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Great Piano Literatures

"The Art of Piano Playing" by  Heinrich Neuhaus

Heinrich Neuhaus was a teacher in Moscow until his death in 1964. He was the teacher of the great pianists Sviatoslav Richter, Emil Gilels, Radu lupu and many others. He is the Author of the celebrated book "The Art of piano Playing", translated in 16 different languages.

His students, of all nationalities, are scattered around the whole world: United States, France, Italy, Germany, Switzerland, Israel, Bulgaria, Czechoslovakia, Hungary, Romania, Japan.

"If you love the piano, this book is almost as important as a good edition of the Beethoven sonatas and the Well-Tempered Clavier. A student of Leopold Godowsky and the teacher of Richter and Gilels, Mr. Neuhaus put together a very inspiring, almost revelatory book on the loftier spiritual and intellectual aspects of playing the piano."

"This book is simply outstanding. It should in fact be standard reading for all piano students and professionals alike, and even to some extent qualifies as a reference on artistic piano playing. It is excellently well written, entertaining, funny, inspiring, and very educational. It is well worth reading many times, since the profundity of some of the advice given actually needs digestion and experimentation at the piano to fully grasp."

 

"On Piano Playing : Motion, Sound, and Expression"  by Gyorgy Sandor.

This book is in three parts. The first discusses the facts of the piano mechanism and what can and can't be done at the piano. The second part introduces Mr. Sandor's own notation for marking up scores in relation to technique. The third part of the book is about taking these techniques and applying them in making music.

This is an exceptionally useful book on piano playing and is  one of the few books on piano technique which deals with factual, objective, anatomic, physiological and cognitive issues rather than with subjective views based on personal experience and opinion.

Mr. Sandor was a student of Bartok and is an award-winning concert pianist, a virtuoso and has helped many gifted pianists develop virtuoso technique over the years. The writing in the book is simple and clear. The book is organized quite logically.

"Abby Whiteside on piano playing"--  Indispensables of Piano Playing & Mastering the Chopin Etudes and Other Essays.

"Revolutionary piano pedagogue Abby Whiteside(1881-1956) influenced generations of pianists in America and elsewhere, Whiteside's pioneering approach to piano technique stood apart from the mainstream of piano teaching in here day, and here ideas remain essential to piano pedagogy even now".

"Abby Whiteside's contribution is enormous, Here holistic approach to technique and music making calls for matching a centrally controlled physical continuity to an intense heard mapping of the  basic undulating impetus of music. Starting with the whole, she brilliantly fits in the details. Forth years later, there ideas are just as original, modern and rewarding as ever. What a joy it is to see them available to the present generation of serious pianists and students."

"Famous Pianists & Their Technique" - by Reginald R. Gerig

...Virtually every renowned pianist had some thoughts on the matter (technique); Those who did not write such thoughts down at lease discussed them with those who did.

Reginald Gerig has drawn together these writings and incorporated them chronologically and geographically in Famous pianists and their technique. Here are summaries and little known excerpts from the works of C.P.E. Bach, Bartok, Bauer,  Beethoven, Brahms, Breithaupt, Cage, Chopin, Czerny, Debussy,Deppe, Fay, Godowsky, Horowitz, Hummel, Levinskaya, Leschetizky, the Lheninnes, LIszt, Long, Matthay, Mozart, Ortmann, Prokofiev, Ravel, Rubinstein, Schubert, The Schumanns, Schutz, Townsend, Virgil, Whiteside, and others - as well as the adventures of the less deservedly famous.

Rich in the   original material, this book will help student and teacher to gain perspective in technical development. It adds a valuable dimension to music literature in its highly readable interpretations of thoughts on touching the keyboard through the centuries. In his large bibliography,  Gerig directs the reader to original and often obscure or un-expected sources.

Famous Pianists and Their Technique is unique in piano literature, and is a valuable source book for the inquiring student of music.

 

"Basic Principles n Pianoforte Playing" by Josef Lhevinne

"This book has a wealth of information. It is a both scholarly and concise read, with musical terminology and examples to please serious pianists, but written in a style that is helpful to amateurs as well. Its shorter length and lower price make it an ideal study tool for high school and college piano students. "

"Josef Lhevinne has done an outstanding job in Basic Principles in Pianoforte playing . He covers many useful topics such as sight-reading, rhythm, practice, using the pedal, legato, but the majority of this book is devoted to the secret of a beautiful tone. "

 

" Piano Technique  -- by Gieseking and Leimer

The Leimer-Gieseking book is an attempt at presenting a philosophy behind their science.  Namely, "practice with your head, not fingers; develop your inner hearing; study your scores mentally, not at the piano; cultivate your imagination of the sound-picture; visualize the physical act of playing, complementing the mental picture with a full-blooded image of the sound."

This book gives reference to the absolutely essential variety of touches required in piano technique and also speaks extensively on visualization.

 

 

"Sviatoslav Richter- Notebooks and Conversations"

"Through out a life dedicated to music, Richter maintained a stubborn silence a bout his own ideals and aspirations. Here at last he opens up his heart, both in an exceptional interview, and in his private musical Journals."

"The pianist's personal Journals, kept for near thirth years, constitute an unparalleled witness to the music of our time. He notes with precision, humour and clarith his reaction to concerts, operas, fellow musicians - even his own recordings. Richter is uninhibitedly himself. These are the private thoughts of a nonconformist, one of the greatest performers of the century, yet one whose life was bound inextricably to the history of the USSR."

 

 

"Chopin: pianist and teacher as seen by his pupils" by Jean-Jacques Eigeldinger.

This book is a unique collection of documents, they are devided into two categories: those concerning technique and style and those concerning the interpretation of Chopin's works.

Extensive appendix material presents Chopin's essay " sketch for a mothod" as well as annotated sc ores belonging to Chopin's pupils and acquaintances, and personal accounts of Chopin's playing as experienced by his contemporaries: composers and pianists, pupils and friends, writers and critics. The statements of Chopin's own students in diaries, letters and reminiscences, written, dictated or conveyed by word of mouth, profvide the bulk of these accounts.

Through the book Professor Eigeldinger's detailed annotations, both critical and explanatory, add a valuable scholarly dimension, creating an indespensable guide to the authentic performance of Chopin's piano works.

 


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