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[REPLACE_WITH_BEETHOVEN_JOKE]

A whole bunch of dogs playing the piano.
posted by griphus on Nov 20, 2013 - 22 comments

36 years in the making

Ry Cooder and Corridos Famosos: Live "From this rich catalog, Cooder cherry-picked only a dozen songs to include on Live but they’re fairly representative of his eclectic oeuvre. His picks also feature plenty of his guitar playing, which will please fans who felt (as I sometimes did) that his recent albums were a bit stingy with his greatest asset. " "The shows also were a family affair. The Corridos Famosos include Ry’s son Joachim on drums, Joachim’s wife Juliet Commagere on vocals, and her brother Robert Francis on bass, as well as an old friend and collaborator, Flaco Jimenez, the Tejano accordionist who was at Cooder’s side when he played this venue 34 years earlier. Terry Evans, another veteran of the 1977 shows, handles backup vocals, along with Arnold McCuller, filling in for Cooder’s other longtime singing partner Bobby King." Don't miss the clip at the end of the review. [more inside]
posted by madamjujujive on Nov 19, 2013 - 17 comments

Hungarian majesty

Georges Cziffra warms up for the BBC, mixing improvisation with a bit of the first Chopin étude. [more inside]
posted by Blazecock Pileon on Aug 17, 2012 - 12 comments

Jon Gomm - Passionflower

Jon Gomm plays the guitar and sings.
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane on Mar 10, 2012 - 11 comments

Passing of a Virtuoso

RIP Maurice André [more inside]
posted by plinth on Feb 26, 2012 - 13 comments

That's not just a kid's instrument

People can't decide if he looks more like Tom Cruise or Keanu Reeves. But whoever he looks like, it's the way he sounds and what he can play that make Benoît Sauvé unique. [more inside]
posted by circular on Jan 20, 2012 - 11 comments

Make Music Anywhere

Pocket music apps are letting composers and artists create music anywhere - and they're developing fast. [more inside]
posted by Stark on Aug 11, 2010 - 51 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

The Pianist of Pianists

Leopold Godowsky's technique was such that Arthur Rubinstein wrote, "It would take me 500 years to get a mechanism like [his]." Which came in handy playing his 53 Studies on Chopin's Etudes - which are often nominated as the most difficult pieces in the repertoire.
posted by Joe Beese on Dec 8, 2008 - 6 comments

Gold Medal in Piano!

Winning the Gold Medal in Young International Piano Superstardom is Chinese pianist Lang Lang. The 26 year old former prodigy compares himself not to Glen Gould, but to Tiger Woods. Given his "star appeal" and numerous endorsements, it's an apt comparison. [more inside]
posted by grapefruitmoon on Jul 31, 2008 - 10 comments

the moment before you fall in love

Sarasate Plays "Zigeunerweisen". A recording from 1904.
posted by plexi on Dec 5, 2007 - 2 comments

Jennifer Lin Plays Piano

At fourteen years old, Jennifer Lin is a shade better on the piano than most eighth-graders. (video) [via]
posted by Malor on Jul 29, 2007 - 54 comments

Showoffs and knucklebusters

What's the most difficult piano piece? Opinions vary. Is it La Campanella, written by Liszt to show off what only he could do? (performance, score) Is it Balakirev's Islamey, which even Balakirev struggled to play? (performance, score) Or Ravel's Gaspard de la Nuit, written to top Islamey? (performance, score) Does Godowsky double his points by reconfiguring the already-difficult Chopin for the left hand? (performance) And if someone plays all four hours of Sorabji's Opus Clavicembalisticum, written across four staves to fit the extra notes, will anyone listen? (perfomance excerpts, score excerpts)
posted by argybarg on Jan 6, 2007 - 110 comments

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