Orchids for piano by Ed Hughes

A blog can provide the ideal opportunity to highlight less familiar Contemporary music, and this interesting set of pieces by British composer Ed Hughes (born in 1968), employs the piano in all its glory. Orchids consists of six movements written between 1990 and 2002 for a collection of fine pianists; Benjamin Morison, Stephen Gutman, Robert Saudek, Nicolas Hodges, Michael…

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…

Music Talk with Erica Worth

It’s been a real pleasure chatting to many wonderful concert pianists and pedagogues on camera over the past year, but the interview today takes a slightly different form to that of my Classical Conversations Series. I’m introducing a little subsidiary series, Music Talk, which focuses on those who work in areas connected to the piano, music education and the music industry in…

The Magic Link: a book review

It’s always a pleasure reading or playing through new piano music publications, whether they be sheet music or text books, but The Magic Link is a piano book that encompasses both genres. Russian pianist and educator, Rada Bukhman has designed a piano tutor with a twist, thus creating a completely different way to set about learning or assimilating classical…

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…

‘Divine Fire’ at the Radcliffe Centre in Buckingham

The quaint, attractive market town of Buckingham, situated in North Buckinghamshire, played host to a rather special performance held at the Radcliffe Centre earlier this week. The centre, formerly a splendid church, is attached to the University of Buckingham and has been tastefully refurbished and renovated, catering perfectly for recitals and lectures. The venue presents a popular concert series and is…

A few thoughts on Chopin’s Nocturne No. 20 in C Sharp Minor Op. Posth.

Frédéric Chopin’s Nocturnes offer a rich array of depth and emotion for both the pianist and listener. Written between 1827 and 1846, they consist of 21 short pieces. The genre was developed by the Irish composer John Field, but Chopin expanded on this original conception producing what are generally considered to be among the finest…