September/October 2011

Volume 3, Number 5 Single Issue $9.95

September/October 2011
Published by the Frances Clark Center for Keyboard Pedagogy

4 Editor’s Page
A complete musician
Pete Jutras

10 A Liszt Odyssey: An interview with Alan Walker
by Helen Smith Tarchalski

6 Variations
Liszt at High Altitude
Barbara Kreader

8 Musings
What matters more: talent or effort?
Jane Magrath

16 Did the piano kill Liszt? An interview with Liszt’s great-granddaughter, Blandine Ollivier de Prévaux
as told to Elyse Mach

64 Questions & Answers
Louise L. Goss

22 The completion of De Profundis: Instrumental Psalm for Piano & Orchestra by Franz Liszt
by Michael Maxwell

30 Franz Liszt, the Teacher
by Sandra Soderlund

34 Jazz & Pop
It’s about time (we discuss rhythm)
Geoff Haydon

9 Poetry Corner 15 Humoresque 27 Poetry Corner 50 First Looks
50 Back-to-school reading 52 New music reviews 56 CD & DVD reviews

36 Music Reading
How do you help a college piano major with poor reading skills?
Craig Sale with Timothy Shafer and Sylvia Coats

42 Perspectives in Pedagogy
A review of The Robert Pace Keyboard Approach
Rebecca Grooms Johnson with Kathy Van Arsdale and Julie Lovison

58 News & Notes 59 Pupil Saver 60 Keyboard Kids’ Companion 62 Advertiser Index




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composing. and complete musician. performers. We’ve also seen many performer-teachers: Anton Rubinstein and Artur Schnabel come to mind. and composers. and we have much to do to live up to his model. Clara Schumann. In these outings Liszt continued to serve as sage. but their works have hardly had the impact or esteemed place in the repertoire as those of Liszt. Through this development students were able to collectively benefit from his “good days” and bask in all of his musical wisdom. both did dabble a bit in composition as well. bringing the worlds of opera. Liszt stands alone as a multifaceted. turning the piano to face the audience. in journeys. The creator Liszt’s compositions were equally groundbreaking. Liszt was devoted to the future of music. and gatherings at the local inn that would last well into the evening. the first prerequisite is the improvement of the human being. and lieder to the piano. In these classes. In an imagination exercise inspired by Liszt biographer Alan Walker. What Liszt had to offer his students would be considered absolutely priceless in any setting. One can only hope that this bicentennial year will help inspire more teachers. The pedagogue Liszt taught the world exceptional lessons about the efficiency of technique. “How can you separate them—they are all music!” 1 Walker. he established the role of the virtuosic hero. teacher. As the first president of the Royal Academy of Music in Hungary. Editor-in-Chief A complete musician he pages of this magazine are frequently filled with profiles of exceptional teachers. for classes were often conducted far away from the piano.”1 This completeness of being was evidenced in his relationship with his students. This fortunate writer would likely be tempted to ask. not just what happened to apply to one person and one piece at one hour of the week. forever changing the standards of our craft. of complete human being. Liszt once said. Liszt redefined the performance experience for the audience as well. With a technique unlike anyone before him. his students benefited from public training that steeled them for performance and developed their abilities to play for an audience.Columns Editor’s Page Pete Jutras. There is much we can learn from Liszt. While many of these figures did some teaching. Ithaca. A man always concerned with the big picture. and all composers to study piano: he advocated for a complete set of musical skills. all-around figure—a “triple crown” winner in a field where such a feat is exceedingly rare. Liszt required all pianists to study composition. yet Liszt welcomed all with open arms and never charged for his teaching. creating the masterclass. Liszt was the world’s greatest technician at the keyboard. 55. The performer We know of Liszt’s legendary achievements at the keyboard. and introducing the word “recital” into the lexicon. Liszt took the intimate and private one-to-one setting of music teaching and opened its doors to all. Reflections on Liszt. and composers to break out of the isolation of specialization and pursue a path of complete musicianship. but his contribution to the efficiency of teaching has also had a profound and indelible impact on music instruction the world over. (2010). but also in their 4 CLAVIER COMPANION SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2011 . mentor. composer. picnics. arouse. “Of performing. and he often admonished his students not to play so fast. and inspire musical citizens in promoting (in true Romantic spirit) the avant-garde. with skills most would not have believed possible had they not borne personal witness. composing. A. not only in their technical requirements. “For the formation of the artist. let’s envision a modern-day interviewer who magically has the opportunity to speak with Liszt. It was likely unthinkable to Liszt to separate performing. and understanding. p. He raised the bar and challenged other pianists to match it. He developed the tradition of transcription. In his composing and in his musical activities he strove to move the profession forward—to challenge. none of them can match Liszt’s legacy of students. We owe much to his work. To be fair. and Rachmaninoff to name a few. Beethoven. symphonies. and 200 years after his death he still stands as a primary model of performer. T approach to music. The countless hours Liszt spent practicing technique in his youth were a means towards the end of allowing that technique to become transparent and let the true music shine forth. and teaching. improvising. playing complete programs by memory. Our rich history has a great tradition of performercomposers: Bach. which one do you prefer the most?” I can only imagine Liszt staring at the interviewer in puzzlement saying. NY: Cornell University Press. In this issue we celebrate the bicentennial of a unique figure in our history—one who spent his life not just advancing but obliterating (and thus redefining) conventional wisdom in each of these musical arenas. yet he didn’t wish to speak of it in his teaching. Completeness Liszt was a complete musician. performers. and advisor to his students as they developed into well-rounded artists and citizens. Mozart. and everything he did was in service to the higher art.


Obsession. Many descriptions of Liszt’s piano playing depict him as a wildhaired showman. repaint that picture. she has given workshops in more than 200 cities in the United States. Distant thunder interrupts. My finger muscles twitch in sympathy with every note. bringing out the mania and pyrotechnics of Liszt’s music. élan. begins the coda again. and Asia. Beth Miller Harrod. such as Lang Lang. and. Other musicians—Alfred Brendel and Sviatoslav Richter come to mind— probe Liszt’s music in ways that reveal Bach’s influence and call forth Liszt’s spiritual side. Liszt at High Altitude I awake. I will sit outside her door —hour after hour— until afternoon’s thunderstorm begins. In my view. One of the coauthors of The Hal Leonard Student Piano Library. Wrong notes. Some pianists. warms her arthritic fingers in hot paraffin. such as Earl Wild. —Barbara Kreader Barbara Kreader has taught in her independent studio in Evanston. yes. play with a studied nonchalance that suggests it is possible to toss off Liszt’s passages of leaping octaves. Colorado. one chord at a time. My young ears burn with desire. and hair- Y turn runs while playing a round of golf at the same time. We are not to disturb our teacher.Variations Barbara Kreader Liszt at High Altitude ou have probably seen the cartoon: Bugs Bunny cracks the knuckles of his three fingers and proceeds to play Liszt’s Hungarian Rhapsody No. 2. taps out an elusive rhythm. a precursor of the likes of Mick Jagger. aware of the sound of our teacher practicing Liszt at 9. Rivulets of last night’s rain water wash a trail around rocks. Swirls of sun-warmed dust eddy around the disturbance of my steps toward the music. their blur of winged leaves marks the way to our teacher’s cabin. tamed. right notes. I dress while my campmates sleep. calm— a hymn-like tune— silence shimmers in the brilliance of a rising sun. since 1974. IL. fixed. practiced and performed this treacherous work. 6 CLAVIER COMPANION SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2011 . Trills. released. Australia. she received her M. During one of seven childhood summers in which I attended Rocky Ridge Music Center in Estes Park. slow. the United Kingdom. Suddenly. repeat. As a child I longed to perform this music the way Bugs did—with joy. Formerly the editor of Clavier magazine. Chords—forte. The mountain’s face grows bright. runs— broken. Yellow aspen beckon like Hermes. like a showoff. slippery sixths. providing the inspiration for the poem below. Jagged melody—rumbling bass—wild race of notes. notes grouped in rhythms. fortissimo— trace a harmonic path toward the religion of the fugue. Canada. A rush of octaves repeat. slower. repeat. Others.M. repeat. degree from Northwestern University. possession speak. who stops. our teacher.400 feet. double tempo. no Liszt composition combines his demonic and angelic sides better than his Sonata in B Minor.


who. While both groups were the same at the outset. Thomas grew to believe that there were things he was good at and things that he was not so good at.” We know exactly what that parent is saying—it seems that many children these days expect to be praised for common accomplishments in life.”4 Rather than being praised for their abilities. working hard. “You must have worked really hard. this one about Thomas. It is important to recognize the process—what is happening now—and in so doing. hands clasped. rather than excused.” “In preparing for this. Those given praise on their ability. Clearly. Carol Dweck cites one of her own research studies with hundreds of students. Individuals with a growth mindset.” rather than.] to accomplish this passage. The revival of interest in the United States in the standard classical piano teaching literature has been attributed in part to her work.” Some additional statements to encourage a growth mindset in piano students. In fact. “That worked well for this stage. they were recognized for doing what it took for them individually to succeed. “I am so proud of you. a response could be. has heard continually that he’s “so smart. “Congratulations on brushing your teeth!” One parent was looking adoringly at the child.3 People with a fixed mindset often spend their lives proving their perceived strengths and weaknesses to the world.. Jane Magrath was named the first recipient of the MTNA/Frances Clark Keyboard Pedagogy Award for the Outstanding Contribution to Piano Pedagogy. he preferred not to work hard at it. “You’re so talented”?) The other students were praised for their effort. when given the choice of taking one of two additional tests. usually chose the safer and easier test. They may avoid difficult challenges because failing could cause them to lose their appearance of intelligence. R Jane Magrath is Regents’ Professor and holds the Grant Endowed Chair in Piano Pedagogy at the University of Oklahoma. Those recognized for their efforts. generally chose the harder of the next two tests. and the student was well prepared for that point in time. Po Bronson and Ashley Merryman’s book NurtureShock begins with a similar story. not their talents or abilities. She has more than thirty-five volumes published with Alfred Publishing. once the praise was given.” SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2011 . What is it about your practice this week that helped you?” Suppose a student struggled with the double notes in a Chopin waltz in a lesson. while the other stated. Errors and failure are a part of growth and learning for everyone.. mostly early adolescents.” “I’m proud of you for figuring that out. “I just feel like we’re setting him up to be disappointed in the real world. and it suddenly helped? How can we do that with this passage?” What if the student accomplished something you asked of her the first week? It would be better to say.Musings Jane Magrath What matters more: talent or effort? ecently I saw a cartoon that showed two smiling parents watching their child as he brushed his teeth. We need to be careful to praise or recognize our students’ genuine efforts in their music study. It was the second lesson on the piece. Half of the students were told something like.. could be: “Your tenacity in doing such and such paid off by.” “I noticed your resourcefulness in practicing [this way.5 The implications are of great interest to music teachers. and her book The Pianist's Guide to Standard Teaching and Performance Literature has become a classic reference work for pianists throughout the country. What are some ways to turn what we say to a student into recognition rather than praise? Let’s say that a student just finished playing a Clementi sonatina movement.” (Have you ever told a piano student. and everyone received praise upon completion of the test. or a “growth mindset” where individuals believe that talent or intelligence can be developed.. to set students up to learn even more fully how to work at achieving even greater skills. Rather than automatically saying “good” at the end of the playing.2 Recent research by Dr.1 He had started on a path in life where he underestimated his abilities. generally unlikely to change throughout life. A banner was posted over the top of the bathroom mirror that said. How will children react then? Literature on childhood education today is addressing this very circumstance: that praising (and overpraising) children for their talents or their abilities may be counterproductive. And yet. your practice routine of doing so and so seemed to work for you. “You seem to really enjoy learning. and yet at some point the praise will not be so readily forthcoming. rather than tell them they are talented or smart or gifted. it pays to help children and parents involved with music lessons invest in a view of piano playing as something that can be developed and not something just for the very talented.” He even scored at the very top in an IQ test taken to enter kindergarten. they began to differ. they are hindered in developing their talents and abilities in life. rendered only when appropriate. Everyone in the study was given a nonverbal IQ test. when something new did not come so quickly to him. as Thomas progressed through school. where she was named Rothbaum Presidential Professor of Excellence in the Arts. We want to appreciate the hard work and efforts they are putting into learning a piece. 8 CLAVIER COMPANION believing that they can get better at whatever they try. Thus. You could recognize a prior effort that worked by saying. his father noticed that Thomas avoided trying new things unless he was positive that he would be successful at them. Carol Dweck at Stanford reveals that individuals generally possess one of two mindsets: a “fixed mindset” where people see talent and intelligence as static. ever since he could walk. and developing learning and practicing strategies that help them grow. spend their lives putting their efforts into learning. and they should be accepted as that. When a challenge came about for Thomas. “Remember when you practiced such and such piece doing so and so. and he avoided anything that he felt he was not good at. It was black or white for him. She has published numerous articles in keyboard journals and currently serves as an editor for the Piano Pedagogy Forum. Thus.. he would quickly give up. and with this “lack of perceived competence adopt[ed] lower standards for success and expect[ed] less” of himself. “You must be smart at this. not praised for their talent or intelligence.” “I like the way you keep working whether it is easy or hard. and told something like. afraid that he would appear to be unintelligent.

who attended her first gymnastic meet. be careful not to over-recognize common achievements. 5 Ibid. Pleading for miracles Will only sink deeper into the grey absence of love — An imploding abyss — A setting sun in a flat. Tell her she was robbed of a ribbon that was rightfully hers. Tell Elizabeth you thought she was the best. The twilight of Liszt contains The splendorous color of a transcendent rising sun — A future.S. prepared and confident. and does not focus on her. nothing motivates children more than competence. 180-181. Students need to understand that talent is not fixed. by Deborah Stipek and Kathy Seal (Henry Holt & Co. Hachette Book Group.. 6-7. Dweck asks. Dweck cites a story about nine-year-old Elizabeth. Especially significant. SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2011 CLAVIER COMPANION 9 . A. C. P. the more they will achieve. & Merryman. A DVD of Debussy Preludes (Book 2) and Suite bergamasque will be released later this year. The fourth tells her that her inborn talent and ability will help her to win next time.. p.What about errors or failures in music study? Clearly they are part of growth. the third teaches her to devalue the activity if she does not do well—not a message that should be sent. New York: Twelve.S. 71-72. NurtureShock: New Thinking About Children. her true level of accomplishment compared with the time (and years) she has put into gymnastics. She was devastated. M. Reconceived.. and tells her nothing of how to improve. Indiana) has performed and taught on four continents. The fifth option is actually the most truthful.7 In terms of recognizing effort in music students. emphasizing that the first four protect her from her failure. 2 Ibid. 4. Mindset: The New Psychology of Success. even if it seems to be helpful in the short run. (B.. 2001). 12. 4 Ibid.D. And ultimately. Tell her she has the ability and will surely win next time. 2. Editor The Twilight of Liszt The twilight of Liszt. Notes: 1 Bronson. pp. Contains a ciborium of transcendence. Souls depressed. Cofounder of the Amalfi Coast Music Festival and President of the American Liszt Society. p. Morning is not a miracle. that the more highquality effort they put into any activity. Volumes 2 and 3. Augmented. His CD releases include Liszt’s Années de pèlerinage (Italie). The first statement is not sincere. Engender a new day — A ciborium of gleaming grace — A morning of selfless dedication to higher purpose — A gleaming sunrise. pp.. Bereft of peace. and she was good at it. (2009). It can be dangerous for a parent or teacher to excuse or protect a child from a failure when it occurs. Thomas Mastroianni Thomas Mastroianni. Gymnastics was something that she loved. pp. Tell her she didn’t deserve to win.. Recognizing an achievement that is too small or easy leads to the student’s believing that the praise is undeserved. 181. Reassure her that gymnastics is not that important. A new key. S. and telling her that she’ll need to continue to work if she really wants to do this. but not well enough to win ribbons in any of them.. 72. and children (and their parents) can quickly learn this through music study at the hands of an aware teacher who values the process of student growth.. The second statement places the blame on others. learning. Random House. pp. Julliard. In fact. 8 The idea of competence as a motivator of children is discussed convincingly in the book Motivated Minds: Raising Children to Love Learning. and Mus. Mourning. 3 Dweck. 7 Ibid. draped in grey clouds. If this continues the student will ultimately stop believing the teacher.8 Poetry Corner Richard Zimdars.”6 Dweck explains the implications of making these statements. New York: Ballantine Books. Motionless cypress wrapped in minor modes. and can be stated in a subtle way with the child—by talking about feelings (disappointment). “What would you do if you were Elizabeth’s parents? 1. he is a recipient of the Medal of the Hungarian Liszt Society. 11-12.. Exploding with love. The relationship between effort and achievement is direct. and development for everyone. 5. she did well in all of the events she entered. He taught piano at Texas Tech University and The Catholic University of America. 3. but a transcendence Which alters depression’s dark inward pulsations and turns outward The imploding notes of mourning: These self-same notes in a new trajectory. Inverted. unrevolving world Devoid of sunrise. 6 Ibid. (2006).

SPECIAL LISZT ISSUE A Liszt Odyssey An interview with Alan Walker by Helen Smith Tarchalski 10 CLAVIER COMPANION SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2011 .

