at its summit. Wearing short tunics, barefoot, an arm raised in gesture or perhaps holding crotales, they were rediscovered amongst the toppled ruins in 1894 … Continue reading

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B is for Bergamasque; C is for Clair de Lune

17,217,253. That is the number of views which YouTube’s top-ranking video of Debussy’s Clair de Lune had when I started research for this post a few days ago. The views now number 17,259,512 – over 42,000 more. Successive generations of pianists have … Continue reading

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