Friday, January 11, 2013
Thursday, January 10, 2013
I've been thinking about making a video of what practicing is really like. Not a full 3-hour slog through one of my practice sessions, of course, but a short montage put together over the process of learning a piece, with timestamps and captions that say what issues I'm working on at the time. Then a "finished product" performance at the end.
There are tons of piano performance videos out there especially since the advent of YouTube, but even the ones that say "practice" are pretty much top-to-bottom performances of the piece. Would it be useful for students to see how pianists go through the practicing process? (Would it be reassuring for non-musicians to see that it isn't as easy as it looks in performance?)
Sunday, January 6, 2013
Tuesday, January 1, 2013
I've been working through Schumann's Fantasiestücke Op. 12. They are a group of very interesting character pieces, short, but not really miniatures as they are quite substantial. My favorite so far is "In der Nacht" (In the Night). It's an interesting change from the blocky style of Schumann that I've been familiar with thus far. The sound rushes up and down and the harmonies are often augmented chords that don't quite resolve, or don't resolve satisfactorily.
Schumann wrote that after he wrote "In der Nacht" he noticed some similarities with the story of Hero and Leander. In Greek mythology Leander is a young man who falls in love with Hero, a priestess of Aphrodite, and swims across the strait of Abydos every night to come visit her. You can certainly hear the dark waves and the longing sound, with moments of peace and happiness but none that last for very long.