D. yet read like novels. Some of the pieces had never been broadcast before. and Washington. Budapest.. as well as musicological research and biographical writing. and anything connected with Liszt. Béla Siki. Among the many pianists with whom I worked. The second part of the job brought me into contact with performers from all over the world.Dr.” bestowed by the President of Hungary. and there were some that had not yet been commercially recorded. Rome. since my childhood. Walker’s works and observing their critical acclaim. Alan Walker shares some of his surprising discoveries and reflections that developed while in pursuit of the Liszt story. It was a daunting task. I had to provide upwards of ten thousand words a week for distribution among the BBC radio announcers—words about piano music. and lieder. and Valerie Tryon. and even in Liszt.000 published works exist featuring charismatic trailblazer Franz Liszt. Walker’s reference to his mammoth three-volume Liszt biography) have been honored by the Royal Philharmonic Society Book Award. but they also had to be written in such a way that the man on the street could readily understand them. The BBC in those days was enjoying a golden age. John Ogdon. Suddenly I found that I had become a biographer. the Yorkshire Post Music Book Award. In our interview.” Harold Schonberg wrote in The Wall Street Journal: “A conscientious scholar passionate about his subject. The pianists I engaged included Louis Kentner. and sometimes wrenchingly moving. Walker has been recognized through many awards for his distinctive contributions to Liszt scholarship. I could not keep up the endless round of writing radio scripts and meeting CLAVIER COMPANION 11 . And among the violinists I most enjoyed meeting was Yehudi Menhuin. But these enthusiastic endorsements are no surprise to any reader familiar with Dr. Walker actively discourages references to himself as “the world ’s leading authority on Franz Liszt. His research and writing style result in books that serve as the most authoritative musicological documents. but I rose to the challenge and improved on the job. Walker’s work. These three volumes will be the definitive work to which all subsequent Liszt biographies will aspire. I had no idea at the time how far it would lead me.” Rarely does a scholarly writer elicit such consistent praise from mainstream media. Walker makes the man and his age come to life. Paris. “The Volumes” (Dr.” The Washington Post said that the third volume is an “unquestionable landmark” and “meticulously detailed. But readers can draw their own conclusions by examining Dr. and to engage artists for national broadcasting and help them plan their programmes. It was only when all the programmes were ready and scripts had to be provided for the radio announcers to read at the microphone that I realized there was almost no information available about some of this music. But then you resigned from the BBC and entered academia. I had just produced a long series of Liszt piano recitals for BBC radio containing a lot of his unfamiliar pieces. Walker’s own story provides insight into the life of a successful researcher and internationally renowned biographer as he describes his travels to Weimar. Nuages gris.C. Dr.” The New York Times called his extensive research “incredible. It was like being a member of an elite music conservatory. do the research. But biographer Alan Walker sets a new standard for Liszt scholarship. and the Medal “Pro Cultura Hungarica. What set you on the path to chronicle Liszt’s life and work in such depth? I had been interested in the piano. including the Commemorative Plaque of the Budapest Liszt Society and the American Liszt Society. I was thirty-one years old. It all happened by default. I had two secretaries and access to a formidable archive of material which was kept in old. during every single day of the long life of that genius. and in retrospect I think I was unfitted for such a responsible position. One just sat in the studio and the whole world of music passed through.. the Apparitions. TIME magazine remarked that his work is “. of course. open files on dozens of feet of shelving. What prompted this decision? After ten years I had started to suffer from burnout. Arthur Rubinstein and Wilhelm Backhaus stand out as the most interesting. That was in the 1960s. David Wilde. and write the scripts myself. The first part of the job taught me the essential difference between the spoken and the written word.” claiming that such a description is absurd.. So I had to roll up my sleeves. Shura Cherkassky. Walker seems to know everything about Liszt. orchestral and choral music. Dr. Mr. But it was not until I became a music producer at the BBC in London that I realized there was no reliable biography of Liszt in the English language. My job there was twofold: to write “presentation notes” for the radio announcers to read for the famous (and now defunct) Third Programme music broadcasts. please tell us more about your time at the BBC and how your work there evolved into the process of becoming a biographer. passionately argued. These scripts had to be musicologically exact. SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2011 Before we discuss your work and thoughts as a leading authority on Franz Liszt. The programmes were occasionally esoteric and featured such rarities as the second Mephisto Waltz. and it helped to sharpen my communication skills.. and Unstern!.ore than 20. Being placed in charge of the BBC’s Music Presentation Unit was an exacting challenge. M Alan Walker producing a Liszt lieder recital in the BBC’s Maida Vale studios.a textured portrait of Liszt and his times without rival. 1968. It was during my time at the BBC that I became a writer.

it makes me feel that I may have rushed things. who was in charge of the Goethe-Schiller Archive at that time. but is this enough? Does the rest of the world really accept his national origin? It does not really matter what the rest of the world accepts. including István Széchenyi. including lost luggage. Sebastian. the mind boggles. without the imposition of deadlines. some scholars have questioned whether Liszt was a genuine Hungarian. and after three days with no change of clothing.” You must visit the places you write about. One of them came up to me as I was leaving. from the cradle to the grave. Karl-Heinz Hahn. 12 CLAVIER COMPANION .” In your recently published memoirs1 you describe your first visit to Weimar in the 1970s. so I took the opportunity to make some notes about the thirty or so lead coffins that had been pushed into the shadows. One of the best pieces of advice I ever received came at the end of that meeting. Do you have any photographs? Alas. he left a paper-trail across Europe.” I have never forgotten that comment. I still recall the look on his face as he greeted me that first morning. In those days Hungarian scholars were not allowed to travel to the West. deadlines. Liszt was a non-stop traveler. Georg. and always feel completely at home there. particularly with regards to Hungarian sources. I have meanwhile been to Hungary more than thirty times. I need not have worried. his grandfather. and visitors to East Germany. and on special occasions he wore national costume. I had no idea how long I might remain incarcerated there. He was also born in a part of the country that was later ceded to Austria. complete with epaulettes. and said: “Do not forget that it takes a life to study a life. And that is how I presented myself to Professor Dr. He probably thought that this was regulation dress for all “field-workers” from North America. and Veronika Vavrinecz. And if you go to the Stadtfriedhof you can hardly avoid going to the Royal Burial Vault. So you set out on your travels to research and tell the full story of Liszt’s life. Munich 1869. where the coffins of Goethe and Schiller are on permanent display. was born on Hungarian soil. A tombstone can sometimes convey more information about the dearly departed than a book. Mária Eckhardt. My first stop was Hungary. because I obviously finished well before my life ran out. especially in a small town like Weimar. It is the best way to bring your prose to life. I am sorry about that because if they existed they would serve as a reality check on your runaway imagination. But so did tens of thousands of other Hungarians who were brought up in the Western part of Hungary. were not all that common. was born on Hungarian soil. They were more than willing to share the results of their research with me. becoming soaked during a downpour when you arrived. which Liszt lacked. Your biography highlights many aspects of his Hungarian background. that is true. was born on Hungarian soil. Liszt always identified himself with Hungarian causes. He lived most of his life away from Hungary. He once wrote: “Despite my lamentable ignorance of the Hungarian language. When you write a biography it is useful to know where the bodies are buried. I still recall going to the Institute of Musicology in Budapest in order to have a preliminary meeting with some of the country’s leading Liszt experts—including Dezsö Legány. This saved me months of labour. his father Adam. I was not sure how my plan to write a three-volume biography of Liszt might be received. incidentally. Even though I was to spend twenty-five years bringing the three volumes to fruition. These coffins contained the remains of the grand dukes of Weimar and their offSEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2011 Photograph by Franz Hanfstaengel. ending up being temporarily fitted in the only clothes you could find close to your size: an ill-fitting boy scout’s uniform. We must speak the truth. Nonetheless.As you know. Liszt’s great-grandfather. What more is required to be a Hungarian? Evidently it is the ability to speak the Hungarian language. Moreover. Tell us about being locked in the burial vault of Goethe and Schiller. and Liszt himself was born on Hungarian soil. At the end of a long afternoon. You have to understand that this was during the darkest days of the Cold War. László Eösze. Let us not forget that even some of the leaders of the Hungarian nation could not speak Hungarian. It haunts me still. and that was a real hindrance to their work. We chatted for more than an hour. and he spent many years as a resident of both France and Germany. which in the nineteenth century was mainly German-speaking. and the various adventures that you experienced there. I remain Magyar in heart and mind. I have always been grateful to them for that. Yes. So I had to pack my suitcases and follow his footsteps as best I could. So I went. contemplating the coffins of Germany’s two greatest men of letters. So I resigned and accepted an offer from McMaster University in Canada to become Chairman of the Music Department there. no. My new job gave me an opportunity to do research. the woman in charge of the tourist shop above the vault closed the entrance door and left without realizing that I was still below. A visit to Weimar’s Stadtfriedhof is therefore essential for the Liszt biographer because so many members of his extended circle slumber there. Where did you conduct your research? How long was your journey as Liszt’s biographer? I have always believed in the “geography of biography.

You have indicated that more than 20. tion from Grove’s came through. Surrounded by dead bodies. Fleischer. He saw very little of her when she and the other children were young because for eight years he was constantly on the road. what makes you suppose that the Schmalhausen diary is true? The main details can be independently confirmed through the diaries and letters of other pupils who were present in Bayreuth at the time of Liszt ’s death. I believe. The account left by Bernhard Schnappauf. and when I did not turn up. After your three-volume biography of Liszt. Some German friends had expected me for dinner. Why was there a delay in the case of Liszt? There is no ready answer to that question.000-word entry very quickly—in the summer of 1996. pamphlets. Liszt was already in the twilight of his life but no one had published an official biography of him.” A close reading of Schmalhausen’s diary leads to the conclusion that Landgraf and his colleague Dr. Wagner’s factotum and the local barber-surgeon. The many publicity puffs. and they have poisoned the chalice from which Liszt’s modern biographers continue to drink. brought out in a hurry. Because of Liszt’s fame as a touring pianist in his younger years. There may be no way to prove that Cosima’s neglect of Liszt during his last few days was influenced by any of this. Yet biographies of his great contemporaries Schumann and Chopin had already appeared. formative years. pursuing his career as a concert pianist. Cosima’s later relationship with Liszt was certainly not helped when she abandoned her first husband Hans von Bülow (her father’s favourite pupil) and ran off with Richard Wagner (her father’s best friend). You have reported that Lina Schmalhausen was infatuated with Liszt. brought in from nearby Erlangen. you published the diary of Liszt’s student Lina Schmalhausen. both Liszt pupils who were in Bayreuth at the time. with Liszt’s responses. which occurred a couple of hours later. Yet they are very important. You will not find a word about them in the earlier Grove’s article on Liszt. He became the victim of medical malpractice at the hands of Dr. Cosima’s relationship with her father had been ambivalent since her childhood. It was serendipity. Karl Landgraf. I acquired much valuable information while awaiting my release. they raised the alarm. How could one composer exercise such strong allure? That number of 20.” Liszt died from a coronary thrombosis. and disliked her. in many languages. I describe Liszt’s songs as a “missing link” between Schumann and Mahler. but the background is compelling. it was necessary to generate instant information about him in order to pacify the demands of the crowd. whom Cosima had brought in to treat her dying father. have appeared across the last century or so devoted to Franz Liszt—probably more than any composer in history—and many of them contradict one another. One omission I wanted to remedy in this new entry on Liszt was to provide some commentary on his songs. supports Lina’s graphic descriptions and even adds detail to them. Do you believe the memory of that rift influenced her children’s and her own alleged ill-treatment of Liszt? Why do you describe it as “alleged?” The diary makes clear the atmosphere of neglect and disregard for his welfare that Liszt suffered at the hands of his daughter Cosima and her children. Liszt broke off all connections with the pair for five years. For the rest. although in the year of his death such a condition was unknown to the medical profession. You had completed two of the three volumes of your landmark Liszt biography when you were invited to write for the most recent edition of The New Grove Dictionar y of Music and Musicians. left descriptions as well.000 publications may be an understatement. and when the invitaSEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2011 A page from Lina Ramann’s biographical questionnaires. During his lifetime a Niagara of ink was spilled in this way. A heart attack was usually described as a “seizure. Schmalhausen was not wrong to describe Landgraf as “the bungler of Bayreuth. and that members of Liszt’s inner circle were suspicious of her. Arthur Friedheim and William Dayas. What elements did you feel were most important to update and add? Did you discover any new information as you prepared the 2001 updated entry on Liszt? Actually I had finished all three volumes.000 publications. I wrote the 25. and short biographies. It was Princess CLAVIER COMPANION 13 . which helped to pay for their support and for their private education. Also. And much of it turned out to be false. The diary revealed the remnants of a serious rift between the composer and his daughter Cosima. may have hastened Liszt’s death by clumsily injecting morphine (or more likely camphor) directly into the heart instead of just beneath the surface of the skin. In light of her obvious prejudices. His last ten days in Bayreuth were terrible. who was present at the time of his death in Bayreuth. I expanded on Liszt’s activities during his earlier.spring going back three generations. the Wagner family physician. went on repeating the same mistakes.

Until this music had been absorbed public itself what is good for it. in which the Word was sacrosanct. Why did his music Of Liszt’s vast catalogue of 1. Ramann’s biography created many problems for Liszt and for future scholars. and arranged for Lina Ramann to write her three-volume biography of him. Her text is filled with confusion and error. Schoenberg. The music of Bartók. Imagine the harm that such views could do to a free-spirited musician like Liszt. est. She had already written articles about Liszt ’s music. The critics came to regard the Urtext as a kind of musical bible. and all the things that musicology brought in its train—especially its insistence on “historically informed” performances and the evangelical fervour with which it pressed the case for Urtexts. music magazines. I believe that is so. and Webern suspicion of the experts.400 compolose ground with scholars? sitions or so. Ramann was a piano teacher who ran a music school in Nuremberg. had ceased to be ‘contemporary. the paraphrase. 14 CLAVIER COMPANION SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2011 . with festivals. mark precisely by reacting against RomanWidespread popularity generally arouses the ticism. it does not reverence the sonic surface of the original. Liszt’s partner. unveiled in 1902. are preserved in the Goethe-Schiller Archive in Weimar. and the teacher. Carolyne was constantly meddling in the project. but she simply ignored many of his answers. sculpted by Hermann Hahn and dominated by composers who had made their Tchaikovsky. with spaces left beneath for Liszt’s replies. We cisely because he remained popular with the The Liszt Denkmal in Weimar’s Goethe must not forget that the twentieth century was man on the street. It was only after World War II music. the unchallenged master of the arrangement. Having said that. the composer. What makes this all the more astonishing is that Liszt responded to Ramann’s questionnaires with remarkable honesty. nearly half are arrangements The Romantic movement itself lost ground either of his own or of other composers’ with scholars. Could the sheer technical prowess required to perform much of Liszt’s music have contributed to his work being misunderstood and underappreciated for many years? But there was surely more to it than that. and the transcription! Music such as this came to be regarded as second-class.Liszt after his death had much to do with the rise of musicology. even when his replies did not always put him in the best light. in which every note was preserved. Liszt sufrecordings devoted to the nineteenth century fered at the hands of the musicologists prespringing up all over the civilized world. in which the “sonic surface” of the music was captured exactly as the composer himself had heard it. whose self-imposed role as the arbiters of was very much the fashion. Her handwritten questions. tributions of Liszt the performer. along with Chopin. and other Romantics. chameleon-like. after all. and their cerebral approach to compotaste deludes them into thinking that they know better than the sition appealed to academics. defying us to say where History acknowledges the irrefutable conmusic’s true identity is to be found. and Finally (and this has to be said). so Carolyne thought she was sufficiently qualified. donning the most far-flung acoustical disguises. Stravinsky.’ it was difficult to see the Romantic period in proper perspective. I think that the mantle of neglect that settled over Carolyne. is guilty on all counts. That alone was enough to marginalize that we experienced a vigorous revival of interhim. who perceived the injustice of it. The arrangement. by history. giving Ramann a difficult time. it flits about. Because Liszt’s music nearly always contains There was. It changes notation with impunity. Park.

some technical challenge. Dr. The Hungarian Quarterly. performing. or composing might he address? What should modern day musicians learn from studying the life of Liszt? Which aspects of Liszt’s music are especially valued in our time? 1 Alan Walker (2011). There are some composers who can survive the worst playing. No matter how terrible the performance. Walker addresses the following questions: How has Liszt’s reception evolved since his death? If Liszt were living today. Liszt’s music is not performer-proof. A Biographer’s Journey. what aspects of teaching. SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2011 CLAVIER COMPANION 15 . pp. Liszt composed with the outlook of a player and he played with the insight of a composer. Where have all the Swiss watchmakers gone? Where are all the pianists who know how to bring out the nuances of Liszt’s keyboard music? We are today surrounded by fully paid-up members of the Woodchopper School of Piano Playing. and we say: “What a poor composer!” The sins of the player are visited on Liszt the composer in a way that makes him almost unique. those who feel that their work is accomplished only if they play Liszt fast and loud. whose chief purpose seems to be to drive the piano through the floorboards. He is very much at the mercy of the player. And the fact is. No. 202. and No. But not with Liszt. Editor’s Note: Please join us in the next issue (November-December 2011) for Part II of our interview with Alan Walker. 201. And I think I know why. 45-69. How often have we left a Chopin recital that has gone badly. and we say: “What a poor player!” And how often have we left a Liszt recital that has gone badly. pp. the value of their music continues to shine through. 13-34. it tends to attract players of the wrong type. He was always the best interpreter of his own music.

Chair of the Music Department. Elyse Mach. From left: Dean Randolph Hudson. Marnie Fournier. 16 CLAVIER COMPANION SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2011 . Seated in foreground is Dr. Richard Wenzlaff. Mme de Prévaux.SPECIAL LISZT ISSUE Did the piano kill Liszt? An interview with Liszt’s great-granddaughter Blandine Ollivier de Prévaux as told to Elyse Mach Elyse Mach interviews Madame Blandine de Prévaux at Northeastern Illinois University in Chicago. October 1970.

For one thing. and Daniel. who was my father. followed our initial meeting. I shall look forward to the day when I become a great-grandmother. For. I also came to visit my good friends. From left: the time. I came to attend the American Liszt Festival (October. indeed. You know that Liszt was once asked to visit the United States. saying that he was too old. for instance. There was remarkable direction and organization of the festival. This is your first visit to the United States. and now I have four grandchildren—all girls. Although it was of tremendous interest to hear stoYou spoke of publishing some correspondence. Seventy-six at excellent. Daniel Ollivier (1862-1941). Wagner. In the days which Weltburger of Goethe. Claude and Daniella. and my mother. I am here regarding the publication of various correspondences. They had a son. In fact. I dices in life and in art. I was married to a French naval officer who was in the Resistance Movement during World War II and was shot by the Germans in 1944. CLAVIER COMPANION he following interview took place in 1970 and was originally published in Clavier.T What was your impression of the American Liszt Festival? I must say I was quite impressed. is it not? Yes. and daughter of the famous composer Franz Liszt and I had the feeling that Liszt would have been happy in Cosima. He had been a deeply religious man After corresponding with Madame de Prévaux by all his life. And then. three children were born: Blandine. 17 . the Countess Marie d’Agoult. who was the prime minister to Napoleon III. and This was one of the first remarks made by Madame Blandine Ollivier de Prévaux upon our meeting at the quality of the performances and lectures was The children of Liszt and the American Liszt Festival in 1970. Daniel Ollivier. she seemed to transmit the same perMarie d’Agoult from 1835 to 1848. Marie d’Agoult. Would you ries about Liszt and other great musical figures. Madame Prévaux was the great-grandThe accent was put on religious works of Liszt and Blandine. Cosima. She in turn married Emile Ollivier (1825-1913). Daniel. relatives. the first born. what is your relationship to Franz Liszt? My great-grandparents were Franz Liszt (1811-1886) and the Countess Marie d’Agoult (1805-1876). Blandine Liszt (1835-1862). Edward Waters (Professor Waters is with the Music Department of the Library of Congress in Washington. He really was a man without any prejutelephone and through exchange of letters for nearly two years. We had two daughters. delighted to meet her in person. was a lawyer. What about your own family? My father. Now I’m making my first visit at age seventy-six and am looking forward to returning again. He thought Anton Rubinstein should go in his place. was my grandmother. What was your purpose in visiting the United States? There were really several reasons for my visit to the United States. it is. Clavier Companion is pleased to reprint this interview with revised and updated notes. of course. this atmosphere. the touching correspondence with Countess hands and vivacious smile. came from a family of bankers. the former Cathérine du Bouchage. These love letters are among sonal warmth and effervescent manner attributed to her greatthe most beautiful of the French Romantic period. 1970). D. it was equally fascinating to learn of Madame de Prévaux’s pupils. and Mrs. The valuable recollections and thoughts from a direct descendant of Liszt along with firsthand accounts from her father and grandfather make this a fascinating story—one worth reading forty years later.C.1 Madame de Prévaux. for the entire “It was the piano that killed Liszt!” atmosphere of the festival was very beautiful. letters numbering in the thouown experiences and accomplishments. we discussed many aspects of Liszt’s life and works. with her gesticulating sands.). but declined. Another beautigrandfather. From this liason. he might be described as the real was. loves. Mr. My journey to Washington involved looking through and studying various Liszt manuscripts in the Library of Congress. ful correspondence is the lifetime exchange between Wagner and Liszt. such as Richard elaborate on this? There is so much correspondence between Liszt and his friends. and so forth.

