A masterclass with Sir Andras Schiff

I really enjoy attending masterclasses, and if I can’t go, the next best thing is to watch on YouTube! With so many fascinating classes given by celebrated pianists and teachers posted online, one could spend weeks just viewing them all. The following workshop given by Hungarian concert pianist Sir András Schiff, was recorded last November…

Stephen Kovacevich in conversation with Melanie Spanswick

My fortieth interview in the Classical Conversations Series features celebrated American concert pianist Stephen Kovacevich. I spoke to him at his home in West London just before Christmas, and he provides great insights into practising, overcoming nerves and late Beethoven. Stephen Kovacevich is one of the most searching interpreters.  As a pianist he has won unsurpassed…

MERRY CHRISTMAS!

A short post today, to wish everyone a very, very HAPPY CHRISTMAS Thank you for visiting my blog this year, and here’s a special Christmas (à la Beethoven) medley played by pianist John Lenehan. My publications: For much more information about how to practice piano repertoire, take a look at my piano course, Play it again: PIANO (published by…

32 Pianists perform 32 Beethoven Sonatas

Beethoven’s 32 Piano Sonatas represent the composer’s life journey, both as a composer and human being. From the early sonatas, which are stylistically akin to those of Mozart or Haydn, through to the final six, which are amongst the most sublime works ever written for the instrument. They are often performed as a complete cycle but rarely…

A few thoughts on Beethoven’s Für Elise

This small seemingly straightforward work has become such a favourite with pianists of all ages and abilities. It is perpetually at the top of the ‘must learn to play’ list and is instantly recognisable from the first few notes. For many, Für Elise represents Beethoven (1770-1827), although in reality it’s of scant importance when surveying the…

Rhythmic Precision in the First Movement of Beethoven’s Sonata in C Minor Op. 10 No. 1

Beethoven’s thirty-two piano sonatas are a musical autobiography, charting the Master’s  development from a young man up to his death in 1827. The early sonatas are more typical of the traditional Classical style, akin to those written by Mozart and Haydn, whereas the last six, which are possibly the greatest in this genre ever written for the instrument, show Beethoven…