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Sara Says - Sara Davis Buechner invites you to share in her reflections on music, matters artistic and non, and the creatively fun things in life. Be a part of the conversation!

Archive for the ‘Piano Pedagogy’ Category

That’s Pathetic

Posted on: May 14th, 2013 by SDB No Comments

 

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Sara Davis Buechner performs parts of Beethoven’s Pathetique Sonata No. 8, Opus 13 in C minor, exploring the influences and origins of stile patetico in the Grave and Adagio Cantabile, the origins of the theme from the Adagio, and more.

Joseph Lamb and Ragtime

Posted on: January 12th, 2013 by SDB 3 Comments

 

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Pedaling Arensky

Posted on: November 6th, 2012 by SDB 4 Comments

 

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Martinů – Fantasy and Toccata

Posted on: August 8th, 2012 by SDB 2 Comments

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Pianist Sara Davis Buechner lectures on, and demonstrates Bohuslav Martinů’s Fantasy and Toccata which was dedicated to Rudolf Firkušný. Read the review of Buechner’s performance of the Martinu Fantasy and Toccata in The Martinu Revue (PDF), printed in the Czech Republic.

Chopin looks backwards

Posted on: July 26th, 2012 by SDB 1 Comment

Today’s little blog post comes as a result of my daily sight-reading warm-up at the piano. When the time is available I like to extend my knowledge of the keyboard repertory along with the digits of my hand and the sinew of my arm muscles — usually accompanied by lubrication of my throat with hot coffee.

A few days ago I chanced upon a rare Russian edition of Etudes by Friedrich Kalkbrenner (1785 – 1849), a well-known Parisian piano pedagogue in the early 19th-century, chiefly remembered now because of Frédéric Chopin’s desire to study with him (which never came to pass). Writers have occasionally commented on the conundrum of a young genius like Chopin wishing to work with a rather well-oiled hack teacher and churner-out of workmanlike Etudes like the vain Kalkbrenner.

I was interested to see the reality of Kalkbrenner’s Etudes, and was not disappointed by what I encountered — nothing rotten at all, but not much-inspired nor stylistically beyond similar works of Czerny and Clementi. It is chiefly in his handling of harmony and counterpoint that one sees a certain novel attention to pianistic detail and physical possibility that perhaps caught the eye of the young Frédéric Chopin.

It was this passage from Kalkbrenner’s Etude in A minor op. 126 no. 7 that caught my own eye, while playing through it this morning. Because the rapid-moving chromatic chords reminded me instantly of a similar passage in Chopin’s marvelous Sonata for Cello and Piano, op. 65 (in the first movement). Hardly do I suspect plagiarism on Chopin’s part, and the passages are different enough anyway to obviate that possibility. But I do think of ideas, harmonies, sounds and colors stowed away in the brain for years and years; after all, we all have the experience of remembering something long-forgotten. In that context I wonder if Chopin, at the end of his all-too-short life when essaying his Cello Sonata (one of his very greatest works, in my humble opinion), had a brief rememberance of a pianistic idol from his teenage years — an idol who had long before similarly dashed off a difficult chordal passage of digital élan and bravura in rapidly moving chromatic chords.

The Master School of Alberto Jonás

Posted on: February 6th, 2012 by SDB 2 Comments

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Mozart’s Vision

Posted on: December 24th, 2011 by SDB 10 Comments

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