You know people just do not have that type of personal communication today. the princess was able to cross the border before the czar’s orders to restrain her were received by the guards. yes. whereupon Liszt sat down and gave an impromptu concert for the gathered crowd. For example. and they came into their parents’ lives when they were already brought up. And when he was a child. When he was young he earned much money with his concert tours. he taught for years and never accepted any payment whatsoever.) My father never lived with him. My grandfather recalled that Liszt could not walk down the street without people gathering about him. of course. obscured by the cigars she smoked without end. He was really quite social. There were so many well wishers at the railroad station that a piano was brought and placed on the station platform. Liszt especially enjoyed discussing art and politics. The princess was very effective in this way. The Gypsy in Music. was the birthplace of Daniel Ollivier. Liszt didn’t teach only piano—he taught organ.000 serfs working on those estates? Now that we’ve discussed one of the most important women in the life of Liszt. From what my father related. died in 1862 at the age of twenty-six). Liszt was an exception in the lives of society in those times in that he personally supervised carefully the upbringing of the children. but when he was older he became very poor. Tropez. She died several weeks after completing the final volume. We had one or two of the volumes in our family. With that move she gave up many of her estates in Russia. Luckily. She did sacrifice a great deal to be with Liszt. Tropez. She attempted to keep Liszt isolated from many of his friends. The Princess Carolyne zu like all other visitors. what about the other. and Wagner had little use for her. composition. room until all the fresh air he might have brought into the house was consumed. but later on couldn’t remember where. Liszt was not very fond of taking walks or of the outdoors. even those Liszt wrote at a young age. or in Paris. are still unpublished. My father often talked about how surprised he was when he visited his famous grandfather and they traveled in third-class style and dined in the cheapest hotels. The letters survived because Liszt was famous at a young age and his heirs knew that someday the letters would be of value and so they saved them.2 Why was there such a tremendous amount of correspondence? Probably since people didn’t see each other as much as they do now. Emile Ollivier. And. He was obliged. What recollections did your father and grandfather relate to you about Liszt? My father and grandfather both spoke of the numerous visits with Liszt. Liszt’s daughter. one next to each bust. Since the czar would not allow her to leave the country. The busts and the lights were strewn all about the room. My grandfather told me a story of a time when Liszt was about to leave on a concert tour. Ah. in later years. it was necessary for her to flee from Russia to be with Liszt. Liszt would not have written down much of his most beautiful music. but she was a terribly possessive and prejudiced woman. You know. She was the one who managed to make him sit down and put it all on paper. when he was about seventeen or eighteen. My father visited Liszt at intervals either in Bayreuth. His impact on people was so great that one might say he was the originator of the star system which in our present times rules over the world. There are a number of stories about how rich everyone always thought Liszt was.Of especial interest are the letters written to his daughters. In fact. Liszt and he were always great friends. An edited version of those books really should be made. did she not? Yes. in Rome. During the war we asked the gardener to hide them along with other articles. always surrounded by an army of people of all kinds. It seems strange that so very many letters are still in existence. she worked over twenty years on those volumes and during this time she had a private publishing firm working for her exclusively. yes. The princess would sometimes handle other correspondences for him. Liszt held Wagner in highest esteem and would never allow Princess Carolyne to interfere in their correspondence. (St. He gave away whatever he had. but considered her rather eccentric! The princess wrote some twenty-four volumes on Catholicism. Liszt frequently visited him in St. though. In her study were fourteen busts of Liszt. He liked society life and was. None of the Cosima letters has ever been published in its entirety. the majority of which are still unpublished. The children were given a brilliant education by the best masters and governesses. And what has become of them? Absolutely nothing. 18 CLAVIER COMPANION Liszt was a tremendously generous man. she wrote a number of chapters in his book. people in those days didn’t occupy themselves with their children’s lives as much as they do now. so now they are lost. she despised Wagner.4 How important a role do you think Princess Carolyne played in the life of Liszt? If it were not for the princess. and even the harp! Did your father have any communication with the Princess Carolyne Sayn-Wittgenstein?3 Yes. He was mobbed wherever he went and really had no privacy whatsoever. Even when my grandfather remarried (Blandine. to wait in an outer Sayn-Wittgenstein. the entire day would be spent in amiable conversation. Did your father and/or grandfather spend much time with Liszt? Oh. At that time in history such a phenomenon was practically unknown. Liszt and he remained ardent friends. namely the Countess Marie d’Agoult? From what my grandfather told me. who was his godmother. Anna Liszt. In fact. France. and his mother’s burial place. conducting. The czar frowned upon the relationship of the princess with a mere Hungarian musician. though. and his only son. Daniel Liszt. commemorating the fourteen years of their mutual love. As for my grandfather. Blandine Ollivier and Cosima Wagner. He did. the letters to Cosima and Daniel and most of those addressed to his own mother. Did you know that she had over 30. He thought that the princess was a fine godmother. and fourteen sanctuary lights. For instance. On those occasions. she was a brilliant woman SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2011 . my father told me about a visit he made to Princess Carolyne.

She wrote a number of books. writers. if any. he would have achieved the fame of his father for he possessed all of the same talents. her masterpiece being The French Revolution of 1848. and on with my grandchildren. I was an only child who grew up in a society of politicians and artists—in a cultivated. but he discouraged them from entering into such a life. but my father discouraged me from pursuing a concert career since he said I would have too much of a legend to live up to. particularly mathematics. and political men of the times. and the Études d ’exécution transcendante d ’après SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2011 CLAVIER COMPANION 19 . What music of Liszt’s did you enjoy playing the most? I especially liked the L’enjeune . Not only was he an excellent pianist. and one of the founders of the Republican Party of France. which even today might be considered one of the best accounts on the subject. It seems natural at this point of the conversation to ask if you have any comment on Liszt’s love life. I think he was credited with more adventures than he probably really had. four to five hours daily. Madame de Prévaux? One could say that I had the normal life of a child in France. practically to the last day of his life. What person. And what about the musical studies of your own children and grandchildren? They studied piano as any child studies piano. Of the Liszt family. That is because of the governess. he was offered the French nationality because of his numerous achievements. Weineglugenen.) Our governess stayed with my children. At twelve. but he excelled in all other areas. Madame de Prévaux speaks German and Italian fluently. His love life was intense and continued to the end of his life. Anna. We had an English governess and so learned the language from her at the age of two. He lived for him and probably understood him better than anybody else.who had become a celebrated journalist. Although Daniel was Hungarian by birth. What about your own life. artistic family. They were mostly cared for by Liszt’s mother. who would you say has followed most closely in the footsteps of Liszt? His son. (In addition to French and English. It is little known that all three of Liszt’s children were exceptionally fine pianists. I studied with Alfred Cortot at the Paris Conservatory. Daniel. but of course he was a unique phenomenon in all features. Daniel was exceptionally brilliant. during my childhood I began to study piano—I believe it was at the age of four. At nineteen he had already won all kinds of honors. She remained with us until her death several years ago. I remember practicing like a professional. We’ve been speaking primarily of events in Liszt’s life up to now. Marie’s life was so involved in these activities that she actually did not raise the children born of the Liszt relationship.5 If Daniel had lived. the Sonata in B Minor. and so gave as much time and strength to him as possible. political writer. and later by Princess Carolyne. You speak such fluent English. She had one of the great salons in Paris where she received the most brilliant artists. To continue. did Liszt admire most? He worshipped Wagner.

and interviewed Chamberlain. And your aspirations for the music of Liszt? That with the return of the spirit of the Romantic Period. I did some interviews for a newspaper in Paris. many have been totally neglected.Paganini. many of his works.S. I understand that you have also engaged in some writing. The great performers age the best because of the discipline they have. principally. I am hoping to return to Paris and continue efforts at setting Liszt’s correspondence in order. I met Hitler through the Wagner family. along with translating some of Wagner’s letters from German to English. Tropez. they contain as much beauty 20 CLAVIER COMPANION SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2011 . dedicated to Daniella von Bülow. or “Christmas Tree Suite” (1874). Bach). should have the same attention as the Schumann Kinderscenen since it has the same charm. The work most performed in Europe is the Messe de Gran (1855). During the thirties. Hitler looked and spoke like such an ordinary man. I hope that they may become as popular as many of his piano works. His religious music. among the deepest and finest of those which have been ignored by the public. He was reported to have been very fond of Wagner’s music. which is located in the south of France. the Weinachtsbaum . With the frantic pace of your busy schedule these past days how do you manage to do it all? By having a great curiosity—for this is what keeps people young. the Cristus Oratorio (1866). Liszt’s granddaughter and Cosima von Bülow’s daughter. I wrote some books on the youth movement in Italy during Mussolini’s reign and on Liszt. and others. but then he emitted an entirely different impression to those who saw and heard him speak in formal settings. but those works so beautiful and so rarely performed include the Via Crucis (1878). and the Weinen. will become known. Klagen. the Légendes. Mussolini. overlooking the Seine. As far as the Lieder are concerned. Zagen (a prelude after J. Among the piano compositions. And what about age? You must say your age when you are under thirty and over seventy—that way you enjoy it all the more! What are your hopes for music in the future? I hope that the return to the eternal values of the Romantic Period will confirm itself. or perhaps it may have been the power that the music represented which impressed him so much. Sorgen.6 As for the organ works. You seem to have a tremendous amount of vitality. Hitler. which is on the right bank of Paris. What about your life at present? Today I enjoy living in my apartment. It was difficult to believe he wielded so much authority. Some months are also spent at my country home in St. I also enjoyed playing the Années de pèlerinage. and the numerous Psalms. has been neglected. Yes.

She was most recently honored with receiving the Silver Medal of The American Liszt Society. Only certain individual letters have appeared in that language. what did you mean when you remarked that the piano killed Liszt? What I meant was that for so many years no one could admit that the greatest pianist of all time could also be a creator of music. to be sure. which is the highest honour that can be bestowed by the Society. We only hear Les Préludes (1848). Ph. 5 Daniel Liszt died of tuberculosis at the age of twenty. in recognition of her scholarly contributions to the life and work of Franz Liszt.” Perhaps with the return of the spirit of the Romantic Period. Brommel Distinguished Research Professor and professor of music at Northeastern Illinois University. Used with permission. It had originally belonged to the personal library of Cardinal Gustav von Hohenlohe. including Great Contemporary Pianists Speak for Themselves (Dover Publishers) and Contemporary Class Piano. He was killed by the piano because he was so overshadowed by the terrible prestige of being the greatest pianist in the world. Elyse Mach (Northwestern University.C. Du Bist wie eine Blume.D. And lastly. though a number of these letters have appeared in various publications. Die drei Zigeuner. No one would accept the fact that the greatest pianist could also rank as a great composer. SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2011 CLAVIER COMPANION 21 . She has written ten books on the piano and pianists. “I can wait. D. he need wait no longer! Our correspondence continued until a short time before Mme. 6 Via Crucis has received numerous performances in recent years. and Enfant. This is Liszt’s masterpiece. Notes: 1 The complete Liszt-d’Agoult correspondence has never been published in English. Did not some of his music in the last period foreshadow techniques utilized by Debussy and Stravinsky? It is also in the last years of his life that he was known to remark. Original interview ©1971 The Instrumentalist Publishing Co. They acquired it in 1965. My favorite ones are Die Loreley. Fond memories remain. de Prévaux’s death in 1981. Now tell me. The Faust Symphony (1854) is not included in the list of twelve symphonic poems. 2 The correspondence of Liszt with his children and the children with one another has never been published in full. more of the twelve symphonic poems for orchestra should be performed. It was my privilege and certainly a pleasure to have known this elegant and charming lady. 4 A complete set of Des causes intérieures de la faiblesse extérieure de l’Église is in the Library of Congress in Washington. Seventh Edition (Oxford University Press). Liszt always had foresight. 3 Princess Carolyne zu Sayn-Wittgenstein was Liszt’s mistress from 1848 to 1862. where she coordinates the piano and piano pedagogy programs. Madame de Pré the Schubert and Schumann Lieder. Of course. The Liszt-Wagner correspondence appeared in an English translation by Francis Hueffer as long ago as 1897. Bernard J. si j’etais roi. but unfortunately it is too rarely performed.) is Board of Governors Distinguished Professor.

L’Abbé Felicité de Lamennais Lamennais was a philosopher as well as a religious and social thinker who had a considerable influence on Liszt’s own philosophy and life at that time. After being introduced to his wife. after a preliminary study of the score. having sought out the company of the renegade cleric L’Abbé Felicité de Lamennais. I became convinced that its completion was indeed a viable. if admittedly difficult. brought him national prominence. a brief analysis of the piece and its direct association with other Liszt masterpieces. she informed me that she had a copy of an unfinished Liszt piano concerto back in their Manhattan apartment (having managed to procure a copy from the Goethe and Schiller Archive in Weimar). Philip performing!). including my newly composed ending. and Liszt’s approach to composing and orchestrating at this early stage of his prolific career. structural and programmatic aspects of the music. and the score remained almost forgotten in New York. with their bold political liberalism. Alas. Its platform was simple: separation of church and state and their respective principles. a controversial newspaper championing social reform. however. which soon became a Mecca for many young followers of his philosophies and tenets. Having read and thoroughly SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2011 22 CLAVIER COMPANION . While attending a Christmas party in Eastern Canada in December 1988. of course. Lamennais’ polemical writings. Still. funds did not avail themselves. Lamennais did not recant. This controversial publication caused such an upheaval that Lamennais was suspended from the church and faced a judicial tribunal. He attempted to reason with Pope Gregory XVI. Armed with his blessing and wholehearted encouragement.SPECIAL LISZT ISSUE The completion of De Profundis: Instrumental Psalm for Piano & Orchestra by Franz Liszt by Michael Maxwell he instrumental psalm De Profundis for piano & orchestra by Franz Liszt (Raabe: 668. I. pianist Philip Thomson. She was hoping to record a completed version as a featured part in her documentary film commemorating the 100th anniversary of Liszt’s death in 1986 (with. I met up with my good friend and colleague. but he was not excommunicated as many erroneously believe. he founded L’Avenir. Tricia Hammann (a New York filmmaker). He inherited his grandfather’s country manor (the aforementioned La Chênaie. my completion quest had begun! I trust the following pages will enlighten the reader by providing a brief background surrounding De Profundis’s curious past. though virtually complete manuscript held by the Goethe and Schiller Archive in Weimar. De Profundis came to my attention quite by happenstance. in Brittany). the film was left incomplete. an T understanding of my completion process. and received nothing but condemnation. in Brittany. Upon returning to France. Searle: 691) is an unfinished. I consulted with world-renowned Liszt scholar Alan Walker about my intentions. he crafted another literary assault on the Vatican in his wonderfully written Paroles d ’un croyant (1834). prospect. He simply never reconciled with Rome. In 1830. It was composed during the late summer of 1834 while Liszt was staying at La Chênaie. He spoke out against his own bishops (Des Progès de la revolution et de la guerre contre l’Eglise—1829) and against the French monarchy. He now officially broke with the church. Germany. was immediately intrigued! In January 1989.

. the piano part is brilliant.2 by Liszt’s sensational concert tours.” sketched in the most bare and simply manner. Liszt.1 Unfinished business Curiously. was flatly discouraged by Lamennais. In spite of this.. and artistic minds of the time. wild and chaotic though a good deal of it is.. He may have . No one is certain where Liszt actually left the score to De Profundis.. the score was left unfinished—there is no ending in Liszt’s original. he must have been quite concerned about Liszt’s decision. where they from complete. “De Profundis Psaume Instrumental pour Orchestre et Piano sions over these elopement plans and perPrincipal by F. who travelled to Paris in an attempt to break up the pair! There is speculation that for Lamennais to have actually travelled to Paris (at that time the 250-mile journey would have required considerable effort). The plainchant that you love so much is contained within the Fauxbourdon. In any case. In a letter dated January 14. at any rate I have done it in memory of several hours passed (I should like to say—lived!) at La Chênaie. His life and music are therefore interesting on many levels. Perhaps this will please you a little. and then finally to Italy. 1” (or whatever else we might eventually title it). Liszt. He was heavily involved in a love affair with the Countess Marie D’Agoult—an affair that simply was not going very well.. in particular a large blue volume of a “concerto symphonique” that he had composed during his past year in Ratzenloch. and because of the Abbé’s vehement opposition to this decision. and it was dedicated to Lamennais. which was established in 1887.De Profundis begins with a long. a year after his death. Liszt was familiar not only with the great musicians and composers of his day but also with many of the literary. after which folthe orchestration. was undergoing a deep emotional crisis at this time. and was constantly on the move playing in many different countries in Europe. and with a remained for almost three years. This idea. including De Profundis. It’s speculated that the last reference to the piece is contained in a letter Liszt sent to his mother in July of 1835 asking about some of his manuscripts. after he had assumed his post there.. wished for nothing short of Lamennais’s earnest blessing. It is certainly a most remarkable and interesting product of Liszt’s youthful History romanticism. 1835. but at this particularly traumatic Music of Franz Liszt): point in his life he was more affected by Lamennais’s advice and actions than even he himself might have dared admit. which is in Liszt ’s own hand.. So. De Profundis was inspired by Psalm 130. but Profundis. Since he gave well over 1000 recitals during those years.embraced Paroles d’un croyant. De Profundis has been known to scholars and musicians since at least that time (1887).” Dedicated to the Abbé Felicité de Lamennais. haps they parted company on not-sopleasant terms. it’s not at all surprising that certain works. he and Liszt most likely had some rather heated discusExcerpt 1: Liszt’s dedication page. but there is something in every bar. and Liszt could likely have completed it with just another hour or two of work. Humphrey Searle says (in his book The type of person to carry a grudge. Whether or not this volume was sent to Liszt at this time is unknown. Liszt was normally not the dismissed it as a sketch. who was the second curator of the Liszt Museum and remained so until his death in 1945. wild and stormy introlet these feelings mar his own judgment over his dedicated title. of course. having been catalogued by Peter Raabe [668]. is only lowed their “years of wandering. however. He and most others simply 23 . De duction for piano and orchestra. Liszt sought out the Abbé. however. political. however. Liszt writes to Lamennais: Before [my visit in July] I will have the honour of sending you a small work to which I had the audacity to attach a great name—Yours! It is an instrumental psalm De Profundis for piano & orchestra. And the reason he sought Lamennais’s advice was to hear the Abbé’s views on the consequences of an intended elopement. That was followed almost at once little ingenuity it might be possible to complete the score. we move into the realm of speculation: Why did Liszt not finish the work? There are almost thirty-five minutes of music. It could have then been labeled “Piano Concerto No. Liszt. which began around 1839 and SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2011 CLAVIER COMPANION didn’t finish until about 1847. back to France. Liszt and Marie left in a great hurry and settled in Geneva. This wandering took Liszt and the Countess through The work is a sketch in the sense that the orchestral part is far Switzerland. were left behind or perhaps just forgotten. We do know that it finally caught up with him in Weimar in 1848. and De Profundis reflects these interests.. it was gathered together with several of his other unfinished works and bequeathed to the Liszt Archive. the elopement did take place.

