The Pleyel pianos

Published in July, 2021 in the category Piano Maestro

In 2013, the piano manufacturer Pleyel et Cie ceased to manufacture pianos.

This unfortunate decision marked an end to one of the legacies of the Austrian born Ignaz Pleyel (1757-1831), a musician whose career saw him study with Joseph Haydn, gain enormous popularity across Europe for his compositions and form a piano company who supplied instrument to Fredéric Chopin, Achille-Claude Debussy and Igor Stravinsky to name but a few.

Pleyel was a …

Chopin's technical revolution

Published in July, 2021 in the category Technique and Pedagogy

The tradition from which Chopin started had a solid and broad cultural base. But after having assimilated it, Chopin went further, much further, along a road that was also followed by Liszt and Thalberg and by almost all pianists of the 1810-1820 generation. 

The modern piano technique, which was born precisely with Chopin and Liszt, introduced innovative principles that made it profoundly different from the ancient technique. 

In reality, it cannot be …

The imitation of other instruments in Paganini/Liszt's Etude "The Hunt"

Published in June, 2021 in the category Interpretative Pills

Apparently the piano is not a multi-timbral instrument, but in reality, being an instrument rich in nuances and potential, it allows to evoke many other sounds and many other instruments of the orchestra based on the imagination of the player. 

How is it possible to imitate the sound of another instrument on the piano? 

Trying to imitate the attack mode of the sound and the way of phrasing that each orchestral instrument …

Beethoven's Variations on a Diabelli Waltz Op. 120

Published in June, 2021 in the category Piano Maestro

The circumstances that favored the composition of the Variations Op. 120 are well known: the Viennese publisher Antonio Diabelli (1781-1858) had the idea of putting together a kind of national Parnassus by asking fifty composers residing in the Habsburg Empire to each write a Variation on his own waltz. The collection was published in 1824 under the pompous title "National Society of Artists".  Most of the musicians are nowadays unknown, but …

The learning triangle

Published in May, 2021 in the category Technique and Pedagogy

The learning triangle is a method that, if applied literally, will change the way you study piano forever.

At the center of this triangle there is a mental "space" where concentration is at its maximum and no negative thoughts are able to distract you or disturb your performance. 

The angles of the triangle represent the main elements of the study.
The first angle means to play the part in full.  By this we …

St Andrews Piano Tuition
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