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Users that often use this tag:
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Bud Powell

No musician of Bud Powell’s era had such capacity for improvisatory excellence and was so ready to unleash it, instantly, in such concentrated form onstage. [more inside]
posted by Trurl on Feb 25, 2012 - 8 comments

Chaconne

Interpretations of Bach-Busoni's Chaconne.
posted by klue on Feb 25, 2012 - 9 comments

Marian McPartland's Piano Jazz

Marian McPartland's Piano Jazz is the longest-running cultural program on National Public Radio - having been hosted by Ms. McPartland from June 4, 1978 through November 10, 2011. Her guests included Eubie Blake, Carla Bley, JoAnne Brackeen, Ray Charles, Alice Coltrane, Chick Corea, Bill Evans, Herbie Hancock, Andrew Hill, Dick Hyman, Ahmad Jamal, Keith Jarrett, Hank Jones, Oscar Peterson, Michel Petrucciani, Marcus Roberts, and McCoy Tyner.
posted by Trurl on Feb 19, 2012 - 25 comments

Let's tickle the ivories

Let's tickle the ivories There is an old proverb that goes “Play the piano daily and stay sane.” For me, the main word of this proverb is daily. Playing the piano daily means inevitable accomplishment, and, without a sense of accomplishment, life is an impoverished journey.
posted by Wolof on Feb 12, 2012 - 46 comments

Kissin plays, Kissin talks

Evgeny Kissin is not only a phenomenally active, high-strung, and almost unfailing pianist, he also declaims poetry in public -- in Yiddish. [more inside]
posted by Namlit on Jan 6, 2012 - 5 comments

Circus Galop maximus

Marc-André Hamelin composed Circus Galop for the player piano. Performing it is impossible for a mere pair of human hands, but two people have tried to fake it until they make it. Another has transcribed it (or half of it, perhaps) for one player. Often, people will run it through a MIDI sequencer of their choice, to make a lively animation. Some have built Arduino robots that perform it. But, in the end, the best medium for a work this insane is the humble, yet manic player piano (less manic, but clearer-sounding performance here). Hamelin himself has run his composition through one, managing to get his television host to start dancing as the closing credits fade out...
posted by Blazecock Pileon on Jan 3, 2012 - 34 comments

Nyan vs Nyan

Contrapuntal garbage on "Nyan Cat" (cf. the rules of counterpoint)
posted by Blazecock Pileon on Dec 29, 2011 - 24 comments

He's no Keith Jarrett

Don Cherry Piano Desk (SLYT)
posted by davebush on Dec 27, 2011 - 36 comments

"We were originally from Trenton, and I performed at a lot of PTA functions."

Jonathan and Darlene Edwards were a musical duo famous (or infamous) for their off-key but spirited interpretations of such classics as Tiptoe through the Tulips and I Am Woman. [more inside]
posted by usonian on Dec 2, 2011 - 25 comments

Horowitz in Moscow

In 1986,[Vladimir] Horowitz announced that he would return to the Soviet Union for the first time since 1925 to give recitals in Moscow and Leningrad. In the new atmosphere of communication and understanding between the USSR and the USA, these concerts were seen as events of political, as well as musical, significance. [more inside]
posted by Trurl on Nov 25, 2011 - 13 comments

"Hopes and dreams... will end up killing you."

Daniel Knox prophecies calamity and doom on piano and kazoo. A Chicago musician and songwriter with the voice of a 1920s troubadour, Knox composes tragicomic ballads reminiscent of Will Oldham or Tom Waits. Listen to Evryman for Himself, the harrowing Ghostsong, the poignant You Win Some, You Tie Some, and Disaster. [more inside]
posted by oulipian on Nov 8, 2011 - 7 comments

Steinway & Sons

Note by Note: The Making of Steinway L1037, a documentary by Ben Niles. "Invention for 900 Hands", a nine-part series in The New York Times. "K 2571: The Making of a Steinway Grand", an article in The Atlantic Monthly. [more inside]
posted by Trurl on Nov 2, 2011 - 9 comments

Ashkenazy plays Chopin

Préludes Op. 28 by Chopin, played live by Vladimir Ashkenazy. This must have been recorded around 1980, when he was touring with these pieces. No. 1-6 [more inside]
posted by Namlit on Oct 28, 2011 - 9 comments

"I only play the piano, but tonight God is in the house" -- Fats Waller, on Art Tatum

"Art Tatum was [one of the two] dominant piano players of the 1930s, astounding everyone with his technique, most especially other piano players, who were convinced he was playing the impossible" -- Chick Corea, hosting a segment on the largely overlooked Arthur "Art" Tatum, Jr. If that display of skill and improvisation has you interested, here are a few documentaries about the mostly blind piano man who made other pianists question their instrument choice, yet often left the public at large overwhelmed (or unimpressed): Toledo Stories: The Tatum Legacy (YouTube, 28 minutes) :: Art Tatum - The Art Of Jazz Piano (YT, 52 min.) :: Art Tatum: A Talent Never to Be Duplicated (NPR, audio only, 11 min.) :: Art Tatum, 'The Musician's Musician' (NPR audio, 54 min.) [more inside]
posted by filthy light thief on Oct 25, 2011 - 33 comments

Happy 200th, Franz!