The information and original manuscripts made available to me were invaluable during my research. The next phase involved the deciphering and reconstructing of the original and somewhat messy manuscript onto a legible “working-score” format of my own. Of the major labels approached with the concept of recording and subsequent worldwide distribution. Over the years I have provided my score and parts to many artists and ensembles for performance consideration. dynamic. I was especially curious to see if there were any missing pages in Liszt’s original manuscript. and articulation markings. recording. phrase. study. De Profundis will be resurrected for renewed appreciation. I realized that it would require extensive editorial work to create the right conditions to achieve these objectives. Malediction. it provides the necessary tempo. First. and Totentanz. It has been twenty years since I produced the recording sessions of De Profundis. thesis study. Most aspects of the original were fairly clear. and by the second week of January I had completed transferring all of the existing manuscript. Since its world premiere concert (again with Thomson performing with the HSO) in August 1991 at the Liszt Academy in Budapest. The concluding phase of my endeavour involved composing an ending (see Excerpt 6 on page 29) and completing the editing of the tempo. 1991). my time was spent deciphering and transferring Liszt’s original manuscript over to my own working score. Fortunately there were no insurmountable passages.). The aim of this project. phrase. in this year of celebrating Liszt’s 200th birthday. an absolutely monumental work in the solo piano repertoire—a piece to which Liszt certainly attached significance (see Excerpt 3 on page 28). De Profundis has received many national premieres as well—in Canada (Montréal & Toronto). I was unable to find a completed ending for the piece. Pianists have noted that it is technically. and the staff of the Archive was exceedingly helpful (particularly Dr. and continued perform- 24 CLAVIER COMPANION SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2011 . without which the power of the coda—if not the entire work—is diluted. as well as several other motifs. it provides a viable ending for Liszt’s score. the United States (Washington D. And second. During this research. Searle’s observations (as well as Mr. though they did prove intriguing and inspirational enough to encourage me to consider the prospect of working on the reconstruction of De Profundis! Completion Why the piece was abandoned is still a mystery—we just cannot be absolutely certain why Liszt left it incomplete. without which the Lisztian spirit of the work cannot be released. as well as making some minor amendments. and orchestration corrections. My trip to Weimar in August of 1989 was a tremendous success. Between September of 1989 and January of 1990. It was the impresario. who secured and finalized the recording contract with Hungaroton. in Liszt’s score or elsewhere. the score of De Profundis remains unpublished. note. Hungaroton provided the most enthusiastic interest. It soon became evident that it was imperative to travel to Weimar to ensure that all my editing notes were complete and to verify all of the photographic score pages in my possession. My version does two things. and other expression markings. and simply for personal perusal. from my perspective. for example).I soon discovered that Mr. Alas. Italy (BresciaBergamo & Palermo) and France (Paris with Aldo Ciccolini). and concert performances of Franz Liszt’s unfinished masterpiece. was the reconstruction and subsequent completion. dynamic. fiendishly difficult—even for Liszt! To merely maintain it in mind and “fingers” is indeed a daunting task. in the movement Pensée Des Morts from the suite Harmonies Poétiques et Religeuses for solo piano. Speculation still abounds but perhaps now. The Hungaroton recording (HCD31525) has also garnered many rave reviews worldwide. Jacques Leiser. The first phase of my endeavour involved a comparative study of some of Liszt’s completed works for piano and orchestra that had been conceived around the same time as De Profundis (the two piano concertos.C. we knew we were in very capable hands. With the Hungarian State Orchestra and pianist Philip Thomson involved. Some might speculate that it simply hasn’t had the necessary time and exposure to gain its due merit in such an esteemed collective. The recording took place in the grand central hall of the Italian Institute in Budapest. Hungary (August. It is obvious that Liszt found most of the thematic aspects of De Profundis worthy: he implemented a great deal of the plainchant. Raabe’s and most others) weren’t entirely accurate. and there is still the nagging question regarding its rank (or lack thereof ) in the standard piano concerto repertoire. Schmidt and Herr Balo). other portions were somewhat difficult to decipher and took considerably more time to analyze before being committed to my score.

The first and shorter of two Schubert in his “Wanderer” Fantasy. is the Latin title for the 130th Psalm. Earlier comnary form—the first and by far the posers to incorporate this device longest section (about twenty-three included Beethoven (his “Ode to Joy” minutes) utilizes exposition and develfrom the Ninth Symphony). Out of the depths have I cried unto thee. however. But perhaps the most Liszt composed for piano and orchestra. the psalm continues. This treatment continues to develop right up to the final A chords in the piano. opment aspects of the standard sonata Weber. notably Mozart. which restates the opening motifs of the exposition.” a Liszt. striking aspect of this particular oneIt begins in the key of D minor. as it was to several other comcompositional trait purportedly first posers. In view of the diverse elements of Liszt’s psyche. Its revival will hopefully enlighten a whole new generation to its remarkable. it is. plainchant (this time in A major with open-voiced. and a favourite of Liszt’s— Michael Maxwell. prophetic harmonic innovations and forms. and expands them even further. in fact. Berlioz. however.” to the voice of my supplications. polonaise-like in structure. He then leads us through a wonderfully chromatic transition into a further treatment of the plainchant in the brilliant march-style finale. It is a salon-style “Bravura. It was Liszt. It is a composition truly ahead of its time! SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2011 CLAVIER COMPANION 25 . as well as the plainchant theme. who truly remarkable developments of the opening motifs. not surprising to find this type of theThis is representative of the voice of one in spiritual and earthly matic treatment enmeshed with the psalm theme. complete works applying this metamorphosis technique alone. muted strings which begins: introduced by a lone horn line). The second honed and perfected the technique to such a degree as to compose main cadenza takes these motifs. which again define the plainchant. the “Purgatorio” sections are poser to utilize this technique of thein D minor.tion. that Liszt employed the single-moveDe Profundis is longer than anything else ment form. a rather upscale tone: From this section Liszt jumps immediately into the recapitula- ances. The music De Profundis marks the first time At approximately thirty-five minutes. Liszt associated implemented by Liszt some fifteen D minor with the dead and the dying: in years later. cadenzas occurs fairly early into the which Liszt arranged for piano and exposition and focuses immediately on orchestra. The second section (about six-and-a-half minutes). which movement work is the omnipresence was a significant and “special” key to of “Thematic Metamorphosis. it is as if the despair. which is essenThe structure is essentially one in tertially one of variation. and does in fact conclude in “Earthly” and the “Spiritual” become united. O Lord. after he’d settled in both the Dante Sonata and in the Dante Weimar! Liszt was not the first comSymphony. matic transformation. taking them to an ethereal-like A transcendental work finale which then leads to an almost God-like reiteration of the The title. may seem a bit out of place. De Profundis. form. Photo by Tricia Hammann. upon first Lord hear my voice: Let thine ears be attentive listening.

with its remarkable variety of styles. Like the psalm text. therefore. It has been duly noted that the orchestration does not live up to the master y of his achievements during the Weimar period. and counterlines (already begun or intended) as I imagined them. once again. The work then concludes with an uplifting. I simply continued lines I felt Liszt meant to extend. De Profundis combines the romantic expressionism of the Harmonies Poétiques et 26 CLAVIER COMPANION SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2011 . and motivic inconsistencies. The work is a testimonial to the incredibly innovative manner in which Liszt conceptualized a particular programme: religious. It is “young Liszt. chords. one begins to hear just how well constructed this work actually is: Liszt seemed almost obsessed with its transcendental nature.and with him is plenteous redemption. begins “out of the depths. But. Liszt appears not yet entirely comfortable with this rhapsodic form and some transitional aspects come off somewhat raw. yet maintaining the “earthly” and virtuosic traits that have become so recognizably Liszt. Liszt’s orchestration tech- nique. yet we realize it is not another one of his early “showpiece” compositions. it is not intended merely to demonstrate virtuosic prowess. is not so poor and inappropriate as some might attest. jubilant march-style coda section. Upon scrutiny.” with the cellos and basses delivering the opening motifs. When I first inspected the score I considered reinforcing. and complementing many of the voices. a wonderful representation of and testament to his youth. It is. that the orchestral temperament and treatment of instrument voices are indeed fitting. The piano writing is fiendishly difficult. it is these particular aspects that are so refreshing and appealing! While Liszt’s comparative lack of mastery at orchestration during this time is to be acknowledged. we discover in De Profundis. As it turned out. and it is better served by adhering to these techniques from this period. too. developing. Upon further scrutiny. De Profundis conforms musically to the literary sense of the psalm text! De Profundis is truly a great romantic concerto. And he shall redeem Israel from all his iniquities. Though more technically demanding than the other concertos.” but it is this very youthfulness that manifests its charm. his intentions about the orchestration seem to have been fairly clear. quite fittingly. and I amended only notes. the music. groupings.

1. Will there be master classes in the Fall? Da Motta. was the last piece played in Liszt’s last master class that summer in Weimar. often hosted musical parties for Liszt and his circle. 14-15 (letter no. Liszt did not intend it to be solely a bravura composition simply for the sake of accolades—it came from the depths of his heart. it shares with them a wealth of virtuosic themes and brilliant piano writing. Cosima Wagner. 12-13. visited Weimar in May 1886 hoping to persuade him to come to the Wagner Festival in Bayreuth later that summer. 19. (1894). which means forest murmers. SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2011 15 Richard Zimdars. All aboard for Bayreuth! At the last lesson. 13. Will they pedal their wares as well as Liszt? Will they be sheepish in their repertoire to please Herr Manager Hermann Wolff? Tonality can no longer be kept in the bag — do tell! Will the young ones face this or beat a cadential retreat? “Cigars can be blamed for an indoor Waldesrauchen!” — Thus fumes Baroness von Meyendorff. agreed. arranging. Olga von Meyendorff. and Liszt. orchestrator and producer. Siloti. and the poetic imagery of Années de Pèlerinage. 1 5 10 Michael Maxwell is a prolific composer. various-sized jazz ensembles. Canada. production. having produced over forty CDs for the record company’s various subsidiary labels. and died in Bayreuth. do not want this to stop—ever. Liszt pupil August Göllerich. lived near him in Weimar and socialized with him. choir. escorted by Göllerich. It abounds with the pioneering ideas of form and harmony that musicians and scholars alike have come to associate with Liszt. the Gounod-Liszt Les adieux (Reverie on a Motive from Romeo and Juliette). According to Göllerich. No more Stahr light on June afternoons. Bartók. and a wide variety of contemporary ensembles. —Richard Zimdars Notes: 1. It is not only a genuine work by the premiere virtuoso of the nineteenth century. arranger. He continues to provide a wide variety of music to their catalogues. The Ages of Man. Whistful thinking. Anna and Helene Stahr. and performance. Maxwell has written and produced for expanded orchestra. string quartet & quintet. an amateur pianist to whom Liszt dedicated several pieces. Waldesrauchen means smoke or haze from the forest. The Music of Liszt. New York: Dover. Liszt’s daughter. Later enthusiasm was kindled by contact with students of the renowned University of Iowa Writers’ Workshop and the poetry of Heine and Neruda. and Eccles. pp. desires a beneficence. Maxwell has been one of the principal composers. CLAVIER COMPANION 27 . Cosima converses. Debussy. and his orchestrations of Chopin were recorded for broadcast by the London Philharmonic. not to be confused with Liszt’s famous concert etude Waldesrauschen. and a card game called whist. was first attracted to poetry thanks to the musicality of Sir John Gielgud’s voice in Shakespeare’s sonnets on his father’s copy of Gielgud’s record. How Sweet It Is To Love (Hungaroton HCD 31602) featuring hitherto unheard theatre music from the 1690s of Purcell. Philip Thomson: “I think the title De Profundis is apt. Vol. the dazzling virtuosity of the Transcendental Êtudes . H (1966). but a truly significant addition to the piano repertoire! In closing. Her disapproval of cigar smoking by Liszt and his pupils was no secret. 17. an Adieu from Gounod. I’d like to cite my friend and colleague. he has arranged. Friedheim. Maxwell also produced another world premiere recording: Ah. an awardwinning film at the Cannes Festival. Longer and more demanding than his other piano concertos. Ed. 10. 2 Searle. Edition. arrangers. Besides completing and producing the world premiere recording of De Profundis. concert band.Religeuses. 14. He lives with his wife and daughter in Toronto. Lamond et al. Editor Weimar: Summer of 1886 The abbé shuffles through Weimar. pupils of Liszt and piano teachers in Weimar. 7). New York: Charles Scribner’s Sons. Maxwell also diversifies in commercial composition. four of these have attained gold or platinum status. pp. orchestrated. and recorded the music of Stravinsky. Other young feet follow. Liszt.” 1 La Mara. despite failing health. He composed and produced the score for the acclaimed documentary Worlds Apart. 5. Celtic ensemble. 11. chamber groups. 2nd Rev. and producers for Somerset Entertainment for the past sixteen years. Students of Liszt that summer. Clarke. cognac. Poetry Corner Richard Zimdars. Despy Karlas Professor of Piano at the University of Georgia. At the conclusion of his master classes. Liszt complained about this concert manager’s power to force his artists to program only the tried and true standard repertoire. Baroque trio. 15. Liszt often asked some of his favorite students to remain for cigars. Letters of Franz Liszt. produced.

after having scratched out the signature 3/2. and secondly to facilitate the often difficult task of deciphering Liszt’s calligraphy. When the signature 3/2 does in fact appear (at the start of the lush A major andante section). These 28 CLAVIER COMPANION Excerpts 4: Additional plainchant section. and 6/4 has written. instead of indicating the conventional signatures 12/4. respectively. I retained Liszt’s system structure in my score first to demonstrate his original and somewhat peculiar score layout. nor are time signatures notated as mathematical fractions). and 2/3—consistent with his opening time signature notation. please click on Excerpt 3b below.Score Excerpts and Audio Examples Click on the score pages below to listen to audio excerpts. it indicates the proper note-grouping of three to the measure. SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2011 . we must assume that Liszt simply wished to ensure there was no mistaking that the passage be conducted in two groups of three quarter-notes. nowadays of course. They should provide a clearer understanding of the difficulty of transcribing the work as well as show some of the intriguing approaches Liszt undertook while composing and notating De Profundis. They are not intended to give a step-by-step. detailed analysis of De Profundis. At the very beginning of his score Liszt indicated the time signature 6/4—2/3. Excerpt 2: Page 1 of Liszt’s score to De Profundis. Excerpt 3a: The beginning of the plainchant psalm in Liszt’s score. Excerpt 3b: The same section in Michael Maxwell’s score. view fullsize images of the score examples. 9/4. and view additional pages for Excerpts 4 and 6. and the piano would be above the string system [not positioned between the violas and cellos]. To hear audio of the plainchant section. It is also interesting to note that De Profundis does indeed commence from “out of the depths” with the cellos and basses! Liszt was also unorthodox when indicating time signatures. the bassoon staff. 4/3. peculiarities occur again during the plainchant passages where Liszt. Since there is no such time signature as “2/3” (a “third” note does not exist in conventional notation. 3/3. Excerpt 2: Page 1 of Liszt’s score Note the unorthodox instrument grouping (this grouping was utilized by Liszt throughout the entire composition whenever the orchestra was playing). would normally be positioned with the rest of the woodwinds beneath the clarinets [not between the trumpets and trombones]. T he following score examples and audio excerpts will reveal several points of interest about the manuscript (of both Liszt’s original and my transcription).

Excerpt 5: The final page of Liszt’s score. with staggered entries in the orchestra in a major-mode transformation of the opening motif. of course) and let the pianist truly shine in the mighty double octave run: a wise choice. 58 in that piece. However. pani. while continuing (in augmentation) the reinforcing orchestral chords. Shortly thereafter. I felt it best to remove this orchestration (all but the piano. but in a descending. After Liszt’s score ends. The audio excerpt stops at Liszt’s ending point. SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2011 CLAVIER COMPANION 29 . This creates. a smoother overlapping into my ending. I’ve included my original orchestration in the first measure (the one on the recording). Excerpt 6: Completion In the Maestoso closing section I have reinforced the cellos with the basses and added trumpets and trombones to accent the tim- In Excerpt 6. where the text is also inscribed above the music. Excerpt 6: final page of Michael Maxwell’s score. also relates to Pensée des morts: it is analogous to the area around m. with the Latin text as a silent accompaniment. double octave pattern. totally unrelated piano solo composition. then to a solo double octave run in the piano (even further diminution). This passage. at the very back of the bound volume there is a short. I then went on to a furious closing passage (in diminution). in my opinion. I believe! The audio excerpt begins before Liszt’s score ends. along with the passage in Excerpt 4. I continued the piano phrase. and finally returned to the majestic rhythm of the march (with full unison ensemble) as a close.Excerpts 3 and 4: The use of plainchant Excerpts 3a and 3b show the beginning of the Plainchant Psalm theme in Liszt’s score and my own. Excerpt 5: Liszt’s “ending” This excerpt shows Liszt’s final page. De Profundis comes to an abrupt halt at this point! There is nothing further notated on the back of this original manuscript page nor on the several blank pages that follow. Note how Liszt seems to change the time signatures in an attempt to emulate the natural speech rhythm of the original chant.

