A bit of history:
The term liner note originated during the era of the 78 discs named for its 78 revolutions per minute. Those were fragile and often only contained one song per side.
An album was a collection of these 78's in a book or box, the term is still used today for recordings. Inside the album was printed information advertising other recordings available by the artist or the record company.
With the arrival of the 33-1/3 speed records really came the liner notes. The records were wrapped in a thin paper sleeve with information: advertisement, lyrics and sometimes basic information about the artist. Classical recordings offered more insight into the compositions featured than pop music album liners. This tradition has evolved into an art form recognized by the 'Grammy Award for Best Liner Notes' established in 1964.
In the midst of the production of my next CD I am now thinking of liner notes vs. no liner notes. Is it an obsolete addition, a dear homage to bygone days? Or could liner notes offer a wonderful platform for information close to the heart of the interpreter. They definitely can offer an additional key to access the recording. They can even include a message about the meaning of some of the decisions made in choosing an interpretation.
What a lost opportunity to go without!
The last of two books, Feux d’artifice finishes the cycle of preludes by Claude Debussy with a festive display of fireworks, both as a musical image and as a pianistic challenge.
Feeling in the mood for a vacation? Listen to Sonetto 104 and take a trip to Italy!
Sonetto del Petrarca is part of the collection ‘Years of Pilgrimage’, a set of travel impression put to music by Franz Liszt in the most magnificent operatic way. The poem Sonetto 104 by the Renaissance humanist Petrarch focuses on a comparison between love and war as seen through the eyes of a warrior.
Time to celebate!
It has been one year since I joined my gym, and I am loving it! I am going regularly three or four times a week, and it has been fun to find out, how getting fit helps my piano playing.
Intensity and focus are just some of the words that come to mind, when I play ‘Le Vent dans La Plaine’. I love how the piece paints a picture of gusting winds, slamming windows shutters and blowing leaves.
I just returned from my China Tour 2018. What a wonderful success! I loved playing there, getting involved with teaching and judging, and I was able to use my still somewhat rudimentary Mandarin all the time. It was so much fun to be able to make new friends and to see so many different things. Looking back there were so many things I truly loved about my visit. Here are four of them...
Happy Valentines Day! What a beautiful celebration of love and romance. For me this is definitely a time to start thinking about Spring.
Playing Domenico Scarlatti’s keyboard music is a great pleasure and also a big challenge. Besides the complications of playing baroque ornamentations, of mastering the rather difficult technical requirements, and of simply finding a compelling interpretation of a piece written so long ago, there’s also the huge question of truthfulness to a historic interpretation.
What a great experience to record for Spirio, Steinway’s high resolution player piano! Lots of people have asked how the process works, and it really is a bit of piano magic.
I am thrilled to announce my return to China next month! Some of you might recall my first China concert tour back in 2015. I absolutely loved my time there since it was outside of my comfort zone and way of life. Now in February 2018, it will be fantastic exploring new and familiar parts of this country.