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Found 11 results

  1. You really need to know the Samuel Barber Piano Sonata, written for Vladimir Horowitz- who debuted it in 1949. if you're an American who loves music. Ideally you'll listen to all four movements, but this link is to the final movement: an atonal fugue. I'm going with "Greatest American Piano Work of the 20th Century" here. Spend five minutes of your life and listen to this.
  2. Beethoven's first piano trio was scored for piano, violin, and cello, It's in E-flat major, and this particular recording was with three all-time greats: Eugene Istomin on Piano Isaac Stern on Violin Leonard Rose on Cello
  3. Sam Cooke sang like an angel come down to earth. His cruelly curtailed career (shot dead in 1964 aged 33) spanned gospel, blues, rock-n-roll, and, towards the end, a kind of jazz-inflected pop that might be at home in Vegas nightclubs. Here are a couple of more-or-less rock-n-roll numbers. "You Send Me" and "Wonderful World" are better known, but I like these more: "Bring it on Home to Me" (1962) "You're Always on my Mind" (1961) Gospel recordings with the Soul Stirrers (1926-), before Sam Cooke was a pop sensation: "Jesus I'll Never Forget" (Recorded in 1954) "I'm Gonna Build Right on that Shore" (Recorded in 1951) Night-Clubby "Fool's Paradise" (Written in 1955, covered on the 1963 Album "Night Beat"): "Don't Get Around Much Anymore" (Written in 1940, covered on the 1961 album, "My Kind of Blues"): As I say, one for the ages.
  4. A long time ago, I began this forum by recommending Peggy Newhall as a teacher for beginning to intermediate piano students, and that thread comes up #1 on Google when you search her name, having nearly 1,000 views for that one, single post. I hope to achieve the same result with Dasha Gabay, who runs Dasha Gabay Piano Studio out of her home in Fairfax Station (it's North on 123 from Occoquan, and is only a 30-40-minute drive from the Pentagon). I began taking piano lessons again, and Dasha was the first person I called - she is the daughter-in-law of Dr. Anna Balakerskaia, a Professor of Piano Performance at George Mason University, and my son Matt has taken lessons from both Anna and Dasha (they're both interchangeable as teachers, but Dasha has more free time since she isn't working at the University). While Peggy is wonderful for young children just starting out, once you get past a beginning level, you must step up, and Dasha is the person I advise you to call (she's the person *I* called). She is an *outstanding* pianist, and an even better teacher - if you, or your child, is serious about learning to become not just a "pianist," but also a *musician*, then Dasha is the person to become acquainted with. She is kind and patient with children, but she also lets her students get away with *nothing*: You must be a serious student of music - not "great," but *serious* - in order to take lessons from Dasha. I've never seen anyone who can be so polite as they're tearing your insides out - any accomplished classical musician will know exactly what I'm talking about here: There's no "faking it" with Dasha. You *will* learn the pieces you're working on, because she will pin your feet to the fire until you do. And I mean *learn* them, inside-and-out. I encourage everyone to visit the website of Dasha Gabay Piano Studio, and read her biography. Sometimes she's referred to as "Darya," and "Dasha" is a diminutive of Darya - similar to "Bob" being a diminutive of "Robert." I've seen Dasha perform in a concert hall once, playing the Schubert Piano Sonata for Four Hands with Anna, and it was the finest live performance of that piece I've ever seen - just as good as this recording with Lupu and Perahia. I had a lesson with Dasha today, and I'm approaching the end stages of learning my first-ever Bach Sinfonia (Three-Part Invention). I asked her if, maybe, I could move on to a Partita, or maybe some of the more advanced Fugues. Instead, I was told to listen to all the Sinfonias, and pick out a second one to learn - it's not yet time to move one. She somehow told me this without even telling me that. Whenever I have a musical idea, she listens to what I have to say, and considers it carefully - often before gently explaining why it might not be the best approach. A gentle assassin, this one, and darn it, she's always right. If you, or your children, wish to become a *great pianist* - not just tinker around, but actually have some ambition, and are willing to put in the work, Dasha charges $80 an hour, and should probably be charging $100 (part of me hopes she doesn't read this). Piano is one of the only things in life that I consider myself to be something of an expert in, and Dasha is a gift to the Washington, DC area, especially if you and your family live in Northern Virginia. She is actively looking to take on additional students, and doesn't know I'm writing this - there should be a waiting list to get into her studio, but right now, there isn't. Highest recommendation. Matt thinks so, too, and he's now a clarinet performance major at Indiana University - he placed out of all three years of piano, which is required of all music majors. This, because of studying with Dasha once Peggy got him to a certain level. If you're lacking a piano to practice on (and you must have access to one on a daily basis), may I suggest this one? I'm looking to buy *up*; not merely to get rid of this Yamaha, which is an excellent instrument. It's like I want to trade in a Porsche for a Lamborghini - there's nothing wrong with a Porsche. Don Rockwell PS - Dasha on left, Anna on right:
  5. Well, after 26 years, it's time to let my baby go. If anyone is interested, I'll give website members priority. 1989 Yamaha G2, Original owner, consistently maintained and well-treated. My model is the "satin finish," not the "high-gloss finish" (they also made a brown, "chestnut finish" that cost about $1,000 more). Note that Yamaha also makes a "Conservatory Series" called C2 which is more expensive. (The letter is the model - "G"rand vs "C"onservatory - and the number is the size - G1s are 5'3", my G2 is 5'7", G3s are 6'0"). Jordan-Kitts' review of the Yamaha G2 The fact that I have no qualms selling this to a member should tell you that I have confidence in the instrument. I'm shopping for valuation right now, so I can't name a price yet (I paid $8,000 for it, and have the original receipt) - I'm not worried about squeezing every penny from it. I'm not 100% sure I'm going to sell it, but if I do, it will be in the next 5-6 weeks. I'm selling it because I'm moving (staying in the area), and buying *up*. The Yamaha would be an excellent instrument for anyone up to, and including, an entry-level concert pianist; I've decided to play where the big guns play, and will be making a substantial investment - there's no sense in me owning both instruments.
