Top 5 Sonatas from the Classical Period: #1

#1: Beethoven - Sonata No. 29 in B-flat Major “Hammerklavier,” Op. 106 From a listener’s perspective, the Hammerklavier is a novel of a sonata to get lost in. From a performer’s perspective, it’s a mountain that you either observe from a distance or set about conquering. Knowing my limitations, I had considered learning Op. 101,... Continue Reading →

Top 5 Sonatas from the Classical Period: #3

#3: Beethoven - Sonata No. 23, Op. 57 “Appassionata” This is stormy, angry, heroic Beethoven. Compared to the Pathétique, the stormy mood is more cohesive here. I love how the first couple minutes of the first movement almost feel like an improvisation, with basic musical materials scattered around and interrupting each other. Somewhere along the... Continue Reading →

Bernstein and the Piano

This article by Richard Walters was originally published in Leonard Bernstein: Music for Piano, Boosey & Hawkes, distributed by Hal Leonard. Used by permission. As his principal instrument, the piano was inextricably a part of Leonard Bernstein’s musical life. There was no piano in his family home until he was ten years old, when an aunt’s... Continue Reading →

Hidden Gems – A Guide to the Music of Federico Mompou

Federico Mompou (1893-1987) was an exceptionally reclusive composer with an output of exceptionally introspective music. Though influenced by Chopin, his miniatures bear an unmistakable personal stamp and Spanish style. He frequently employed sounds of his native Barcelona: church bells tolling and gulls crying. I’ve played my way through much of Mompou’s piano music and encountered,... Continue Reading →

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