Liszt’s own musical education began when he was a child. He studied first with his father. Valérie Boissier. talented.…The young Liszt’s unvarying liveliness and good humor. striking each note six.2 Liszt had Valérie develop a firm touch and independence of the fingers by meticulous practice early in their work: “When you think you are practicing very slowly…slow down some more.” he said. It is wiser to leave them on five finger exercises for some time as preparation. but there was frequent music making in their home. Adam.… Liszt then asked her to play the exercise as fast as she could and without holding down any keys. attended the lessons and reported on them to her family. with the head bent slightly backward rather than forward. and he had so little knowledge of correct fingering that he threw his fingers over the keyboard in an altogether arbitrary fashion. However. Nevertheless. made us love him as if he were a member of our family. your efforts will be crowned with success. whether or not they attended his classes. careless. delicate-looking child and while playing swayed on the chair as if drunk so that I often thought he would fall to the floor. later to become the Comtesse de Gasparin. but also gave him all the necessary music…. Many today do not realize that as a teacher he had a lasting effect upon piano playing throughout Europe and even in the United States. Even in these the tone at first may be thin. in demand at all the best salons.1 About a year later Liszt and his son came to Vienna and moved to the same street where we lived… Never before had I had so eager.3 Liszt thinks it unwise to have beginners take up scales too soon. his playing was completely irregular. Mme. “Can you hear how uneven it is? You need much work here. Her account reveals what was important to the young Liszt in teaching. famous for his overwhelming technical prowess and expressive power.”6 SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2011 Liszt never forgot Czerny’s generosity. Take it easy. correct fingering. his father became seriously ill and died. eight. There must be nothing suggestive of tension in the way the hands are held. When Liszt was sixteen. Most of the great pianists of the nineteenth century came under his influence. Czerny wrote about the encounter in his memoirs: One morning in 1819…a man brought a small boy about eight years of age to me and asked me to let that little fellow play for me. but they can move with grace when the musical text warrants it. even though these compositions at first struck the lively and always extremely alert boy as rather dry. one must never play from the arms and the shoulders. Her mother. Franz taught piano lessons to support them.”5 Then he had Valérie play the elementary exercise: do—re— mi—fa—sol—fa—mi—re—do. who was a steward on the Esterházy estates in Hungary and also a fine amateur musician.SPECIAL LISZT ISSUE Franz Liszt the Teacher by Sandra Soderlund Esterházy court and decided to make a living by taking young Franz on tour. If you hurry. Somehow your fingers are entangled.4 F ranz Liszt was a legendary pianist. they arrived in Paris where young Franz became the pet of society. He was a pale. Do likewise. or industrious a student. Following multiple concerts in Germany and Austria. or twelve times while holding down the notes not involved.… The father told me that his name was Liszt…. When Adam Liszt realized that his son was unusually musical. and proper musical phrasing. Nature itself works quietly. and I not only taught him completely free of charge. If conducted wisely. Liszt as Pedagogue. and confused. never charging for lessons once he had established his fortune. together with the extraordinary development of his talent. His mother moved to Paris to stay with her son. they will be wasted and you will fail. They might develop wrong habits by doing so.… Within a short time he played the scales in all keys with a masterful fluency made possible by a natural digital equipment especially well suited for pianoplaying. first returning to Hungary. “You spoil everything if you want to cut corners. He insists very much on these points. Through intensive study of Clementi’s sonatas… I instilled in him for the first time a firm feeling for rhythm and taught him beautiful touch and tone. Czerny was not happy with this idea. he took the boy to Vienna to meet Carl Czerny. A few years later Adam Liszt lost his position with the 30 CLAVIER COMPANION . I was amazed by the talent with which Nature had equipped him. Boissier published her notes as a book. Because of his reputation he attracted several aristocratic students. was among his pupils in 1832. Moreover. The family was poor. but the father and son set off. They must be freed. He first stressed posture and position: Liszt wants the body held straight. tinny. a pianist and composer. constricted. It must be improved before the passing under of the thumb is considered.

12 “These are only a few. I remember very well the first time I played to him after I had been accepted as a pupil. Hand and wrist must remain relaxed without the slightest contraction or ‘cramping up. His sensitive ears perceive the tiniest unequality. arpeggios in all their inversions. The classics must be treated with more reserve. One must develop the mind as well as the fingers. Of course it applies principally to our contemporary music. Excerpt 2: Liszt Daily Exercises.… “You should also scrutinize your text in order to discover which inner notes have a special value and ought to be brought out. everything that one is capable of doing. He never taught in the ordinary sense of the word. Liszt started this lesson with an emphasis on the importance of octave study. He insists on sincerity and simplicity with no distortions of any kind. expressions ought not to repeat themselves. In order to strengthen them I want you to drill your wrists every day. He made audible suggestions. up and down the chromatic scale.” he said. these exercises would include varied scales in octaves. and other gesticulations. In music. trills. “Repeated chords of four notes and five notes in diminished sevenths will soon increase the power of your fingers and hands. “Musical interpretation must always have variety. which is very romantic. from Bach to the latest compositions. a wide variety of music was performed. He has in mind a goal of ideal perfection and is never satisfied with half measures. striking octaves on the same note while lifting the hand high.”9 Liszt advocated the flexibility in rhythm that was typical of his time and especially his own playing: Today Liszt commented on keeping time. The latter must be free from the heavy.7 Liszt’s playing and teaching in these early lessons was apparently free of the exaggerations that were later criticized in his performances: Regarding feeling and expression in interpretation Liszt banishes anything that is overdone. Thus you would avoid monotony in tone production and your performance would become more interesting and effective. He stressed the great need of flexing and relaxing the fingers in all directions by multiple exercises for at least three hours a day. using what is called “la main morte” (dead hand) without interference from the arm. the hand falling onto the keys in a motion of total elasticity.… “Keeping time in a musical sense is similar to the rhythm one keeps in the declamation of verses. likewise. some new combinations. he requires an impeccable evenness in scale playing. It ought to be done according to the significance of what one plays. In the classes. “Later on you will go through major and minor scales not only in plain octaves but also in broken octaves. Start slowly.’ Then get faster gradually but with no excess.” he continued. Again and again. and occasionally he would push me gently off the chair and sit down at the piano and play a phrase or two himself by way of illustration. the same shadings.”8 Liszt also stressed dynamic shading: This time Liszt has Valérie concentrate on dynamics. chords. At times one increases the pace slightly.… After I was well started he began to get excited. All tones must be rich and full. one has conquered the greatest difficulties of the piano. inciting me to put more enthusiasm into my playing. American pianist William Mason reported on his first lesson: What I had heard in regard to Liszt’s method of teaching proved to be absolutely correct. Liszt’s own expression is always simple because it is not motivated by a desire to show off at the expense of good taste.”10 SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2011 Later in his life Liszt taught in master classes and rarely gave private lessons. and finally. Your hands are rather weak. he considers them theatrical and unworthy of genuine artists. Valérie had to play some exercises with constant modification of the shadings. accents. When one has perfectly flexible and strong fingers. He gradually got me worked up to such a pitch of enthusiCLAVIER COMPANION 31 . the rhythm must not be inflexible and uniformity is out of order. he does not want pressure from the fingertips near the nails but from the “palm” of the finger because this little cushion is soft and resilient.… “You must give more time to octave practice.Concerning touch. He does not play for others but for himself.11 Practicing octaves was also a part of Valérie’s work.…” As to such mannerisms as the high raising or low diving of hands and arms. At one point he took his pencil and wrote down the following: Excerpt 1 Liszt gave Valérie Boissier some daily exercises at her last lesson with him. During the entire time that I was with him I did not see him give a regular lesson in the pedagogical sense…. The same applies to exaggerated contrasts and sentimentality. unyielding meter which would weigh improperly upon the cadence of the caesura. thirds. which helps to give the tone a lovely mellowness. motions of the body. These are to be practiced in all keys. He depicts his own feelings. One must play from the wrist. at other times one holds back. he expresses his own soul. “Invent all kinds of shadings and if you can. and it is probably the best way to reach that of his listeners.

for his is the living. on its shaping as a work of art. rather than using verbal explanations. and it takes fast hold of your mind and sticks there. He sat down. it hit me on the head so nicely. the chance the pupils have to play for critical listeners and so rid themselves of nervousness 14 and gain confidence. he said on one of the occasions when he pushed me from the chair: “Don’t play it that way.” Then he began. and the practice of large-scale studies in passagework and octaves—plus the advice to practice anything difficult in all keys. phrasings. which let in a flood of light upon me. technique was always in the service of the music. elastic movement. Liszt suddenly took his seat at the piano and said. Fräulein. While I was playing to him for the first time. When he had finished. instantly. I found at this first lesson that he was very fond of strong accents in order to mark off periods and phrases. in one place where V. “When I play. pedaling and the like.… Its best aspect is. but it was penetrating and far-reaching. wit. tenderness. breathing impersonation of poetry. Mastery of technique was taken for granted…He did no more than guide us fervently towards a freer. Amy Fay joined the class in 1873. that if the pupil who is only a listener knows the work that is being played 32 CLAVIER COMPANION SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2011 . She was overwhelmed: All playing sounds barren by the side of Liszt. in almost every piece that I played. but he never did. “don’t make omelette. visible thing to him. German pianist Pauline Fichtner wrote: Study with Liszt was mostly concentrated on the spiritual and intellectual element of the music. Liszt believed in it implicitly. He presents an idea to you.he has the same advantage as the performer. It eradicated much that was mechanical. and I wish you could have heard him! The sound didn’t seem to be very loud. more natural position of the hands. “Keep your hand still. elasticity of the wrist. where it was appropriate. daring. in the material world to express his idea.13 In Liszt’s mind. was playing the melody rather feebly. and you seemed to see all the people in the gallery drinking in the sound. That is the way Liszt teaches you. and which I have always tried to impart to my pupils. demonstrating at the piano.…15 Franz Lizst’s piano asm that I put all the grit that was in me into my playing. Music is such a real. on the ground that the teacher does not have to play the same piece over and over for different pupils and repeat endlessly his suggestions for fingerings. and he talked so much about strong accentuation that one might have supposed that he would abuse it. For instance. that he always has a symbol.” Evidently I had been playing ahead in a steady. he becomes better prepared to study it later. he raised one hand in the air. coquetry. grace.” said Liszt. Play it like this. passion. From that one experience I learned to bring out the same effect. stilted. and if he does not know it.16 Arthur Friedheim discussed the master class procedure: Having invented the class system of teaching. and every other fascinating attribute that you can think of! Everything that Liszt says is so striking. and developed an elasticity of touch which has lasted all my life. and unmusical in my playing. and gave the same phrases with an accentuated. when I was playing. I made too much movement with my hand in a rotatory sort of a passage where it was difficult to avoid it.” I couldn’t help laughing. I always play for the people in the gallery… so that those persons who pay only five groschens for their seat also hear something. uniform way. One day. of course. Liszt continued to play for his pupils in the classes.

Arthur. 5 Ibid. merely by the expression of his face. Oxford: Clarendon Press. the ears and the intelligence simultaneously and to study. 19 Ibid. pp. Vol. as also from the musical.). (1973). (1986). 8 Ibid. If neglect or carelessness was flagrant he would cry: “I do not take in soiled linen here. Remembering Franz Liszt. 13-14. (1965). Adrian. New York: Dover Publications. his followers came to Weimar to acquire maturity in the highest musical sense. no. pp. Alexander Siloti wrote: Liszt’s lessons were a totally different order to the common run. Memories of a Musical Life. (1990). 51. the pupil who was playing. (Ed. Alexander. 4 Ibid. Grant. Inc. 345-6. he was infinitely more than a teacher. 47-8. 18 Walker. so much the worse!17 The Studies show that Liszt was concerned about piano technique even late in life. he concentrated on inspiring his students. 16 Williams. together with the mechanism dynamics and rhythm inherent in music as well. 20 Imre. 14. or stood opposite to. 9 Ibid.… No one else in the world could show musical phrasing as he did. 11 Ibid. and this not only by the jealous. Translation in Ferenc Liszt. he censured severely any carelessness. II.19 Late in his life. Ed. 7 Ibid. p. to the extent of their individual abilities. 13.: Pendragon Press. 47. III. from pianissimo to fortissimo. 12 Mach. 21 Walker.). Life and Liszt. and indicated by the expression of his face the nuances he wished to have brought out in the music. so much the better for him. 14. if not. p. Liszt wrote a three-volume set of Technische Studien that was published posthumously. “Liszt as Pedagogue. (Ed. these first exercises should be practised with all degrees of intensity: crescendo. (1983). William. It is useful to exercise the fingers. pp. In M. II. p. 17 Siloti.. In truth.” The Musical Quarterly XLII. 51. Living with Liszt: From the Diary of Carl Lachmund. II. 14 Friedheim. Remembering Franz Liszt. no. N. Consequently. from fortissimo to pianissimo. He himself wished this understood. 315-16. “Recollections from My Life. that Liszt was not a teacher. 15 Fay. And he was not—in the ordinary sense. 13 Mason. Portrait of Liszt by Himself and His Contemporaries. 14. In most of his teaching.. he did not accept pupils whose technic was insufficiently developed. (Ed. an American Pupil of Liszt 1882-1884. p. 97-100. Carl Lachmund wrote: From a pianistic standpoint. Stuyvesant. While he would pass an inaccuracy resulting from nervousness or insufficient time for study. he inspired his pupils in a way that their talents. p. Elyse. Translated by Maurice Dumesnil. (Ed. Amy. As a rule he sat beside. (1901). It has been said.) (1995). I. II. The Liszt Studies. In M.. 14. 462. 5.Y. 2. I. While he occasionally gave advice in matters of technic. 13.The better prepared a student was. Liszt was particular as to one’s position at the piano. At the beginning of the first volume is the note. New York: Limelight Editions. Liszt was the greatest teacher history can name. New York: The Century Company. the more he or she got from the study. Alan. 1 SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2011 CLAVIER COMPANION 33 . 6 Ibid. 6 (1961). Grant. pp. you must do your washing at home!”18 Although anything but pedantic. Salieri also taught composition to Liszt free of charge.” The Piano Teacher 3. 2 Ibid. 3 (1956): 314–15. With his wonderful glow of genius. I. xvii. Technische Studien Für Klavier. or quick to check any mannerism. however. “Sit upright”—“Do not look at the keys”— “Sit still”—were repeatedly emphasized. (1986). New York: Associated Music Pulishers. Budapest: Editio Musica Budapest.). p. and no other of the great masters could have given this to them as did Liszt. 222-3. If a pupil understood these fine shades. seemed to radiate with contagious enthusiasm…21 Liszt’s teaching was summed up by Carl Lachmund: Barring a few exceptions. diminuendo. Mezó. My Memories of Liszt. New York: Limelight Editions. 3 Auguste Boissier.20 Carl Czerny. Music-Study in Germany. 10 Ibid.

Dr. Moreover. again. any high-level musician understands two limitations: M as compared with any human’s rendition to understand this limitation. But they don’t “feel” at all the same.) 2) Humans are limited in their ability to precisely render note values. timbre. Haydon coordinates the piano faculty at Georgia State University where he teaches piano.. but nothing could be further from the SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2011 Page 31 of the July/August Jazz & Pop department contained a printing error which obscured part of Example 2. arranger. citing that the musical notation system clearly depicts the timing of events with meter and note values. Dividing the beat by two might seem routine and uninteresting. y previous articles have discussed different aspects of dealing with sounds we make as jazz/pop musicians. especially with regard to singers. and. and is a coauthor of Jazz History Overview. One only has to experience a computer’s rendition of four quarter notes at sixty beats per minute . Both recordings are approximately the same tempo with the same instrumentation. listen to “Autumn Leaves” by Bill Evans (Portrait in Jazz) and the same by Chick Corea ( Akoustic Band). However. However. Let’s now discuss the different levels of time that would concern jazz and pop musicians. Dr. Our ability to establish and consistently adhere to a beat is one of the most basic skills in music. it is important to work towards a master y of sound. or use the “archives” tab below to navigate to the July/August digital edition. one’s ability to control the beat (and not allow it to control them) is most important. chord voicing. He has performed throughout the U. Likewise. Warner Bros. but the principles presented can eventually be applied to other meters. The way Glenn Gould and András Schiff time the same Bach Prelude can be as different as night and day.S. and most recently Sister Act at the Alliance Theater.Jazz & Pop It’s Got That Swing: Geoff Haydon. piano literature. both are equally valid and masterful. the groove will not change. however. He has numerous publications with Alfred Publishing. in Europe. holds everything else together. direct manner. teaching studio. too. South America. Russia. which contains a corrected example. even if sometimes it does. China. The other half entails WHEN all of these aspects are played. However. the truth of the matter is that these aspects are only half of the big picture when playing jazz and pop. Currently Dr. articulation. Therefore. and Central America. However. in any given tune. timing is an EQUALLY important aspect of jazz and pop. scales. Japan. a textbook by Kendall Hunt Publishing. in its own way. Aspects of sound that include note choice. and even intonation (if you play a keyboard.. both of the above limitations are what make music (especially jazz and pop) attractive to us both as listeners and performers. Generally speaking. jazz history. (This statement is true for classical music. While some people may challenge this statement. He is also in demand as a clinician and adjudicator. and jazz theory. In other words. and even publications and books. Haydon also regularly performs with the Atlanta Ballet Orchestra and has performed with touring shows including The Phantom of the Opera. 34 CLAVIER COMPANION 1) The music notation system only serves as a guide for when to perform something. both are equally valid and masterful. “organized in time” could perhaps be more important in jazz and pop since the sounds we make are subject to spontaneous decisions that don’t always follow a specific plan (as in improvisation). Perhaps part of the reason for its neglect is that time is the most abstract concept musicians encounter. for example) are constantly changing as jazz/pop musicians search for creative ways to push the boundaries and make a unique artistic contribution. Fortunately. blues licks. melodic sequences. it is not to be taken lightly. and educator. We can begin in the middle of the process and then move from there in two directions: 1) toward smaller units of time (micro) 2) toward larger units of time (macro) Beginning in the middle of these two points involves addressing the beat or pulse—we will discuss only 4/4 and 3/4 meter. The point here is that we often consider only the sound aspect when assessing a performance. Dr. Therefore. perhaps remaining oblivious to a large part of the real reason for its greatness: how the sounds are timed. The Producers. etc. it is just as important that one works for a mastery of the time element. Editor Jazz & Pop It’s about time (we discuss rhythm) As a performer. Moving towards the micro level are subdivisions of the beat. The basic definition of music as “sound organized in time” combines two concepts that are equal contenders in the process.pdf of the corrected example. it should be addressed in a clear. nor should its difficulty be underestimated. In fact. this statement applies to all styles of music. Haydon is an artist/clinician with the Contemporary Keyboard Division of Roland. This concept is neglected in the classroom. Geoffrey Haydon has successfully bridged both classical and jazz styles. Jazz/pop musicians refer to it as a groove—the “pocket” of the music that. composer. and Stipes Publishing. Click here to download a . These include chord voicings.