  6. The 2015 (15th) International Tschaikovsky Competition took place from Jun 15 - Jul 3, 2015, and is available for recorded streaming at this website. Piano - Violin - Cello - Voice To view all the contestants in all the early rounds, go to the website, then click on your instrument of choice, then click on "Replay." Every single performance throughout the competition is available, and it's a real gift that this is available for free streaming. --- The International Tschaikovsky Competition debuted in 1958, and is *the* competition that made Van Cliburn famous (with Emil Gilels and Sviatislov Richter defying the rest of the Soviet judges (when Richter saw what the other Soviet judges were doing - awarding Soviet players higher scores - Richter gave Cliburn a perfect score, and all the other contestants 0 points). Then, Gilels went so far as to approach Nikita Khrushchev and asked permission to award Cliburn first prize (remember, this is in the height of the Cold War, and Soviet propaganda meant everything). Khrushchev responded by asking Gilels if Cliburn was truly the best pianist - Gilels assured him that he was. "If that's the case," Khrushchev said, "then give him the prize!" This story is extremely famous and well-documented.
  7. If you like Romantic chamber music, which I love, you might want to listen to Schumann: The Complete Works for Wind and Piano, a magnificent set of recordings, which was where I first came across the Opus 73 Phantasiestí¼cke. The middle piece in the Opus 94 Drei Romanzen for oboe and piano (marked "einfach, innig") has been for many years the theme music for my dear, departed dog Cassie, which means that it often makes me cry.
  8. This is a hauntingly beautiful work by Franz Schubert which he composed during the final year of his life (he died at age 31, if you can believe it). The female pianist here is someone you should commit to memory: Maria Joí£o Pires (1944-), born in Lisbon, and one of the greatest pianists in the world. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q2jrz0d0Sug
  9. Vladimir Horowitz claimed the opposite problem occurred with "Stars and Stripes Forever" - this whole 1977 interview with Mike Wallace (and Horowitz's wife, Wanda Toscanini Horowitz) is worth watching, especially for context, but if you want to get straight to the quote, skip to 9:30. Here is a recording of Horowitz playing it live - he wrote the piano transcription to celebrate becoming an American citizen (he immigrated from the Soviet Union), and played it at the "I Am An American Day" all-star concert in Central Park - it was broadcast over the radio to over 2 million people. It's a pretty breakneck performance, but I'm sure it was something to behold. I have the score to this (I bought it just to see how it was possible for one person to play it), and it is unplayably difficult for all but a select few, needless to say. The way Horowitz imitated the piccolos - at one time, he was the only person in the world who would dare even attempt it, and was even accused of falsifying the recording with multiple pianos - he hadn't even written the music down. As concert encores go, this is about as good as it gets, especially taken in context of World War II.
  10. Even though "The Love Of Life" won an Academy Award for Best Documentary Feature, you have to really, *really* like Arthur Rubenstein to enjoy it. I do, and did, but it is not a well-made documentary. It gives the viewer a slice of life into an older Rubenstein, but it lacks purpose, flow, and a <<raison d'ètre>>, other than to take a snapshot of this genius, the greatest pianist ever to play Chopin. Despite any tedium involved, it is ninety minutes well-spent, and you won't regret watching it, even though it may feel like work at times. It's a French documentary, but it's tailored for English-speaking audiences. (At least watch the first minute so you can see what Air France used to serve in their first-class cabins ... or, at least what they paid to have shown - I remain unconvinced that everyone got a three-pound lobster to go with their second helping of foie gras.)
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