Rachmaninoff’s Etude-Tableau Op.39 No.5

This is one of Rachmaninoff’s greatest pieces for solo piano. It is a dark and brooding monster of an etude. The texture is as dense as a piece can get without using your whole forearm to play. The real difficulty in this piece is allowing the long melodic lines to be brought out and phrased […]

Album Review: Scriabin – Nuances by Valentina Lisitsa

Valentina Lisitsa released an all-Scriabin album on Decca records titled “Scriabin – Nuances”.  I was drawn to purchase and review this album over about a dozen forthcoming solo piano albums released within the past month or so mainly because I was unfamiliar with much of the music on the album.  I have to admit, because of […]

A Wistful Farewell to Youth – Beethoven’s Tempest, Sonata Op. 31 No.2 III.

Pianist Louis Kentner referred to the final movement of Beethoven’s Tempest sonata as “A wistful farewell to youth”. This is an appropriate observation, especially considering the ending, which vaporizes and slips away without warning.  The feeling of youth in this work is expressed through a perpetuum mobile, a driving and persistent grouping of 16th-notes that barely ceases for […]

Brahms Rhapsody Op. 79, No. 1 in b minor

Did you know that Brahms was such a perfectionist that he destroyed many of his early works because he later found them inferior? He was also a proponent of absolute music, that is, music that doesn’t have any extramusical associations– music for the sake of music. This is my favorite Brahms piece for solo piano. […]

New Blog site

I’m changing to a full wordpress site and blog now. This is the new address for all my blog posts now. If you are interested in my earlier posts dating back to as early as 2007, it is still up here