Let’s move on to quadruple subdivisions. Although swing is sometimes taught as a two-to-one ratio within a triplet subdivision of the beat. For example. you are actually playing at 108 to the quarter note. However. Jazz drummers generally place the closed hi-hat sound on these weaker beats. First. then what follows them (inside the downbeats) will line up. scat sing and play the melody with the metronome. try scat singing the bebop melody in Example 4 while snapping your fingers (on beats two and four). It is called double time because the swing rhythm happens twice as fast. Now. and most likely you will find yourself gravitating back to having it click on beats one and three. Or you can do the opposite. you must have your own sense of where the downbeats are. three. Most jazz tunes have twelve. you also benefit by developing a strong inner sense of time as a result. For example. By having the click on beats two and four. Musicians who have this kind of macro perception are less likely to get lost in a tune. Latin-influenced jazz has a different approach to rhythm based mostly on musical traditions developed in South American countries and on the Caribbean islands. there is far less mystery when dealing with triple subdivisions. You are now handling three different rhythms at once. Using this method gives us the purest version of the rhythm and timing without the added distraction of pitches and/or articulations. You can also have the metronome click on irregular numbers of beats. Once you are comfortable. etc. However. sacrifice the consistency of the beat (the groove) in doing so. Jazz musicians view subdivisions by four as an additive of the duple subdivision. The clave is a foundational rhythm for much of this music (see Example 2). six.” Since these tunes are adopted as vehicles for improvisation. you know how many choruses you’ve played during an improvisation or for the entire tune because you perceive the tune in large units that give a total overview. it is important you are able to keep track of time in large units. whose swing feel is not the same as John Coltrane’s. have it click every three quarter notes while playing something in 4/4 meter. Try playing the clave rhythm in one hand (probably your left) while playing a melody in the other hand (see Example 3). in reality. Finally. One of the best ways of integrating swing into your playing is to scat sing phrases while either snapping your fingers on beats two and four or using the metronome on the same beats. Counting aloud is always useful no matter what style of music you are playing. They are frequently dividing the beat into two unequal portions that frankly cannot be accurately measured (at least in human terms). Since the speed represents the half note value.truth. seven. you will find it difficult to keep it on beats two and four. try tapping your foot on beats two and four while playing. Macro applications to time include learning how to feel measures (or bars) of music in groups of four and eight. In fact. Here are some other ideas for improving your mastery of time: Instead of using the metronome. This concept is called “swing” (as in swing eighth notes).or thirty-two-bar forms such as the AAB twelve-bar form of most blues tunes. Try playing Example 1 with metronome clicks occurring on beats two and four at 54 beats per minute. Example 2: Clave rhythm It is beyond the scope of this article to explore this style in depth. Charlie Parker’s swing feel is not the same as Louis Armstrong’s. Example 3 Then add the metronome on beats two and four. All of these exercises help you develop rhythmic independence—the ability to have an inner sense of time that is not dependent upon other people or devices. One method that jazz musicians employ regularly is using the metronome as a practice aid. but a little bit of effort each day with creative exercises designed to challenge your rhythmic control will make a big difference in your playing over an extended period of time. practicing with the metronome on those same beats prepares one for playing with a combo. too. the AABA thirty-two-bar form of tunes such as “Take the ‘A’ Train. It creates the illusion that the beat has doubled in speed.” and the ABAC thirty-two-bar form of tunes such as “All of Me. These kinds of activities can only improve your mastery of time. Beyond subdividing the beat by two is the subdivision of the beat by three. let’s talk about how to practice for better mastery of time in our playing. it is recommended you wait until you are very comfortable with the above before working on subdivisions of five. if you work on this skill for a few minutes every day. Example 4 Using the metronome in creative ways develops a much keener sense of time than only putting the click on strong beats. The same method works with 3/4 meter. each musician has his own unique swing feel. what makes their method different is where they place the metronome click. However. jazz musicians do not always (or even very frequently) perform swing that way. Triplets in jazz are played about the same as in any style with perhaps a little more emphasis on the third eighth note in a three-note group. It doesn’t happen overnight. but they can eventually be addressed. with it clicking every two notes while playing something in 3/4 meter. You can also tap rhythms in your lap either using your fingers or your hands. However. Notice that it is NOT placed on strong beats one and/or three in 4/4 meter or beat one in 3/4 meter. Discussing subdivisions beyond two. especially for jazz musicians. Then do the same with the metronome. At some point. However. you will notice improvement in both your rhythmic control and your ability to handle faster tempos. Experiment with different tempos. Working on the micro aspect of rhythm involves swing eighth notes. none of them. Therefore. try increasing the speed of the Example 1 metronome in increments of four points. One can even feel an entire chorus (twelve or thirty-two bars) as a unit of time—in other words. while subtly varying the subdivision of the beat. and four are outside the scope of this article. However. It is placed on beats two and four in 4/4 meter and beat two (or three) in 3/4 meter. For whatever reason. too. CLAVIER COMPANION SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2011 35 . learning to play the clave rhythm also helps develop your sense of time.

they are working with students who have chosen to pursue music and have had to pass an audition in order to do so. professor of piano pedagogy and class piano at Wichita State University. The activities described highlight the importance of comprehensive musicianship skills such as harmonization. He is a frequent concerto soloist with regional orchestras. Editor Music Reading How do you help a college piano major with poor reading skills? t first glance. has been based on a two-pronged strategy of texture (both four-part chorales and two-part counterpoint) and fundamentals (scales and arpeggios). Memorizing. in the final two years of high school. Sylvia Coats contain valuable information and insights for teachers of students of all ages. it causes frustration in the lessons when instructors ask for changes to be made. Those teachers who work with college students will undoubtedly get new ideas from these articles. the problem persists. Timothy Shafer and Dr. Texture and fundamentals by Timothy Shafer The root of the problem keeps the issue in front of the students to some degree.). collaborative work. the pressures to achieve the highest possible performance for admission and scholarship offers exacerbate the problem. Sylvia Coats. and looking at the hands requires memorizing. and the PMTA Teacher of the Year Award. The Kansas Music Teachers Association honored her as 2007 Teacher of the Year. They show how the development of the whole musician is essential in building and maintaining fluency in reading. and improvisation. I n part. Therefore. However. teaching. Malaysia. The pre-college teacher will realize how necessary and practical it is to continue working on functional keyboard skills beyond the elementary method text. chamber music. He is a member of the board of trustees of the Frances Clark Center for Keyboard Pedagogy. and this no doubt A two-pronged strategy My own approach to correcting this problem. published by Indiana University Press. since the students are generally unable to use the score to start in locations where they are not used to starting. If this time away from the score is not balanced properly with other activities that require daily music reading (such as learning new repertoire. With degrees from Oberlin Conservatory and Indiana University. Poor sight-playing skills limit quantity and speed of learning. One might be tempted to assume that the college teacher does not have to deal with the nitty-gritty work of teaching students how to read. and discussing the rich heritage of piano repertoire. where he received his pedagogical training from Frances Clark. Dr. rapid leaps. Shafer is currently Professor of Piano at Penn State. This requires looking at the hands. etc. He holds degrees from Northwestern University and the University of Illinois. However. Still. sight-playing skills can wither and eventually dry up. is Director of the Preparatory & Community Piano Program at Concordia University Chicago. authored Thinking as You Play: Teaching Piano in Individual and Group Lessons. requires a significant period of time away from the score. the scope of this issue’s topic may seem limited.Music Reading Independence Day: Craig Sale. IU’s Annual Concerto Competition. Shafer is the recipient of Oberlin’s Rudolf Serkin Outstanding Pianist Award. where he also teaches courses in piano pedagogy. and a Professional Teaching Certificate from The New School for Music Study. The majority of readers are independent teachers working with students before they leave for college. technique. Unfortunately. and the subsequent polishing stages of learning. The percentage of their students who major in piano is small. performing. Rare is the school that will turn down an applicant bringing a highly polished audition who nevertheless exhibits poor to nonexistent sight-playing skills. Additionally. the problem can be attributed to the nature of our repertoire: most music later than Bach and Mozart generally requires the pianist to execute large. some fine pianists with poor sight-playing skills do appear in music programs. and China. the following articles by Dr. and is active as a chamber musician and soloist. Learning how the college teacher handles these students provides helpful information for those of us who work with these students before they leave for college. Her credits include performances with the Sotto Voce Trio and presentations at conferences throughout the United States and internationally in Italy. years as deficient readers. Many schools require sight-playing as part of an admission audition. She has held many offices in MTNA including National Certification Chair. as college auditions approach. The chorale textures address much SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2011 36 CLAVIER COMPANION . A This issue’s contributors: Timothy Shafer has concertized extensively throughout the United States. the fact is that many piano majors begin their college Craig Sale. when it appears. NCTM. Dr. After all.

Scales. or Finally. hand shifts before playing. increased physical intimacy with the piano that allows them to exeBartók was very sensitive to the feel of counterpoint in the hands cute at the keyboard with their hands what they see on the score (parallel motion. As hand motion types increase in the series. and blocked and specific altered scale degrees point to an expected chord resolution broken triad inversions. This process works very well for teaching chorale textures. I cise can be decreased—eventually achieving accurate quarter-note introduce these hand motions systematically.). encourages the eyes to move forward. and yet impresses upon him the importance of being accountable for the learning of new music each week. and perhaps most surprisingly. At the lesson. systematic in introducing various types of hand motion (expanPoor reading ability is one of the biggest contributors to attrition sions. students can begin to notice patterns: for Essential fundamentals of piano technique triads. when a second appears in sight-playing success increases dramatically as their familiarity with either hand. The student must rely on or develop eye-hand connection to read well and learn quickly. for instance. Students should be for and move to the next chord. Because the repertoire in the in piano study. shifts. for the most part. the note values of the exercise intervals presented on the page. played while watching the hands. Expanding the thumb away from the the eyes in the wrong direction if fluent sight-playing is the goal. the students become more secure (even bored) dents with the intervallic implications of each type. At this point. At Penn State. the basis of which is four-part harmony. Use the impediments to fluent and accurate sightmetronome. we chord. Change the rhythm value of the posed exclusively in five-finger positions. maries and exercises. Students vital skill is addressed tion of these hand motions by visually must play only on count one of each cho“scouting” for the finger numbers in the sen rhythm value. tucks. arpeggios. should be lengthened. My observation is that no one knew this better also working on sight-playing that they feel the benefit of the exerthan Bartók. have a (a raised-fourth scale degree will be followed by members of a V surprisingly beneficial effect on sight-playing. If hand. indithe chord.piano literature. Once students begin their Textures that demonstrate more rhythmic independence require preparation for these exams. pianistic fundamentals deepens. contributors to attrition in playing. and oblique motion). This is no doubt related to the derful resources for a sequential approach to polyphonic reading. using Clark’s sumchord changes. chords in the chorale to a value that This gives the mind a chance to accurately ensures accuracy in pitch reading. The first three volumes of the Mikrokosmos are woncise routines on their sight-playing. all note values may be changed finger combinations—a fundamental link to double whole notes (eight counts per Poor reading ability is one in successful sight-playing. Choosing chorales in which all the voices share the same rhythms eliminates the complexity of counterpoint from the equation. teachers to see that this encouraged to preview the pieces for loca3. For associate printed intervals with common instance. contrary motion. Frances Clark’s four-volume set. This is important—since many of the students with poor sight-playing skills have developed significant aural dependencies to help them learn their repertoire. a seventh chord with its resolution can be expected. With a little encouragement. I find that a student’s octave can be expected in the other hand. lift it simultaneously with playing Finger numbers. etc. Depress the pedal on the second piano study. Once absolute accuracy in sight-reading is achieved at the ious types of hand motion and includes exercises acquainting stugiven note value. when a third or sixth appears in one hand. SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2011 CLAVIER COMPANION for accuracy. I have heard self-reports from those specific attention. Musical Fingers (Alfred). If the student plays a with each of our score and silently practicing the indicated wrong note. beat. The vast major and minor. This frees the hands to prepare responsibility as piano cate these shifts. My own approach with the Mikrokosmos has been to assign several of these short pieces per week for the student to learn. the ear can’t always be depended upon to finish a world of great literature opens its doors wide to those who are able phrase. Lack of fluenchord—for the student with serious readof the biggest cy in hand motion is one of the great ing problems!) at quarter = 60. Insist on absolute fluency. It is our responsibility as piano teachers to see that Mikrokosmos includes a healthy dose of sounds that are other than this vital skill is addressed with each of our students. so does the potential rather than backward. provides an excellent summary of the var4. encouraging accuracy for the next chord! carefully arranging them in a progressive Additionally. pivots. This takes only moments from the college student’s hour lesson. In Volume I motions of the 2. and wisely with their eyes. Bartók is wrong note for the duration of the susdemonstrably concerned with the placetaining chord. 37 . brings a host of new finger combinations to the a student is too often inaccurate. the note values of the exerthe student’s journey through Volume II of the Mikrokosmos. select pieces from the repertoire are spot-checked and a new batch assigned. Fundamentals support both of the above. The rhythmic independence found in counterpoint is a separate kind of problem that requires a separate track of study. a fourth. for example). fifth. have a rigorous system of technical exams required of our underPolyphonic textures graduates at end-of-semester juries. The simplest and most direct route to increasing the student’s reading ability in this texDeveloping awareness of hand motion ture requires only a few steps: Volume I of the Mikrokosmos is com1. Using chorale textures A steady diet of four-part chorales (two voices in each hand) acquaints the hand with common chord progressions and the intricate interval patterns that comprise them. This is very effective in ment and frequency of these hand shifts. she must “live” with that students. with the idea being that new repertoire must be constantly in front of them. Correcting a wrong note in a chord trains for error and confusion. Beginning with when changing chords. prohibiting correction fashion throughout the volume. It is our hands are limited to simple shifting.

but needs to listen for musicality. • John—a transfer student with two years of college theory. It is recognition of pitch and rhythmic similarities. the piano major skills class is a lesson each week to help 38 CLAVIER COMPANION SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2011 . but has no previous theory background. improvising. and playing by ear. It is awareness of the key center and the feel of the topography of the key in the hand. What is conceptual reading? It is not reading one note at a time. The students complete four levels in the course curriculum and prepare for the piano proficiency exam to be taken at the end of the second semester. cadences. The first hour is devoted to theory at the keyboard: scales. but is very determined to rise to the class expectations. Others have played with a worship band and are familiar with popular chord symbols. P Sylvia Coats instructs the piano major class. harmonizing. It is hearing harmonic changes and cadence resolutions. Let me introduce you to last year’s piano major class: four students in their second semester of piano class and two students who joined the class in the spring semester: • Kelsey—reads well. • Angie—a very curious student with no theory background. It is the ability to feel a constant pulse. He relies more on his ear than his reading skills. Several have accompanied choirs and instrumental and vocal soloists. It is not stopping the music to correct mistakes. who is eager.Diverse backgrounds = diverse needs by Sylvia Coats The piano major class at Wichita State iano majors enter the university at a variety of sight-reading levels. Christina Kesler rehearses sight-reading for the final exam before a student jury committee. to understand music theory. transposing. • Christina—has an exceptional theory understanding from her precollege and community college background. along with Kelsey. I teach a class for piano majors during their freshman year that focuses on sight-reading and other functional skills. Thus. • Tony—has returned to college after a ten-year break of playing for music theater. plays by ear. It is expressing the music. fairly good reading skills. but is not a confident reader. A few have never played accompaniments. Conceptual reading through fundamentals Piano majors who do not read well can be trained to read with a conceptual understanding. and accompanies the college choir. In order to help the less experienced reader obtain better reading skills and to enhance the musical understanding of the good readers. A Clavinova Piano Laboratory is the pianists’ classroom for two hours on Friday mornings. has poor reading skills. • Patrick—a conscientious student who learns quickly and plays confidently. The second hour is devoted to sight-reading.

They then found instances of the raised fourth degree of the scale that signaled a secondary dominant chord in other pieces they read. In addition. improvising in modes with harmony in stepwise root movement frees them from the classical constraints of I. Beethoven sonatinas. We are never too advanced to count out loud! Counting naturally contributes to looking ahead in the music. Schumann’s Album for the Young. Benefits of group learning The group environment is the key to their success in improving sight-reading. In the sight-reading hour each week the students read Bach short preludes. I stress continuity in sight-reading and encourage them to improvise in rhythm even if the pitches are not accurate. During one class. secondary. Working with their peers in pairs and as a class. and discussed their discoveries with the class. They arrange well-known melodies in the style of each of the historical periods of music. IV. etc. and V chords. Students prepare assignments each week in harmonizing and transposing. chords. rhythm related to pulse. a basic skill necessary for good sight-reading. Counting is so important to their success in reading. a key that is a fourth or fifth away requires them to read by intervals. Students plan the key. In contrast to the contemporary scales. meter. Because of the activities. which requires them to keep going even if they make mis- takes. or modal scale structures. Transposing is the most difficult skill for the class members. Evaluation of progress In the sixth of eight tests during the year. logical fingering. and secondary dominant chords.students develop an understanding of key signatures. students were required to read a piece of my choice from the Schumann Album CLAVIER COMPANION 39 . as they become more comfortable with improvisation. students were paired together to explore contemporary scales and chords. twelvetone. Each group studied music based on whole tone. and playing by ear directly contribute to their success in sightreading. they begin to observe the same concepts in their SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2011 sight-reading and performing repertoire. they discuss the new concept and teach each other what they have learned. Here is a glimpse into the classes. and accompaniment patterns. harmonizing. Rather than choose a key only a step away from the original. Such similarities between pieces are becoming more evident to them. However. and compositional style. improvising. Volume 2. Functional skills of scales. they played four-octave scales in major and minor keys with a heightened sense of tonality. Transposing forces students to read intervals. harmonic progressions. pentatonic. harmony. transposing. During the class they play the selections together. They play songs by ear with a variety of accompaniment patterns. probably because they were not taught to read by intervals and patterns. intervals. The students harmonize melodies with popular chord symbols as well as figured bass. I instruct them to practice sight-reading in the repertoire books outside of class in order to become familiar with the composers’ styles. For instance. Initially it is very difficult for them to keep going when they make mistakes. beat four wants to go to beat one. Students learn to improvise melodies and accompaniments with primary. They immediately put the theory to use through playing “The Star Spangled Banner” by ear and searching for a chord to harmonize the raised fourth degree of the scale—a B dominant-seventh chord in the key of A Major. At one class they extended their background of primary and secondary chords to learn secondary dominant chords. Playing chord progressions in different inversions in all keys ensures a tactile memory of chords. The various scale structures helped them realize that music can be organized around pitch centers in a variety of ways. and Bartók’s Mikrokosmos. they start to trust themselves to keep going.

