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The musician’s contribution to the world
“As musicians, we are already doing something for the world … We make it more flowing? … Through music”. Pianist Lang Lang Shirley Apthorp, “Piano Man”, The Australian, May 14 2011.
A simple request
Humorists Ilf and Petrov described a concert by Rachmaninoff In New York (November 1935): The night we went to hear him he appeared tall, bent, and thin, with a long sad face, his hair closely clipped; he sat down at the piano, separated the folds of his old-fashioned back swallowtail, adjusted one of his cuffs […]
About the transcriber
1 1 MUSIC TRANSCRIPTION Greg Smith is a freelance Australian composer and pianist. Greg completed his Bachelor of Music with Honors Class I and a University Medal at the University of Newcastle in 2001. He then graduated from a Master of Creative Arts, majoring in Performance Practice Issues in Russian Piano Music from the same […]
Playing by the mood of the audience
Rachmaninoff sent fellow composer/pianist Medtner his Corelli Variations.  He wrote: I played them here about fifteen times, but of these fifteen performances, only one was good.  The others were sloppy.  I can't play my own compositions!  And it's so boring! Not once have I played these all in continuity.  I was guided by the coughing […]
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A lesson with Beethoven
One fearful winter’s day in Vienna, in 1794, the snow standing deep and still falling fast, the traffic almost entirely suspended in the streets, Countess Teresa Brunswick, then a girl of fifteen, was waiting for Beethoven’s arrival, to give her her pianoforte lesson. Weather never stopped him; but when he appeared it was obvious that […]
Parry on choral music
Hubert Parry, who taught Vaughan Williams composition, instructed the composer to “write choral music as befits and Englishman and a democrat.” Vaughan Williams recalled that “this attitude to art led to an almost moral hated of mere luscious sound…” Vaughan Williams, cited in Holmes, Paul (1997) Vaughan Williams. London: Omnibus Press, p.17.
The role of schooling
You go to a great school not so much for knowledge as for arts and habits, for the habit of attention, for the art of expression, for the art of assuming at a moment’s notice a new intellectual position, for the art of entering quickly into another person’s thoughts, for the habit of submitting to […]
Maiky’s recording of Bach’s cello suites
“The Latvian cellist Mischa Maisky recorded the Bach’s cello suites “at a small guest house he converted into a studio and called Sarabande, he had a fence built around it with all the notes of the fifth sarabande crafted on the metalwork.  He gleefully points out that the studio’s address is 720, his Montagnana cello […]
Golden rules for an orchestra
‘”There are two golden rules for an orchestra: start together and finish together. The public doesn’t give a damn what goes on in between.” – Thomas Beecham, conductor.  Cited at: Quotationsbook