Score study is crucial. There is no way around it.
Looking at a handwritten score is even better. The handwriting alone says so much about a person. A facsimile score looks like a picture created by the composer, a drawing full of energy, or elan, or full of frustration, or even full of doubt.
One of my favorite ways to experience the personality a composer is to look at his or her signature. I enjoy that mini picture the composer draws without thinking about it. I don’t intend to pass myself off as a graphologist - the people dealing with hand writing analysis -, but here are some probably crude basics: slanted to the right is the signature of a social person, to the left that of an introvert, and quite straight is the writing style of a logical and practical person. This can be taken further to the open ‘o’-s, and the placement of the dot on the ‘i’, and all sorts of other things.
No, I am not a graphologist, but Schubert, Liszt, Bartòk, Brahms, Bach, they all have their individual ways of signing, but I love the simple expression of that mini drawing, which gives me lots to muse about.
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.
Half a year ago I joined a gym. My main goal was to increase strength and energy levels. I had no idea how inspiring this decision would be!