Piano Notes: The Hidden World of the Pianist

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9780140298635: Piano Notes: The Hidden World of the Pianist

In this eloquent, intimate exploration of the delights and demands of the piano, world-renowned concert pianist and music writer Charles Rosen draws on a lifetime's wisdom to consider every aspect of the instrument: from what makes a beautiful sound to suffering from stage fright, from the physical challenges of playing to tales of great musicians, including Vladimir Horowitz's recording tricks, Rachmaninov's hands and why Artur Rubenstein applied hairspray to the keys. Gracefully blending anecdote, history, expertise and memoir, Piano Notes will enchant anyone with a passion for music.

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About the Author:

Charles Rosen is one of the leading writers on music and musicians in the world. His landmark books include The Classical Style and The Romantic Generation. He is a concert pianist and Professor of Music at New York University.

Excerpt. Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.:

Prelude

This is a book about the experience of playing the piano. It is not an autobiography, although I have had to draw on some personal anecdotes, but it concerns the experience of playing relevant to all pianists, amateur as well as professional. What has interested me most of all is the relation of the physical act of playing to those aspects of music generally considered more intellectual, spiritual, and emotional, the different ways that body and spirit interact. I have concentrated mostly on professional experience since I know it best, and also because the amateur ideal today is largely derived from the professional standard, but I write for listeners as well as pianists. I have certainly not attempted to tell pianists how they must play. Although my own prejudices have naturally intruded, I have at least tried to keep them under control. There are many valid approaches to the instrument and to its repertoire -- and if I occasionally find some approaches invalid, I am not stiff-necked about them, and not wedded permanently to my opinions. I have been most intent on conveying the variety of experience of playing, its torments and its delights.

The temptation is great to write inspirational prose in the grand style about an experience as intense as playing is for any committed pianist. I am embarrassed when I read that kind of prose, however, as the intensity of feeling is only made factitious by being diluted with words, so I have largely preferred to let that intensity be taken for granted. I adore the grand style and I am intrigued by grand synthetic theories, but I am suspicious of teachers who claim to have invented the only successful method for bringing out the best in young performers, of theorists who claim to have invented the unique approach to analysis, and of historians who wish to reduce all the developments of the musical style of the past entirely to the determinism of social conditions. Of course, the place of music in society influences the way we listen and play, but there are so many cases when a composer or pianist produces work badly fitted to the conditions of his or her own time but that turns out for some few contemporaries and then for a later period to be of great value. I have also attempted to discuss the constraints that cause pianists to play in ways to which they are not really committed, and have ventured to speculate briefly on the decisive role the instrument has played in both the history of composition and the reception of music today. Above all, I have tried to become more aware myself of the powerful and peculiar motives that drive some of us to the piano instead of to the violin, the guitar, or the record-player, and of the odd difficulties that this decision creates in our lives.

Copyright © 2002 by Charles Rosen

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Book Description Penguin Books Ltd, United Kingdom, 2004. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Language: English . Brand New Book. In this eloquent, intimate exploration of the delights and demands of the piano, world-renowned concert pianist and music writer Charles Rosen draws on a lifetime s wisdom to consider every aspect of the instrument: from what makes a beautiful sound to suffering from stage fright, from the physical challenges of playing to tales of great musicians, including Vladimir Horowitz s recording tricks, Rachmaninov s hands and why Artur Rubenstein applied hairspray to the keys. Gracefully blending anecdote, history, expertise and memoir, Piano Notes will enchant anyone with a passion for music. Bookseller Inventory # APG9780140298635

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Book Description Penguin Books Ltd, United Kingdom, 2004. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Language: English . Brand New Book. In this eloquent, intimate exploration of the delights and demands of the piano, world-renowned concert pianist and music writer Charles Rosen draws on a lifetime s wisdom to consider every aspect of the instrument: from what makes a beautiful sound to suffering from stage fright, from the physical challenges of playing to tales of great musicians, including Vladimir Horowitz s recording tricks, Rachmaninov s hands and why Artur Rubenstein applied hairspray to the keys. Gracefully blending anecdote, history, expertise and memoir, Piano Notes will enchant anyone with a passion for music. Bookseller Inventory # APG9780140298635

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Book Description Penguin Books Ltd. Book Condition: New. 2004. New Ed. Paperback. An exploration of the delights and demands of the piano. It considers various aspects of the instrument: from what makes a beautiful sound to suffering from stage fright, from the physical challenges of playing to tales of great musicians, including Vladimir Horowitz's recording tricks, and why Artur Rubenstein applied hairspray to the keys. Num Pages: 256 pages, Illustrations. BIC Classification: AVRG. Category: (G) General (US: Trade). Dimension: 197 x 130 x 16. Weight in Grams: 192. . . . . . Books ship from the US and Ireland. Bookseller Inventory # V9780140298635

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Book Description Penguin Books Ltd, 2004. Book Condition: New. 2004. New Ed. Paperback. An exploration of the delights and demands of the piano. It considers various aspects of the instrument: from what makes a beautiful sound to suffering from stage fright, from the physical challenges of playing to tales of great musicians, including Vladimir Horowitz's recording tricks, and why Artur Rubenstein applied hairspray to the keys. Num Pages: 256 pages, Illustrations. BIC Classification: AVRG. Category: (G) General (US: Trade). Dimension: 197 x 130 x 16. Weight in Grams: 192. . . . . . . Bookseller Inventory # V9780140298635

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Book Description Penguin Books Ltd. Paperback. Book Condition: new. BRAND NEW, Piano Notes: The Hidden World of the Pianist, Charles Rosen, In this eloquent, intimate exploration of the delights and demands of the piano, world-renowned concert pianist and music writer Charles Rosen draws on a lifetime's wisdom to consider every aspect of the instrument: from what makes a beautiful sound to suffering from stage fright, from the physical challenges of playing to tales of great musicians, including Vladimir Horowitz's recording tricks, Rachmaninov's hands and why Artur Rubenstein applied hairspray to the keys. Gracefully blending anecdote, history, expertise and memoir, "Piano Notes" will enchant anyone with a passion for music. Bookseller Inventory # B9780140298635

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