The Great Sonata Ranking (in case you missed it last year)

About this time last year I was finishing up a multi-week exploration of the greatest piano sonatas from each period from Classical to contemporary. This topic may not be as cosmically significant as the Spider Nebula (pictured above), but I think it's worth discussing in the piano community. I always meant to create a landing... Continue Reading →

Music from Chopin’s Land: Lesser-Known Polish Composers in the Spotlight

If you ask someone to name a Polish composer, Frédéric Chopin will probably be the answer about 99% of the time. His influence and status as a symbol of Polish pride continues to this day, and his legacy has inspired a long, rich piano tradition continuing with pianists like Artur Rubinstein and Krystian Zimerman. In... Continue Reading →

3 Piano Pieces That Are Harder Than You Think

Let me qualify the “you” of the title. I’m not trying to blame anyone or swing judgmental glances at the piano-playing populace. I’ve just been thinking lately about how certain pieces get stuck with a perceived difficulty level, and if that level overshoots the reality for the average piano student, it can lead to discouragement.... 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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