Soon it is time to release Venezia e Napoli.
Thinking back to how it started takes me back to my high school friend Udo, with whom I shared an interest in listening to classical recordings. Fast forward to running into each other many years later, and to making plans to produce a recording together. Udo now works as recording engineer for the Hessischer Rundfunk Corporation in Frankfurt, Germany. He knew of a great venue in Frankfurt with a German Steinway concert grand taken care of by a fantastic piano technician. August was the time we both could free up. It was also the time of the worst heat wave in Frankfurt. The heat was unreal, like a fever. Recording is an emotional and intellectual whirlwind of the most intense kind. The heat definitely contributed to it.
The German Steinway sounded miraculously beautiful, absolutely stunning, and the piano technician was amazing. As to be expected, Udo turned out to be a highly experienced recording engineer guiding the entire recording process. It was inspiring and fun to work with the team. We had two fantastic days of intense artistic work. The recording sessions were fueled pretty much exclusively by cookies (chocolate chip!). We had the venue for two days, and we recorded a lot of notes, so there was not much room to head out for food. Udo’s wife was wise enough to hand me a big bag filled with cookies on the morning of day one. We finished them all.
Soon it's time to release the recording. All of us are thrilled about the product, and we loved the making of Venezia e Napoli. I hope you'll enjoy listening to the beautiful sounds created on those two hot days of music making!
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.