After the sight-reading test. theory. Tony. Kenon D. In their last class meeting. Willard. style. Books used in the class: Bartók. Van Nuys. Ed. In their spirited exchange. Mikrokosmos Volume 2 .for the Young. Linn. CA: Alfred Publishing Company. Several students commented on the mood of the music and the high points of phrases. E. (2005). Inc. WI: G. while the other three performed functional skills and sight-reading. and Patrick rehearsed for their final exam. Patrick and Angie said they now harmonize melodies at church and Patrick jumped in to transpose a song down a whole step for a singer. Alice. Christina remarked that playing in tempo as a group is more like the real world in accompanying. Op. (2004). 2nd ed. rather than practicing alone at a slow tempo. Previously. When asked about their progress. CA: Alfred Publishing Company. and Renfrow. Van Nuys. CA: Alfred Publishing Company. Ed. Hinson. The better readers analyzed chords. Palmer. Lancaster. Maurice. CA: Alfred Publishing Company. Christina. They were responsible for reading any selection from the repertoire books. Tony and Kelsey are more aware of chord analysis and structure in their repertoire. 68. but after studying the inner contents of pieces in the Album for the Young. chords. the less confident readers said they now see patterns in notes. L ondon: Boosey & Hawkes. Book 2. Kelsey. John. they demanded excellence from one another with humor and support. Kern. rhythms. Alfred ’s Group Piano for Adults. Tony thought Schumann was trite. Bach 18 Short P reludes for the Keyboard . When asked to discuss what they have learned.S. Three of them served as the jury committee. Bela. Schumann Selections from Album for the Young. key. (1994). John said learning harmony helps his jazz playing. Angie. and structure. he changed his mind. They were aware of stylistic differences between composers such as Mozart and Brahms. and progress since the first semester. Harmonization-Transposition at the Keyboard. J. Questions were in regard to their awareness of key. Jennifer. Van Nuys. I interviewed each student about their study of the score.L. (2008). I am gratified that they have grown in their skills through their growth as a group. Schirmer. and fingering that help them move around the keyboard without looking. Milwaukee. 2 nd ed. (1986). Ed. 40 CLAVIER COMPANION SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2011 . (2004). patterns. Beethoven Seven Sonatinas. Van Nuys.


She holds a BME from the University of Colorado. she has maintained her home teaching studio for thirty years. Editor Rebecca Grooms Johnson. Theory Papers.” A survey of current methods: The Robert Pace Keyboard Approach his issue concludes Clavier Companion’s survey of piano methods. American Choral Directors Association. and we must never stop examining and testing new methods as they are published. I had no doubts that key diversity should be an essential aspect of every piano student’s learning from the very beginning.. received a Bachelor of Music degree from Millikin University in Decatur. The Grand Staff is presented with emphasis on the four As. Nominative counting continues throughout the presentation of eighth notes and compound meter. 1 The aim of this series is to review the core materials of piano methods that are either new or substantially changed since a similar series of articles appeared in Piano Quarterly in the 1980s. NCTM. or for all of any one teacher’s students. It has been a pleasure. when used by the right teacher with the right student. A consultant for the International Piano Teaching Foundation and an adjudicator and chairman for National Guild of Piano Teachers. Colorado State Music Teachers Association. Levels: Books 1—4 (Revised) Music for Piano. distributed by Hal Leonard Corp. Prior to founding The Lake Shore Music Studio in Chicago. is a nationally respected leader in the field of piano pedagogy. and pieces are immediately transposed into various keys. Sharps.2 The original method was first published in 1961. For reviews of methods that are older or have not been revised recently. Ph. Book 1 begins with six pages of off-staff pieces introducing note direction and steps/skips in the C and D major five-finger positions. She has presented at conferences and conventions for Music Teachers National Association. He wrote: In my own mind. and three times a year she publishes a feature article in American Music Teacher titled “What’s New in Pedagogy Research. There are no graphics or color in any of the core books in this series. and National Certification Chair. all of the reviewed teaching approaches can produce happy. and an MA from the University of Denver. National Chair of MTNA’s Pedagogy Committee. and rhythmic counting is nominative. Relative and parallel minor tonic and dominant chords appear in the final pages of the first book along with a piece introducing Alberti bass accompaniment style. although that was contrary to the practice of the most widely used and popular piano methods on the market at that time. two articles written by teachers who have used the method extensively in their studios. Skills and Drills Book 6—Music for Piano Initially influenced by the Oxford Piano Course and the Burrows-Ahearn materials. Boulder. I have come to realize that we are blessed with a tremendous variety of excellent. As consultant to the International Piano Teaching Foundation she is a frequent speaker and teacher trainer. Please see the September/October 2009 issue of Clavier Companion for more details on this project. Chords in all twelve major keys are introduced on two pages in the middle of Book 1. pedagogically sound materials. and the National Society for Gifted and Talented. Alpha: Moving at a breathtaking pace. followed by I and V7 melodic harmonization in each hand. It was in this context that I decided that any method books I created would be “Multi-key” with no key restriction. Illinois. Finger Builders. T Robert Pace was an early leader in the multi-key pedagogic movement. and has done graduate work at Teachers College. Inc. She is an independent teacher and has taught extensively at the university level. This issue’s contributors: An author of two encyclopedia articles and a book. Several of my core beliefs have been confirmed: no one series is right for every teacher. The Robert Pace Keyboard Approach—by Robert Pace Publisher: L ee Roberts Music Publications. enthusiastic. Occasional “variations” of pieces are given—students are encouraged to find the differences and then change a note or two to make their own new piece. and key signatures are introduced on page eleven. we invite you to revisit the original Piano Quarterly series. she has served as President of the OhioMTA. and to Pete Jutras and Steve Betts for their editing expertise and always patient help. Julie Lovison studied piano in Chicago with Mollie Margolies.Perspectives in Pedagogy Issues and Ideas: Perspectives in Pedagogy Rebecca Grooms Johnson. My deepest thanks go to all the teachers who wrote about their experiences with each series. flats. she taught in the preparatory department of Millikin University and Young Peoples Arts Program of Alverno College in Milwaukee. well-prepared students. Kathy Van Arsdale is former president of her suburban Denver MTNA affiliate. Active in the Music Teachers National Association. We hope that you found these articles to be an interesting and helpful overview of the most popular methods currently on the market. She is currently Vice-President of the MTNA Board of Directors. and a response from the authors of the method surveyed in the previous issue.D. and revisions were made from 2006 to 2009. Creative Music Book 5—Music for Keyboard. 42 CLAVIER COMPANION SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2011 .1 Looking back over the past two years. Columbia University and the National College of Education. A specialist in group teaching for thirty years. Each article in this twelve-part series has had three sections—an introductory synopsis by the Associate Editor.

New publications such as Succeeding at the Piano continue to use the multi-key philosophy as a major portion of their eclectic pedagogical approach. bitonality. Bagatelle. and Hanon (with instructions for transposition). twelve-tone row with retrograde. Op. harmonizing melody lines. and for improvisation which are closely related to those presented in Music for Piano I Revised.Music for Piano: Repertoire in the lesson books begins with an emphasis on folk songs and pieces by Robert Pace. all seven modes. with a concluding section listing major and minor scales and arpeggios. augmented triads. Reflections: It has been interesting to review this series. interspersed with longer technical exercises. Books 5 and 6 continue the format of Book 4. not only because it was one of the revolutionary pedagogical influences in the recent history of piano methods. Creative Music I Revised. diatonic triads of the major scale. modulation. Book 4 is essentially an early. Op. No. Omega: If one ends the series with Book 4. twelve-tone row. The sequenced repertoire in Books 5 and 6 extend to early-advanced literature.) Books 2-4 feature examples for sightreading on even numbered pages and creative activities such as improvisation on the facing odd numbered pages. Theor y Papers: Offering extensive opportunities for drill and reinforcement. by Beethoven. Book 2 introduces waltz bass. seventh chords. wrist movement. No. Dates and locations for the training workshops are posted on the Lee Roberts website: leerobertsmusic. (For more information on this adaptation. (From the Foreword of Book I. the damper pedal. Finger Builders: Short technical exercises are given in Book 1 with various suggesSEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2011 tions for hand position. reduced levels of theory concepts and. this volume provides extensive work on chord progressions. Opportunities are provided for transposition and improvisation. and more advanced technical exercises. whole-tone scale. Here the learners reapply in slightly altered fashion the basic musical ideas just encountered. 4 I wonder if. Books 3 and 4 provide work on two. and non-chord tones. blues scales. mixed meter. then quickly moves to original works by classical composers. less emphasis on traditional classical repertoire with more pop and rock style pieces. The goal is for students to be able to read and understand music at the level of their current technical advancement and to be able to apply the appropriate concepts to each new example. more advanced technical exercises. There are no games or graphics. It concludes with a Ländler by Franz Schubert. 1 (posthumous). transposition. the use of color and graphics. quartal harmony. students will be at an early intermediate level. but also because of the direction James and Jane Bastien took some of its concepts in their own piano series. canon at the octave. concluding with the Chopin Nocturne in E Minor.namm. Oneoctave major and parallel minor scales appear in Book 2.and four-octave major and minor scales. of course. although workshops are offered. these books provide necessary support for the extensive array of theory concepts presented in Music for Piano Books 1-4. and library/oral-history/jane-bastien). and the fourth. Compact Discs: Neither compact discs nor MIDI files are available for this series. midintermediate book of repertoire in sequential order of difficulty with brief performance suggestions at the top of some of the pages. he ever imagined they would have such a farreaching and lasting influence on how thousands of students learn to play the piano. and Phrygian mode. twelve-bar Dorian mode. Skills and Drills: Listed as a companion for Book 5. sub-dominant chords. see Jane Bastien’s discussion at www. the second. is the last piece in this book.3 The most obvious adaptations were a slower pace. Teacher’s Guide: No Teacher’s Guides for these books are currently available. diminished triads. secondary dominants. and an emphasis on musical playing. arpeggios. Short pieces and technical etudes comprise a section on sightreading and transposing. 119. CLAVIER COMPANION 43 . 1. Creative Music: In describing these books Pace writes: Creative Music I Revised contains materials both for sight reading. The final piece is Soldier’s March by Robert Schumann. Book 3 teaches the I-IV-ii-V7-I cadence and melodic harmonization. when Robert Pace first wrote these books.

Duets are found in every level of the Music for Piano books. including off-staff materials. and aural skill examples. All four books are interconnected to concepts related to the masterwork-centered music literature. and changing meter. and aural skills. and Abraham Maslow—as well as various contemporary researchers and neurologists. A exciting contemporary sound (see Excerpt 1). By incorporating the ideas of important learning theorists and psychologists such as Jerome Bruner. and improvisation related to the music literature.A revolutionary change by Kathy Van Arsdale former student of Rosina Lhévinne holding a performance degree from Julliard. Pace often pointed out that only approximately one hundred pianists earn a full-time living as concert artists. Integrating the whole musical picture into a comprehensive. Not only are technical performance skills and repertoire taught in Comprehensive Musicianship. It incorporates a number of concepts including triads. Excerpt 1: “Escape to Sherwood” by Earl Ricker. and cadences in all keys. bi-tonal. Even at the elementary level. harmonization. from Music for Piano. and often developed through activities in Creative Music or Theory Papers. mm. Although all materials are organized and correlated in a complete package of musicianship. technical exercises. • Creative Music offers sight reading. Multi-key. Dr. teacher and student creativity is encouraged. Pace developed an inventive program for preschool students. Peer learning and teaching begin immediately. materials include unusual offerings such as modal. crossing hands technique. SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2011 . Among the first to stress the importance of early childhood music education at the piano. easy-to-teach unit is a tremendous strength of the series. technique. One of the activities I like to use is the Question and Answer game. consistent incorporation of music theory. Establishing the vital role of music making in the lives of all learners became his mission. Deeply rooted in a philosophy of music education he called “Comprehensive Musicianship. composition. this original multi-key approach develops higher level thinking skills from the very beginning. Earl Ricker’s Escape to Sherwood is an intermediate-level student favorite due to its big. Dr. Many flashcards are available. This dialogue begins with a four-measure question from Creative Music such as this one from Book 4. • Music for Piano provides music literature that. Book 3. 44 CLAVIER COMPANION Researched. a breakthrough in educational methodology was achieved. twelvetone row compositions. but learning PROCESSES—original thinking and imagination—are emphasized. A huge variety of musical sound is presented. Jean Piaget. performance practice. arpeggios. Supporting each piece Core materials are structured into four books: • Finger Builders takes students from five-finger positions in all keys through scales. the series requires no hunting for the next sequential piece. transposition. Individual responses are performed until all have supplied an answer or two. Robert Pace made the remarkable decision to revolutionize the art of piano teaching in America. multi-level. Each piece is supported by appropriate technical skill builders in every key. Teaching music conceptually through spiral learning became the basis of the Pace pedagogical approach. analysis. bi-chordal composition style. performed by the teacher or all the students (see Excerpt 2). improvisatory and compositional exercises in the style of that piece. multi-purpose materials provide a masterful basis for instruction and offer limitless potential in the hands of imaginative teachers. theory related to the piece of the week. in intermediate and advanced books.” his dynamic approach was well ahead of its time. Howard Gardner. and chord identification through formal analysis. Spiraling conceptual learning ensures review of each concept: review pieces are woven into the books. and ready to teach with carefully designed progressions of musical concepts. Dr. • Theory Papers supports literacy through written activities for each level—from note. and circle-of-fifths pieces. tested. program music. history. includes outstanding short examples in their original form organized into repeated cycles of music history. Offering an early. 1 – 37. extreme dynamics. or theoretical concept. Inventive supplementary materials for all levels (including advanced students) continue supportive options beyond the scope of most series. sight-reading. interval.

with long. and student art projects reinforce concepts. and personalities comprehend and enjoy the music. the series provides a tested and trustworthy template for instruction. This requires studio reorganization. it may be best used in a combination of partner and group lessons (about forty minutes each). little music store display space. and revisited. develops discerning listening skills. For younger students. Who has time to teach all this? Consider using weekly groups to teach concepts. increases fun. engaging. board games. Piano class becomes the place for visuals and weekly “hands-on” activities. and thus. gain an instant ensemble. early childhood education. It is a relatively unknown method with little name recognition. and provides encouragement and social support—keeping students engaged longer to develop studio loyalty. chalkboard games. and use peer learning and teaching. fine art reproductions. learning through play is emphasized by using musical games and songs. What can you do in weekly piano group? • Fun activities—many can be found in Creative Music and Theory Papers SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2011 45 . Flashcards. • Games from Gloria Burnett Scott’s wonderful book. Pace materials are particularly strong in the areas of standard piano literature. Student imagination is piqued by aural and visual design. and chose to let the beautiful music speak for itself. little you” teaching dynamic is erased. The traditional “big me. Ideas can be infinitely interrelated. backgrounds. psychology. $14. performance and critique. and an emphasis on improvisation and composition for every student. HL00372363.and short-term teacher design and planning. stimulating students AND teachers. With the exception of a few books. and delight in perceiving the big picture presented in the materials. dictation • Ensemble work using Pace’s many supplementary duet books demonstrating various compositional techniques • Board games and other materials from a variety of publishers. finger puppets. Materials can be difficult to find (online is best). Appropriate for all students Students of diverse learning styles. Teachers find the series comprehensive. flannel board. business practices.Excerpt 2: Question and Answer activity from Creative Music. and challenging. Gifted learners skip ahead at their own rate. Pace opposed selling books via color pictures. reshaped. An invitation to inventive teaching. finding at least one way in which they can shine. models expressive performance. and the comprehensive approach to music learning. Teacher training The Pace method can be daunting without proper training. Book 4. Although the method can be implemented in a wide variety of ways. the integration of music theor y from the start. then add repertoire lessons (partner or private) for individualized attention. Pace program certification provides training in topics such as educational theory. this is a non-graphic method. Musical Games and Activities (Hal Leonard. Innovative Pace materials are applicable in a wide variety of ways. Teacher support and continuing education is possible in local groups of teachers of the Pace method.95) • Aural skills. which is available at locations throughout the nation. Dr. teaching methodology for lifetime retention. Because it CLAVIER COMPANION What about classes? The stereotype that this is a “group method” scares many away. Group learning reduces quirks and inappropriate behavior. flashcards. or online.

passing tones. Building a foundation Whenever possible. we pick a new five-finger pattern for transposition. a teacher who wishes to supplement with repertoire from other series can easily relate concepts such as intervallic reading. teachers avoid burnout. This method speaks to teachers through its strong philosophy. In another game. from there. quarter. the right hand can play a two-octave scale while the left hand plays a I-IV-V-I chord progression in Alberti bass pattern. Try reversing the hands—or my student’s idea. eighth. Students enjoy a game of unscrambling the patterns as each child plays one pattern of the song. Never stagnant. incorporating ear training as students try to duplicate what each student improvised. xylophones. As a Guild adjudicator. This is hard work. conceptual thinking. and is. Building layers of musical understanding by Julie Lovison I teach the Robert Pace approach because I can’t imagine not giving my students the benefit of having a broad understanding of music that makes studying more fun. and perceiving the big picture. poised to move quickly 46 CLAVIER COMPANION . secondary dominants. I have seen all the methods performed. to the intricacies of I-vi-IV-ii-V-I progressions. For added fun try the left hand in calypso style rhythm ( five-year-olds) or Kinder-Keyboard (six. Another day we’ll play a fishing game with the melodic patterns and use additional cards with various combinations of steps and skips patterns. playing and acting out songs. Students experience a wide spectrum of songs that use major. skips. where the toys are musical concepts they can use the rest of their lives. then Alberti bass. and larger intervals. My transfer students bring in their old methods. One student will play a steady beat as a duet—with notes one and five of whatever key we are in. Although each level’s four core books give plenty of reading. I have successfully used Alfred’s Basic Piano Library Prep Course books to ease the transition from Kinder-Keyboard to Book 1 and solidify reading skills. writing. but any contemporary series could be used. quarter. Excerpt 3: “April Showers” from Kinder-Keyboard. every teaching day with Pace is greeted as a joyful opportunity. rather than sitting at the piano for the entire lesson. therefore. but the method itself is exciting. This method is not about flashy graphics and student-friendly songs. Separating the cards helps them see and learn the individual patterns. play a crossed-hands intellectually appealing. improvisation. I put the patterns of the songs on flash cards and color code repeated patterns (see Excerpt 3). the possibility of implementing individual teaching strengths in working with groups. Later. and the application of I and V chords to these supplementary pieces. Students learn that ascending or descending diatonic chords can be an accompaniment device. What we love about the Moppets course is that it includes creative movement. singing. rhythm instruments. prepares the student for all the music they will ever play. often through playing musical games. the Hanon exercises presented in Level 2 Finger Builders (see Excerpt 4) can be played in the right hand while the left hand (or a second student) can play the I-ii-iii-IV-V-vi-viio chords that have been taught in Music for Piano and reinforced in Theory Papers. Dorian. It is up to the teacher to romance the material and involve students. minor. listening games (for ear development). Students learn to recognize melodic patterns that repeat. If students begin with Book 1 materials. pentatonic. but powerful music concepts. steps. it only takes a brief encounter to see how much better these books can be experienced through group activities. Studying upper and lower neighbors. Combining activities Technique and theory can be effectively combined. modulations. Six year olds appreciate being able to move around in class. and diminished-seventh arpeggios found in Levels 4 and 5. It is truly a musical playground. and invert. The beauty is in how students build their understanding one layer and one concept at a time. they will need time and lots of reinforcement with the basic concepts. For example. where we can have a few years to get comfortable and develop familiarity with basic. quarter). and parallel and contrary sixths and tenths in Book 2 is so helpful in preparing SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2011 Transitioning to the core books Students who have completed Moppets and Kinder-Keyboard can comfortably jump into Book 1 at page 12. Then we may take turns improvising a new melody with the same rhythm. Songs are highly patterned in Kinder-Keyboard. it’s clear I’m a true believer. all while encouraging each student’s creative ideas. Just as the melody would be in a piece. I prefer to start students in the Moppets (four. and creative improvisation practice. and a more thoroughly rich experience. and whole-tone scales in 4/4 and 6/8 meter. more practical. repeats. Although the series can be used successfully with individual students. and even drawing and coloring—all natural parts of a child’s world. and experiment with applying this bass to “Merrily We Roll Along” and other folk songs (see Excerpt 5). or stay the same. Having implemented this method in my home studio for thirty years. then we switch. down. transposition. There is simply no other approach that so totally integrates comprehensive music study and builds layers of musical understanding—from the first basic concept that melodies go up. and discover the relative position of the ABCs to the twin or triplet black keys. question and answer phrasing. well worth the effort. These chords can first be played in block seven-yearolds) programs. the right hand should be louder and perhaps crescendo as the notes ascend. sequence and inversion. sequence. or F# and C# if it’s a pentatonic song.

