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Piano for dummies - Blake N.

Blake N. Piano for dummies - IDG, 1996. - 353 p.
Download (direct link): pianofordummies1991.pdf
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Among these was the famous Prelude in C-sharp minor, which was an enormous hit. Long before the movie Casablanca, audiences would cheer, “Play it again, Sergei!” when he played this prelude. He later referred to this popular piece as the “It” prelude. Even today, his Piano Concerto No. 3 is regarded as perhaps the most difficult piano concerto ever written. (See the sidebar “Shine on, if you can.”)
Mastering the old
Although the old masters weren’t able to leave behind any gold records of their own, their music has been recorded extensively by this century’s greatest pianists:
J' Johann Sebastian Bach: Harpsichord Concertos, Igor Kipnis (CBS); Toccata and Fugue and Other Organ Works, E. Power Biggs (CBS).
J' Ludwig van Beethoven: Piano Sonata No. 14 (“Moonlight”), Emil Gilels (DG); Piano Concerto No. 5 (“Emperor”), Wilhelm Kempff with Ferdinand Leitner and the Berlin Philharmonic (DG); Sonatas, Artur Schnabel (Pearl - UK).
V Franz Liszt: 19 Hungarian Rhapsodies, Mischa Dichter (Philips); Piano Concerto No. 1, Claudio Arrau with Eugene Ormandy and the Philadelphia Orchestra (CBS).
» Sergei Rachmaninoff: Prelude in C-sharp minor, Vladimir Ashkenazy (London); Piano Concerto No. 3, Rachmaninoff with Eugene Ormandy and the Philadelphia Orchestra (RCA).
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Part VII: The Part of Tens_____________________________________________
Virtuosos
Without the skill of an accomplished virtuoso, much of the difficult music written for piano would simply be notes on paper. Years of discipline, training, practice, and maybe a good physical therapist helped these performers make their fingers do funny things that other piano players only wish they could.
Martha Argerich
Early in her career, Argerich (born in Argentina in 1941) won many important competitions, including the 1965 Chopin Competition in Warsaw. Her incredible and unmatched technique makes her one of the most brilliant pianists of the 20th century. But she’s also very temperamental, often canceling concerts without warning. Although she records a wide range of solo, chamber, and orchestral music, she focuses primarily on concertos in public appearances.
Vladimir Horau/itz
A piano genius, Russian-born Horowitz (1903-1989) had an on-again, off-again career. His annual tours received great acclaim, but he stopped playing publicly from 1936 to 1939. Then in 1953, after a successful Carnegie Hall concert, he stopped playing concerts but continued to record. In 1965, again at Carnegie Hall, he made a “spectacular comeback,” as one critic wrote, and returned to public performing. Despite many personal and physical problems, Horowitz had an uncanny way of reinventing his career each time he dropped out. Either that, or he had a really good agent!
£i/geny Kissin
Youthful Evgeny Kissin (born in Russia in 1971) is arguably the most exciting pianist on the classical music scene today. He began playing at the age of 6 and recorded two Chopin concerti at the age of 12. He toured throughout his teens, having little time for softball or movies. His U.S. debut was in 1990 with the New York Philharmonic, followed quickly by a debut at Carnegie Hall. A young but accomplished virtuoso, he practically eats the difficult piano repertoire for breakfast. The world must wait and see what he’ll have for lunch.
Chapter 18: Ten Types of Performers and Their Recordings
Jugglers and acrobats
So you think it's challenging to play the piano with both hands while trying to read the music while using your feet to control sustain and volume while seated in front of an audience of 500 or more? Try doing all that while also conducting a full orchestra!
Such conductor-pianist hyphenates as Leonard Bernstein, Daniel Barenboim, Christoph Eschenbach, and Vladimir
Ashkenazy adeptly juggle playing the lead and leading the orchestra ... without ever missing a beat or even getting up from their piano benches.
So, next time you're frustrated with the job at hand, be thankful you’ve only got yourself to worry about, and not 90 other pent-up musicians.
Wanda Landoutska
Born in Poland, Landowska (1879-1959) began playing at the age of 4. After studying in Berlin and Paris, she became interested in the harpsichord and gave concerts called “musique ancienne” (ancient music) all over the world. She began to teach harpsichord classes in 1913. She gave the first modern performances on harpsichord of many Bach masterpieces. One of these performances resulted in a recording of Bach’s “The Well-Tempered Clavier,” which Landowska described as her “last will and testament.”
Arthur Rubinstein
Many piano connoisseurs consider Polish-born Rubinstein (1887-1982) to be the greatest pianist of the 20th century. After studying in Berlin, he moved to France to pursue his career as a solo concert pianist. His wide range of styles was amazing, from Mozart to Stravinsky and everyone in between. He is particularly well-known for his brilliant Chopin interpretations. In his two volumes of memoirs, his adventurous stories of wine, women, and song convey to the world what a true cosmopolitan Rubinstein was.
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