Yesterday was Franz Liszt's 200th birthday. Celebrate by watching performances of his most famous piece, the Hungarian Rhapsody No. 2, by Tom & Jerry, Woody Woodpecker or perhaps Bugs Bunny. Or maybe you prefer something less cartoonish?
posted by falameufilho on Oct 23, 2011 - 26 comments

Complete recordings of the Beethoven piano sonatas

Artur Schnabel was the first pianist to record all of Beethoven's 32 piano sonatas. He would not be the last. [more inside]
posted by Trurl on Oct 20, 2011 - 22 comments

Straight, No Chaser

One of America's most idiosyncratic musical geniuses was, of course, the great Thelonious Monk (Wiki), and what better way to celebrate his birthday today than viewing (in its entirety!) an excellent documentary on the man and his music? Straight, No Chaser
posted by flapjax at midnite on Oct 10, 2011 - 25 comments

Bonus: there is a kitten on the front page!

Pianorama is minimalistic online radio service playing piano music 24/7 and with no ads. Frontage is in Russian, but it doesn't matter: just press little 'play' button to start listening.
posted by usertm on Oct 8, 2011 - 16 comments

The Pianist

Yuja Wang (official site / wikipedia) is a 24-year old, Chinese virtuoso classical pianist who became an overnight sensation in 2007 when she filled in after piano legend Martha Argerich, cancelled a performance with the Boston symphony. Since then, Ms. Wang has become a superstar in her own right, hailed by critics for her precise, passionate performances and lightning-fast technique. But after a recent appearance on-stage in a short red dress and high heels led to a critic's complaint about her outfit, others are now weighing in on whether it is appropriate for a female classical musician to wear revealing clothing. [more inside]
posted by zarq on Aug 15, 2011 - 104 comments

"Ride of the Valkyries" arranged for 8 pianos

Wagner's "Ride of the Valkyries" arranged for 8 pianos - performed by Leif Ove Andsnes, Emanuel Ax, Claude Frank, Evgeny Kissin, Lang Lang, James Levine, Mikhail Pletnev, and Staffan Scheja. [more inside]
posted by Trurl on Jun 24, 2011 - 24 comments

Music like shattered glass

Kashiwa Daisuke is a japanese post-rock musician, (formerly in Yodaka) who specializes in gorgeous, epic, glitchy piano pieces that constantly seem on the verge of falling apart... Stella, April 02, Write Once, Run Melos are my favorites.
posted by empath on Jun 2, 2011 - 39 comments

Music From Nowhere

Since the late '70s, Gordon Monahan has been making a career of extracting the unheard from pretty much anything he can get his hands on. Monahan's works for piano, loudspeakers, video, kinetic sculpture, and computer-controlled sound environments span various genres from avant-garde concert music to multi-media installation and sound art. Such pieces include long string installations activated by wind (Long Aeolian Piano, 1984-88), by water vortices (Aquaeolian Whirlpool, 1990) and by indoor air draughts (Spontaneously Harmonious in Certain Kinds of Weather, 1996). His work for electronic tone generators and human speaker swingers (Speaker Swinging, 1982), is a hybrid of science, music, and performance art, where minimalistic trance music based on the Doppler Effect contrasts with issues central to performance art such as physical struggle and 'implied threat'. John Cage once said, "At the piano, Gordon Monahan produces sounds we haven't heard before." [more inside]
posted by wcfields on Apr 29, 2011 - 4 comments

1.1 million people ride NYC subways every day, but nobody talks. Until now.

