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March 17 -- with mezzo-soprano Jett Downey
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Now on Pianonoise Radio (on demand):
an hour of relaxing piano music

The week's featured recording: (3/16)

Rustles of Spring 
by Christian Sinding

Did the swallows come back to Capistrano? Did the buzzards get back to Hinckley? (they were due yesterday). Is that robin sitting in that tree in front of our former home in Champaign? Don't know. But here's a popular piano piece to celebrate the start of a new season. I recorded it one spring in Illinois.
This week on the blog:    FRIDAY MARCH 16, 2018

If you want to get to Carnegie Hall you have to catch a lot of pitas, apparently

It's been a pretty intense week of Pita Catching around here. 

I would have called it an intense week of practicing, but my phone, which knows all about these things, decided to auto-correct "practicing" to "pita catching" when I texted my wife what I was up to, so I've kind of adopted the term. 

Pita catching comes in a variety of forms. It helps to be familiar with all of them, because when you are on a deadline (and you are) you will necessarily experience all of them in a whirlwind of contiguous sensations which are emotionally and physically exhausting enough when you know they are coming. Not to recognize that the valleys of despair are just a normal part of the journey is to succumb completely. And remember, ain't nobody got time for that. 

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"classic" blog: from June 26, 2013

part eight of the Gottschalk series

"Getting" Gottschalk

One of the comments that [19th century American concert pianist] Gottschalk often got was that the piano didn't sound like a piano when Gottschalk played it. Instead, it seemed to transcend its limitations as a percussive box with levers. It didn't just sing like the European Romantics--it gave rise to a variety of interesting effects.

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The Sound of nostalgia  
striking the chords of memory

Notes on a Very Polite Train Wreck
no ears were harmed during the playing of this V7 chord!

Did Massenet really mean that chord or should I improve it for him?

The hymn tune with the funny name (you know, that one!)
Does it take a rogue person to write rogue harmonies?

striking a chord

blogs obsessed with a single, singular harmony

...And now a word
from our friend,
Mr. Bach

Having recently turned my attention to some of the organ works of our dear Johann Sebastian Bach I thought I would seek counsel in order to improve my approach to these venerable works.  It was nice of him to leave behind some advice for the playing of the organ, particularly since he was such an avowed master of the instrument (his contemporaries heaped praise on him from all sides) and since he himself ought to be a recognized authority for the playing of his own works. I don't think he will mind if I share his wisdom with you:

"[with regard to playing the organ] There is nothing to it. You simply strike the right notes at the right time, and the instrument plays itself."

That's it. That's his glorious advice. And I think he might still be getting royalties for it.



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