Thursday, June 14, 2012

Oh, What Those Lifts Can Do!

     I'll admit I'm almost too fond of the Romantics for my own good, sometimes neglecting the playing and teaching of Baroque composers and pieces. I can't help myself; I love a good drama, and the Romantic composers were masters emotional conveyance.

     I think this love of Romantic piano pieces is why I spend so much time trying to teach my students expressive technique; why I break every method book piece into phrases and make them mark the peak of every phrase and float off each long note as they look at me with a look of (sometimes) complete disbelief. (After all, they did all the notes and counting right. Right? And it's just a simple piece, after all.)

     I recently stumbled across this expressively played version of Brahms' Intermezzo Opus 118, and I think it embodies much of what I love about Romantic music. Best of all, Kissin is a great example of the flowing technique I'm trying to teach. Look at what his lifts can do!

  Beautiful wrist and arm technique is an amazing vehicle for expressive playing, and I'll continue to break those simple pieces apart. They're great teaching tools, and even a simple song can be played beautifully, right? Right!

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