Tuesday, August 7, 2007

Sweaters and Liszt

Hey everyone! I have such exciting news to report: I've finished my very first sweater!!! It was such a learning experience, the biggest lesson of all being perseverance. But by now I'm sure you know the drill: no pictures yet because of camera issues, huge knitting FO post coming ASAP, yadda yadda yadda. *big grin*

I'll be going back to my university in about two weeks, so posts will soon be full of musical information I encouter there: questions from my new private students, problems and solutions from my piano lessons, techniques from my vocal accompanying. I'm really excited to have this blogging outlet to share some of my awesome musical experience at school. I also plan to gather up lots of knitting friends, work on charity knitting, and basically live life as a frugal, busy college student trying to fit knitting in whenever she can. It'll be great, promise!

But for now, let's go back to our friend, Marc-Andre Hamelin. As you recall, he was the technically brilliant pianist from my Medtner video (just a few posts back, if you missed it). Today we're going to listen to him playing some fabulous Liszt.

Franz Liszt was the premier virtuoso pianist and fabulous composer from the Romantic era. He took piano music to technical heights never attempt before, basically establishing himself as the Paganini of the piano, as well as quite the casanova. Women used to fawn over him, and some still do (... Okay, okay. I still do...) However, some people erroneously claim that Liszt's music, while demanding in technique, is lacking in musical interpretation. And that, my friends, is just plain ridiculous. If you're playing Liszt without feeling, then you're simply not really playing Liszt. J.S. Bach once said, "It's easy to play any musical instrument: all you have to do is touch the right key at the right time and the instrument will play itself." I'm happy to say that true interpretation of Liszt's music requires much more than simply playing the right keys at the right time.

Here is Hamelin playing Liszt's 3rd Concert Etude, called Un Sospiro. Things to listen for in particular are the challenge of bringing out the gorgeous melody above the beautiful runs in the background. Pay special attention to the gorgeous, deliciously smooth melody, which surprisingly is played using a different hand for every other note. You'd never be able to tell, the way Mr. Hamelin plays it. Pure magic, enjoy! :) Have a good day!

1 comment:

Mrs. Potter said...

First of all, "GO RED GO RED, IT'S YOUR SWEATER, WEAR IT PROUDLY!" (picture me doing the cabbage patch, wait don't...)

Also, Hamelin is amazing!!!!!

Post pictures soon!!! I can't wait to see it!

Love Mary