Why is it so hard to listen to yourself play? The ongoing evaluation of one's own performance is overpowering. I have not met a performer in my life, who has enjoyed listening to his or her own playing as any other person would. It is as if the entire piece is stacked with problems, mistakes, and conceptual inconsistencies. I wonder, how I would listen to a recording not knowing that it was my own playing. I might actually end up quite liking it, and probably rather agreeing with many interpretation decisions. I am still waiting for this practical joke to be played on me! It might be quite a revelation.
In the meantime I will keep listening to my own playing, because the recording - an opportunity many might have loved to take advantage of in the past - is the greatest teacher I could ever imagine.
I am writing this just hours away from the radio broadcast of the show The Crumb Kaleidoscope in Germany, and am anxiously awaiting the impressions I might have.
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.