Needing Rebirth? I don’t think so…25 February 2010
This week, a post a little more personal. I would like to comment Greg Sandow’s post entitled Needing Rebirth, which sparked a controversy in the american blogosphere. At first I paid no attention to it, then after rereading it, I started to think deeply about it.
To sum up, Sandow talks about two concerts he heard in Washington: Janine Jansen playing the Sibelius concerto with the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra of Amsterdam and one of the ECCO (East Coast Chamber Orchestra). Both took place at the Kennedy Center.
What will 2010 be like?13 January 2010
At the start of this year, I tried to think about the directions my writings could take for 2010. It is thus self-evident that this blog will still be about piano and music, but I would like to give a new impetus and provide more didactic content. Let’s see what will 2010 be like.
For a long time, I devoured records. All of them, even the bad ones. They allowed me to discover the repertoire as well as fascinating performers. They were part of my musical education and partly trained my ear. They had an influence on my music personality, it’s certain. But which one? Did they helped me or, on the contrary, did they hinder me?
Musical analysis: a musical strategy1 May 2009
After a long debate with a student about musical analysis, I needed to write few lines on the topic. Why is musical analysis so helpful for musicians? Why do we often deny its necessity? Musical analysis: a musical strategy, I said, because it allows me to draw up a plan for each piece, each concert.
In the first part of Is it necessary to give Classical Music a facelift?, we talked about dress at concerts. Today, I would like to share with you my thoughts on concert programming. A good programming is indeed essential. However, isn’t it tiring to hear the same works every year, everywhere in the world? “It’s the law of the market!”, organizers and agents say, “you must play what the audience wants to listen to”. But if we do not introduce anything new to the audience, they won’t ever want anything else. And, as the audience cannot know all the repertoire, one always finds the same works in most programs.
Today, in order to attract young audiences all efforts are oriented in the same direction: to show you that classical music is not boring nor rigid, and that you, too, are likely to appreciate it. Shortened concerts, lunchtime concerts, concert programs with two doses of film music for one of classical, standardization of programs so the audience does not feel “lost”, and so on.
Well, I’m telling you, this is all wrong: classical music is not cool.
Never give up on what your heart is set on10 March 2009
I have always encouraged everyone to be themselves and never give up on what their heart is set on. However, I am the last person to follow my own advice. There are always good reasons to put off doing something I have planned for a long time.
For some years now, I am “sailing” according to [...]
Piano and Psychanalysis27 February 2009
First of all, let me start with a quote from pianist Claudio Arrau: “We frustrate ourselves constantly. Out of fear — fear of failure and, strange as it may seem, fear of success as well — we artists suddenly fall sick before major appearances. We create frightful emotional upsets (…). Singers suddenly become hoarse, can’t [...]
Concert in the dark30 January 2009
At the end of his career, Sviatoslav Richter liked to play in the dark with just a little lighting so he could see the keyboard. He disappeared thus in the concert hall’s shadow. But why concerts in the dark? Playing in the dark increases the concentration of the audience and allows to focus on the [...]