Just keep going, you've got nothing to lose. [more inside]
posted by zooropa on Mar 29, 2011 - 46 comments

Chess Music

"For absolutely no good reason, I found myself wondering what a chess game would sound like if played on the piano"
posted by rollick on Mar 5, 2011 - 15 comments

wrong concerto

The lunch concerts in the Amsterdam Concertgebouw used to be (possibly still are) often public general rehearsals for the big evening series. Here we can see the mental transformation of pianist Maria Joao Pires, who expects another Mozart concerto than conductor Riccardo Chailly begins to conduct. [more inside]
posted by Namlit on Feb 19, 2011 - 17 comments

The silence of his departure

Jazz piano great Sir George Shearing has died at 91. [more inside]
posted by Bromius on Feb 14, 2011 - 27 comments

Astor Piazzolla's "Libertango" transcribed for piano four hands

Perhaps a more unusual piano four hands piece...
posted by Blazecock Pileon on Feb 4, 2011 - 30 comments

Zoltán Kocsis recital

Part one: Beethoven - Piano sonata No. 27 in E minor, op. 90, Part two: Schubert - Piano sonata No. 7 in E minor, D.566, Part three: Piano sonata, Sz. 80. [more inside]
posted by Namlit on Jan 10, 2011 - 12 comments

Pianist's Hidden Identities

Classical pianists tend to be identified by their favorite repertoire. Thus, Murray Perahia got stamped as a Mozart and Schumann pianist in his early career, and people raised their eyebrows when he embarked on Liszt and other heavy repertoire. And Rudolf Serkin is today perhaps known best for his Beethoven, and not for the Chopin etudes he played in his earlier years. Searching for something totally else, I stumbled upon a few private recordings by Clara Haskil [more inside]
posted by Namlit on Nov 7, 2010 - 5 comments

Tickling the fancy of those who tickle the ivories

There's never been a better time to be a curious classical pianist. A few YouTube users have been uploading synchronized scores to dozens of interesting pieces, usually virtuosic and/or obscure, and often out of print or otherwise unavailable. There are all sorts of treasures, but perhaps the most notable scores are those of a lost generation of post-Scriabin Russian composers whose avant-garde output was later suppressed by the Soviet government.
posted by dfan on Nov 4, 2010 - 15 comments

Old Grey Bonnet

Marlow and Fran Cowan, an elderly couple who'd been married for 62 years, wandered through the atrium of the Mayo Clinic in 2008 and became accidental YouTube celebrities. Early this year they returned to the clinic for an encore performance (6 parts). The Cowans tell their story here.
posted by hermitosis on Oct 22, 2010 - 23 comments

Nirvana The Band

"We are Nirvana The Band, the live musical that will never play the same show twice. To not let us play on your stage would be a terrible mistake. We are Nirvana The Band. For now; forever; for better; for worse. Four -- times four -- is sixteen."
posted by JohnMarston on Oct 1, 2010 - 17 comments

a towering, glittering icon from an era now past mumbles a barely heard farewell as he slips out the back door...

Perhaps it's best my grandmother didn't live to see this day: the Liberace Museum, located in the besequined showman's old stomping grounds of Las Vegas, is closing, and that would have saddened her. Maybe it's time for all of us to brush up on our early Liberace history. And let's hear the sparkling man, resplendent in gold, take Mack the Knife through some changes. Farewell, Liberace.
posted by flapjax at midnite on Sep 18, 2010 - 66 comments

China's Got Talent

"Pianist Liu Wei sits quietly to compose himself before plunging into the music. Then he takes off a sock. The 23-year-old, whose arms were amputated after a childhood accident, plays the piano with his toes."
posted by gman on Aug 27, 2010 - 16 comments

Alkan

"In a way I wish it did not require such a formidable technique, because I do not really enjoy sweating over this music." This is virtuoso pianist Marc-Andre Hamelin speaking of Charles-Valentin Alkan, the Romantic pianist said to have made even Liszt nervous, and whose exhilarating works fell into obscurity due to their rigorous technical demands. For a warm-up, here's Alkan's major etude "Allegro barbaro", as performed by Jack Gibbons. A machine recording of his piece Le Chemin de Fer in which you can see the keys being pressed. Recordings of Youtube exist of people attempting his near-impossible Scherzo focoso (and, for comparison, a mechanical rendition of the same). And for encore, here is Hamelin again playing Les Quatre Ages, frequently considered Alkan's most mature work, a sonata depicting the four ages of man.
posted by Rory Marinich on Jul 29, 2010 - 20 comments

An often neglected impressionistic composer

Frederic Mompou (1893 -1987) composed many often exquisite and mysteriously adventurous minatures for piano. Born in Barcelona, he then went to Conservatory and spent several decades in Paris, and of course was influenced first by Gabriel Faure and Chopin, then Maurice Ravel, Claude Debussy, Francis Poulenc, and notably Erik Satie. Yet, unlike them, he never quite became a "household name" in classical music. [more inside]
posted by Seekerofsplendor on Jul 22, 2010 - 13 comments

