Fluency, understanding, expression and confidence.
Written by Andrew Eales
To what extent does your voice today harmonise with the chorus that went before you?
A ‘deep’ question perhaps, and one which we can use to ground ourselves, a reminder of that which is more permanent in our lives, as well as more broadly indelible in our communities, history and culture.
The Music We Play
When it comes to the music we play, bombarded with the new we can lose sight of those established favourites and foundations which have nurtured and nourished us before, and which in many cases have been treasured by previous generations.
As a piano teacher, I am thrilled that such a wealth and variety of new piano music comes my way. Overwhelmed, even. Through my reviews I try to promote a rich and varied selection of the very best new music suitable for all levels of player. Sometimes readers mention that it is too much, and certainly we all need to cherry-pick the fresh discoveries that excite us most.
It would be possible for a pianist or teacher to use these latest publications as the core of their performing or teaching repertoire, ignoring all that went before. Those newer to the piano may well choose to do so. But what of our peerless heritage?
As pianists we have an astonishing range, depth and wealth of repertoire upon which we can fix our gaze and focus our practice…
Building a Library
For two decades before Pianodao existed, I developed a teaching repertoire which encompassed wonderful music, until now not reviewed here. And prior to that, an active repertoire of music I have cherished since I was a child, and plenty more that I have fallen in love with over subsequent years.
In my teaching, this music remains a vital and central element. This is the chorus that went before, and I still harmonise with it as best as I can.
While continuing to review wonderful new sheet music as it appears, the time has come to celebrate this larger body of life-enhancing repertoire.
I am happy to announce that the Pianodao Music Library will now expand to include these timeless classics, rightly also making them central to my offer of professional support to those pianists and students around the world who use my Video Feedback Service for advice on their playing.
I will soon be introducing a new series of composer-based articles looking at the greats not sufficiently highlighted elsewhere on the site. This new series will begin this spring with Discovering Janáček and Discovering Burgmüller. Mendelssohn, Grieg, Czerny and Poulenc are all pencilled in for 2022 as well.
A Vision for Pianodao…
Pianodao exists to help readers discover piano music and develop an active repertoire. It is my ambition that the carefully curated Pianodao Music Library will become an ever-more-fruitful resource and source of inspiration.
As I dig into the vaults of our extraordinary musical heritage, I hope that you will enjoy discovering and revisiting these great treasures with me, and I look forward to supporting all who send in videos for feedback.
Let’s go on this journey together. And if you’ve not already done so, you can make sure that you don’t miss another post on Pianodao by subscribing to receive email notifications:
Also available • Andrew’s essential handbook:
How to Practise Music
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