Like Elton Joel and Billy John

Andrew WK battles Gonzales: A cutting contest like no other. [more inside]
posted by Potomac Avenue on Jul 1, 2010 - 9 comments

Peoria 2010 Old-Time Piano Weekend

Performances [MLYT] from the 2010 Old-Time Piano Championship in Peoria. Featuring early March, Cakewalk, Ragtime, Boogie, Stride, Blues, Novelty, Jazz, Classical, and popular song styles from before 1930.
posted by gman on Jun 20, 2010 - 13 comments

Serenading the Streets, or Because New York Isn't Noisy Enough

At 9am on Monday the 21st June, 60 pianos will be distributed and then unveiled across New York City by Sing for Hope. Located in public parks, streets and plazas the pianos will be available until 5th July for any member of the public to play and engage with.

Play Me, I’m Yours” is an artwork by British artist Luke Jerram. [Previously] You can get piano locations as well as upload videos, photos and stories of you and your friends tickling the public ivories on the official site. The project will be concurrently mounted in London.
posted by Lutoslawski on Jun 17, 2010 - 25 comments

Martha Argerich

[Martha] Argerich brings to bear qualities that are seldom contained in one person: she is a pianist of brainteasing technical agility; she is a charismatic woman with an enigmatic reputation; she is an unaffected interpreter whose native language is music. This last may be the quality that sets her apart. A lot of pianists play huge double octaves; a lot of pianists photograph well. But few have the unerring naturalness of phrasing that allows them to embody the music rather than interpret it. - Alex Ross, "Madame X". The New Yorker - November 12, 2001
posted by Joe Beese on Jun 9, 2010 - 12 comments

Hank Jones, RIP

Renowned pianist Hank Jones, whose sixty year career in jazz saw him perform with scores of legendary musicians, has passed away at the age of 91, and was practicing up to the very end. [more inside]
posted by HP LaserJet P10006 on May 18, 2010 - 15 comments

Piano Hero / Synthesia

Want to learn how to play piano but can't read sheet music? Synthesia or previously known as Piano Hero. Synthesia FAQ
posted by MechEng on Apr 9, 2010 - 45 comments

Are you sad? We've come to cheer you up.

SLYT: Ben Folds responds to Merton's Chat Roulette Improv (slightly NSFW: language) [more inside]
posted by miratime on Mar 21, 2010 - 67 comments

♫ I can't do this all on my own... ♫

TV Medley "Duet"
posted by jpdoane on Mar 20, 2010 - 13 comments

Drinkin' beer from a bottle, on a Friday night.

SLYT: Chatroulette piano improvisation
posted by Jimbob on Mar 15, 2010 - 61 comments

"We put out other ragtime records, too, and they sell terribly."

Reginald Robinson won a MacArthur Fellowship grant in 2004 for his original ragtime compositions, but has found it difficult to reach the public. "Even with the MacArthur 'genius' title … I'm invisible." [more inside]
posted by Rory Marinich on Mar 12, 2010 - 65 comments

Generative Music Visualization

Clavilux 2000 - Interactive instrument for generative music visualization. The music visualization consists of a digital piano with 88 keys and midi output, a computer running a vvvv patch and a vertical projection above the keyboard. How it works. [more inside]
posted by netbros on Feb 18, 2010 - 19 comments

Viktoriya Yermolyeva, heavy metal pianist

Viktoriya Yermolyeva plays Metallica's "Master of Puppets", Motorhead's "Ace of Spades", and Slayer's "Seasons in the Abyss" the way they were meant to be heard - on the piano.
posted by Joe Beese on Feb 17, 2010 - 59 comments

Impossible Music

A favorite of John Cage and Gyorgy Ligeti, the latter describing his music as "so utterly original, enjoyable, perfectly constructed but at the same time emotional...the best of any composer living today," Conlon Nancarrow's musical ideas were nevertheless too complex and technically demanding for human performers, and his political ideas too radical and leftist for McCarthy-era America. Expatriated to Mexico, the Texarkana-born avant-gardeist lived most of his life in isolation, in a cluttered, dusty studio surrounded by records, piles of books, empty Vodka bottles, newspapers, cigarette cartons, and the tools of his trade: 2 old player pianos and a custom-built piano roll press. [more inside]
posted by swift on Feb 15, 2010 - 16 comments

Mitsuko Uchida

Three-time Gramophone Award winner, Dame of the Empire, and, by consensus, the world's greatest living performer of Mozart's keyboard works, Mitsuko Uchida also gives great piano face. [more inside]
posted by Joe Beese on Jan 16, 2010 - 13 comments

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