getting together with other instructors who teach in groups is also helpful. All Rights Reserved. and harmonic patterns before playing. they have developed a healthy collaborative approach to music and a confident.leerobertsmusic. and Mozart sonatas. Hackinson. and melodic components. along with the requisite theory knowledge. play by dynamic-learning-robert-pace/why-multi-key-robert-pace. editor of “Perspectives in Pedagogy. Author Response Response to Succeeding at the Piano review All excerpts in this article © Lee Roberts Music Publications. with a healthy enthusiasm for playing and sharing music with others. then we discover the new concepts and immediately transfer them to other musical situations. International Copyright Secured. Pace. Beethoven. I would also like to take this opportunity to thank Frank J. Additional training with seasoned teachers who studied with Dr. Book 2. thus making Mozart. Having the technique in place. This means that from the first lessons students learn to read patterns naturally CLAVIER COMPANION 47 . They deserve our appreciation for their expertise. and Persichetti as easy to play as Hot Cross Buns. Robert (2010). for their detailed assessment of the method. improvise. If a Pace group is not available. Applying skills and knowledge I always explain to students that the eight-measure pieces in the Music for Piano Books 1 and 2 are there to teach something important about music that they can apply to other music. enables students to learn pieces quickly and interpret them sensitively and musically. President and CEO of The FJH Music Company Inc. His unwavering commitment to pedagogical quality. Here is a quick review of some of the defining characteristics of SATP: a) The reading approach in Succeeding at the Piano combines conventional note reading with reading by intervals. as well as jazz studies. as well as both Gail Lew and Sylvia Coats. and our thanks for the time they have devoted to this important. They are truly engaged in their practice because they know how to study music independently. as well as to aesthetic detail. and develop a comfortable technical facility to perform with stylistic accuracy. The response from the author of Succeeding at the Piano is presented below. realistic attitude about their strengths and areas to improve. They understand the phrase structures. Pace teachers typically continue their training by regularly meeting together to practice teaching and share creative ideas. Currently in revision and projected to be published in early 2012. Schumann character pieces. My excitement in using the Robert Pace approach is that even students who end formal lessons after Book 1 or 2 have a more profound understanding and a set of practical skills to enable them to continue a satisfying lifelong involvement. Excerpt 5: “Merrily We Roll Along” from Music for Piano. Because most have learned with partners or in a group from an early age. I would like to thank Rebecca Grooms Johnson.Excerpt 4: “Legato Study” from Finger Builders.pdf 3 Please see the Clavier Companion March/April 2011 issue for the Bastien Piano Basics review. We establish a routine for quickly evaluating the melody. We all desire this intensely rewarding musical experience for our students. chords. Book 2. The delight in completing the Pace series comes from being able to boil advanced literature down to simple concepts. to play Bach Inventions. rhythm. has served as a cornerstone to our field of piano pedagogy. Inc.” for including the Succeeding at the Piano method in the July/August issue. Pace is invaluable for practical structuring advice. Used by Permission. informative series. Students enjoy being able to easily transpose. 4 Please see the Clavier Companion September/October 2011 issue for the Succeeding at the Piano review. the Book 1 Teacher’s Guide provides detailed page-by-page directions. Editor’s Note: Clavier Companion will invite the authors of each method series reviewed to respond to that review in the following issue. 2 Recommended teacher training The teacher’s manuals for Music for Moppets and KinderKeyboard are essential to understanding how to teach these books. Songs are learned quickly since all the notes are meaningful to them. The reviewers did a fine job of identifying the core pedagogical issues of SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2011 SATP. and find appropriate and interesting harmonies based on chord formulas and their knowledge of musical scales and styles. Why Multi-Key? Retrieved from http://www.

and we see that students are happier and psychologically healthier when they learn this way. I wrote Succeeding at the Piano to serve students and teachers and encourage a love for piano playing that will last. The Recital Book is also another way to review the reading skills learned in the Lesson and Technique Book. SATP’s natural learning cycles move students through units that fluctuate slightly in difficulty. With students playing musically.and easily. Athletes have long known that this is a more effective way to train. Recurring activities that promote excellent musicianship fill the pages of the Preparatory Book. As Rebecca Grooms Johnson aptly stated in the initial review. and reinforce concepts. Within each carefully leveled grade. b) Correct information for healthy technique is included in the Lesson books.facebook. learning excellent technique. By the end of the 2B level. and developing strong reading skills. d) Interesting repertoire: With music by six leading pedagogical composers and historical pieces. they progress quickly and confidently. The system works the best when the Theory and Activity Book is used along with the Lesson and Technique Book. learn. with typical starting ages of five to nine years old. motivated. see. the Flash Card Friend as well as the Succeeding with a Notespeller books provide further reinforcement. I am sure that when you use these activities and observe the great results. students know both staffs completely as well as ledger lines above and below the staffs. —Helen Marlais Author. play.” Familiarity training works. Succeeding at the Piano is designed as a core piano method. and it helps to ensure healthy. e) Succeeding at the Piano recognizes that learning is non-linear and uses a pacing system that accommodates natural learning cycles. Succeeding at the Piano Find us on Facebook! www. For students who need a little extra help. Students learn that technique is an essential part of their everyday routine. my goal with familiarity training is to introduce concepts “in the order of: listen. c) Students are introduced to the elements of musicality as early as the Preparatory level book. f ) Familiarity training is another important pedagogical approach used in Succeeding at the Piano. you’ll see why I included them. successful students. students are engaged in a wide variety of musical styles with roots firmly grounded in the 48 CLAVIER COMPANION SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2011 .


Additional contributors listed on the next page musicianship skills. Jeremy Siskind has performed at many of the world’s foremost venues. William Heiles. Also retained from the third edition is Haydon’s chapter “Introducing Jazz to the Intermediate Student. Siskind has been honored by ASCAP and Downbeat. The first two sections. This fourth edition.” The book contains over 600 pages and is divided into seven sections. Fingering. Siskind received his bachelor’s degree from the Eastman School of Music and just completed his master’s degree in English and Comparative Literature at Columbia University. panelist. CDs & DVDs. technical development. modes of instruction. and Walter Schenkman. and her own MBT Productions publishing venture. Pupil Saver. lead authors James Lyke. and The Instrument. Edward Gates is Frieda Derdeyn Bambas Professor of Piano at the University of Oklahoma. Steven Hesla. Part One: The Young Pianist includes a section titled Beginnings. The authors here include Reid Alexander. Schaum Publications. With updates and expansions of previous chapters. and Catherine Rollin explore a wide variety of pedagogical topics in this important resource. Peter Jutras. Classical. Practicing. technology.” New chapters in the first section include Rollin’s “Preparing Students for the Romantic Style of Chopin” and Tony Caramia’s “Taking You from I Can’t Get Started to Over the Rainbow. The remaining five sections of the book discuss briefly the following broad areas: Research and the Piano Teacher. With chapters by Lyke. and Suzanne Schons. including Carnegie Hall and the Kennedy Center. Part One: The Young Pianist and Part Two: The Advancing Pianist. She is an international clinician and performing artist and works as a performance coach and certified hypnotherapist for musicians struggling with performance anxiety. Geoffrey Haydon. Jo Ellen DeVilbiss. Closer look Back-to-school reading Creative Piano Teaching. Geoffrey Haydon. providing readers with a list of quality materials. The preface informs the reader that “Creative Piano Teaching is intended as a piano pedagogy text for those preparing to become teachers. Lyke. Paul Sheftel. arriving after a fifteenyear hiatus. five chapters that introduce various concepts to the beginning teacher. and Twentieth-Century eras. and Recital Performing.First Looks First Looks Susan Geffen. motivation. jazz styles. Romantic. It also serves as a valuable resource for established teachers in the profession. adjudicator. Richard Chronister. and Carole Flatau. Fourth Edition by James Lyke. She is a specialist in Recreational Music Making and has also worked as a composer’s assistant and orchestral score proofreader. Schons’s chapter on brain research should be read by every musician and teacher. and writer. George Litterst. with the first chapter for each period summarizing the salient concepts and the second chapter providing a list of essential repertoire. this section creates a good foundation for the remaining content of the text. Vanessa Cornett-Murtada is the Director of Keyboard Studies at the University of St. contains two chapters each for the Baroque. presenter. The remainder of Part One explores a wide variety of topics relating to the elementary pianist who starts lessons as a young child. She lives in Knoxville. Rollin. a long list of contributing authors. from teaching the adult hobbyist to preparing music SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2011 50 CLAVIER COMPANION . The first. These chapters examine a wide variety of topics. Style Periods and Appropriate Repertoire. Karen Krieger.” The Caramia contribution alone is worth the price of the book. Denise Edwards. Ann Collins. Historical Perspectives. and Ruth Slenczynska contribute to the second half of the Advancing Pianist section—Approaches to Technique. Her piano solos and duos are published by FJH Music Company. Karen Koch. Here chapters by Lyke. New Music. Memorizing. Authors not previously mentioned include Vanessa Cornett-Murtada. and repertoire. These chapters are similar to those in the third edition. Haydon. Myra Brooks-Turner entered Juilliard at age 12 and holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Southern Methodist University. A highlight of this section is Chronister’s chapter on music reading: it should be required reading for every music teacher. and Catherine Rollin. Jutras. and Christos Tsitsaros convey information relating to This issue’s contributors: Steve Betts is Professor of Piano at California Baptist University and a Managing Editor of Clavier Companion. The Advancing Pianist includes two subsections. three editions of Creative Piano Teaching have provided a wealth of information for piano pedagog y classes and independent keyboard teachers. Types of adult students are discussed in four chapters by Edwards. Thomas in Minnesota. where she teaches courses in piano and piano pedagogy. As a composer. Kenneth Drake. Lee Evans. Each of these chapters provides an excellent springboard for further exploration. and Haydon. continues the book’s strong legacy. News & Notes Susan Geffen is a Managing Editor of Clavier Companion. He is a contributing author to the Frances Clark Library for Piano Students. His recommendations concerning internet sites related to jazz pedagog y sift through the immense resources available. Editor Books. and Berenson convincingly makes the argument for teachers to join professional organizations. and new topics. Rollin. Gail Berenson. Organizations for Piano Teachers. She is active as an educator. For over thirty years. He teaches undergraduate and graduate applied piano as well as selected graduate seminars in piano literature. Pedaling. comprise approximately two-thirds of the content. The Adult Pianist.

Or maybe you’re the teacher confronted with this kind of paradox. agogic placement. Roberto Poli looks everywhere inside and outside the box in search of alternative meanings for common musical notations—“hairpins”. rinforzando. is unfortunate. 79. and you just had to get used to it. Brahms Rhapsody. Beethoven Sonata. all of which might or might not include dynamic stress. variations in the way composers use markings. Chopin seems to use the term in the expected sense of pressing forward. in at least one instance Poli argues that an opening hairpin indicates a slight reduction of tempo as the symbol widens. however. Far from demanding heavy accents. Many chapters contain recommended reading and reference lists that provide access information for numerous excellent resources for additional study. She was one of only five teachers in the country to win the 2001 Group Piano Teachers Award from the MTNA and the National Piano Foundation. Considerations include the difference between long and short closing hairpins. 57) majors—including those for whom piano is their primary instrument—for piano proficiency examinations. Op.M. or metric displacement or non displacement. the terms sforzando. Bartók Mikrokosmos I-II) 4 Late intermediate: technical and rhythmic sophistication (Bach inventions. with a closing hairpin in the Barcarolle ). 2011. sforzando may often denote a special expressiveness. The author biographies at the end of the book are helpful and informative. In the chapter on hairpins. This significant expansion of Creative Piano Teaching is a welcome resource for our profession— congratulations to James Lyke. In his early works. In the chapter on rhythmic values Poli provides a convincing argument (mostly through the study of alignment in manuscripts) that dotted rhythms should often be assimilated into triplets and compound meters. Op. Hence it is not so much a tempo instruction as a key to the structure of the phrasing that otherwise might be overlooked by the performer. No. Categories S-Solo. and stretto. and to their team of authors. and pedal markings and rhythmic values in the music of composers from Haydn to Scriabin—and it’s a wonderfully illuminating journey. Illinois. an all-encompassing rule for its application may remain hard to ascertain. 617 pages. a prolongation. the entrance of an important voice. Lynette Zelis is the owner of Noteable Notes Music Studio in Wheaton. (Stipes. Along the way he touches on possible changes in the meaning of a notation over time and alterations that have been made by editors in SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2011 the printing of scores.80) —Steve Betts The Secret Life of Musical Notation: Defying Interpretive Traditions by Roberto Poli. E-Ensemble Quality rating Reviewer’s Choice: music that may become part of the standard repertoire Check-rated : repertoire that is highly recommended Krista Wallace-Boaz holds a D. redundant (dim. and implications for voicing and metric displacement. Geoffrey Haydon. The chapter on stretti centers almost entirely on the music of Chopin. 2) 6 Very difficult: for advanced pianists (Chopin etudes. he dwells mainly on their agogic (rather than dynamic) possibilities during the nineteenth century. For example. Poli’s thoughts on sforzando and rinforzando are particularly intriguing.Guide to new music reviews Grade levels 1 Beginning: five-finger patterns and simple rhythms 2 Easy: scales and simple syncopation 3 Intermediate: beginning counterpoint and complex rhythms (Bach notebooks. Although the agogic element of hairpins has a long history. CLAVIER COMPANION 51 . changing usage within a composer’s creative lifetime. If so. you’ve surely encountered a marking in a score that just didn’t make sense. harmonic underlining. as late as the music of Prokofieff and Scriabin. Maybe you had a teacher who insisted you execute it anyway. Bartók Romanian Folk Dances) 5 Difficult: for competent pianists (Mozart sonatas. or otherwise inscrutable (sforzandi at the ends of slurs in Haydn)—and. here’s a book that you will not only enjoy but that will make you think in new and unexpected ways. but such surprises are part of the pleasure of this book. where she teaches private and group piano lessons and maintains studios for nine other teachers. while a closing hairpin instructs the performer to linger before gradually returning to the original tempo. If you’ve played much music at all. and Catherine Rollin. with a closing hairpin in Chopin’s Polonaise Fantasy). Especially interesting is his discussion of Chopin’s use of s forzando to emphasize structural pillars of form. A few of his suggested applications of this usage are startling (as in the first movement of Beethoven’s “Moonlight” Sonata). the placement and spacing of markings. $68. Poli launches each of his discussions with markings that are seemingly problematic—either contradictory ( cresc. in piano performance and pedagogy from Northwestern University and teaches class piano and pedagogy at the University of Louisville. but Poli provides many examples after the early 1830s where stretto signals an underlying metrical compression or foreshortening. through study and comparison of varied examples. explores alternative implications of the notations. the omission of an index.

Poli’s discussion of pedal notations (again mostly Chopin’s) is interesting, although he gets a little stuck in ideas that aren’t as fresh as those in the other chapters. He expends a lot of effort pinpointing the exact location of release signs in manuscripts, only to reach the conclusion that the marks “merely followed a conventional notational method of the time.” He does make the important point that many of Chopin’s pedal marks work only with careful balancing of the texture. Meanwhile, this chapter reminded me again of the challenge an editor faces when translating musical script into printed music. Markings cannot be as freely and “conceptually” located as they are in the original manuscript; each must be specifically placed, often meaning that a marking ends up aligned with its closest element on the staff. Today, even our treasured urtext editions are the result of innumerable such decisions. Poli’s research is impressive. He has located and studied original manuscripts, early printed editions, subsequent versions and revisions, and primary and secondary written sources. He compares recordings and relates conversations with colleagues

and even with his students. He supplies over 200 well chosen and clearly marked examples from manuscripts as well as from first and subsequent editions. (Poli provides a link to his website,, where he has recorded many of the examples.) The book reads less like a treatise on performance practice than a series of detective stories: the author retraces his thinking—from original doubt through changing ideas, extensive research, and comparison of sources and possibilities—to his ultimate conclusions. This process sometimes makes it hard to remember Poli’s “solution” to a specific problem, and it may leave the casual reader wondering how it would be possible to carry out this kind of research and study on every marking encountered on a score. The more important point, though, is that a musician should not mechanically reproduce a musical marking, especially if it seems wrong for the music. Poli proposes a wealth of possibilities for us to ponder. One thing is certain: this book will affect the way you look at musical notations. (Amadeus Press, 2010, 254 pages. $24.99) —Ed Gates

New music
(S6) 30 Jazz Piano Classics. Various arrangers. Kudos to the people at Alfred for putting together a collection of great standards arranged by great jazz pianists! This book compiles arrangements of beloved standards by some of the best pianists of jazz’s glory days: Earl Hines, George Shearing, Fats Waller, Teddy Wilson, Mar y Lou Williams, André Previn, and Marian McPartland, among others. The vast majority of the arrangements are wonderful, authentic, and concise. Because of the sheer number and diversity of the arrangers, however, there is very little consistency throughout the book, and it’s not clear for whom it would be recommended. W hereas George Shearing’s arrangements could be played by someone of intermediate skill, Art Tatum’s arrangements (as one would expect) require intensely virtuosic pianism. In addition, the arrangements are short, most of them




two pages. Some arrangements, however— especially McPartland’s—are sprawling, and seem very out of place in the collection. Further, the boogie-woogie and stride arrangements (of which there are many) often require the pianist to fluidly reach tenths in the left hand, a requirement which might scare off all but true stride aficionados. With that complaint lodged, it should be pointed out that there are numerous gems in the book. Shearing’s contributions, in particular, are outstanding; his reharmonization of “O ver the Rainbow” will refresh any recital program with its sheer originality. The same can be said for McPartland’s written-out improvisation on Rodgers and Hammerstein’s “My Funny Valentine,” a freewheeling theme and variations. Some of the pieces are also fascinating from a musicological perspective: seeing Waller’s own arrangement of “The Jitterbug Waltz” or Earl Hines’s take on the Ellington “Do Nothin’ ‘til You Hear from Me” puts one in privileged company. Although 30 Jazz Piano Classics doesn’t make for a cohesive book, it might be a good item to have in your library if you or your students have an interest in authentic jazz arrangements. (Alfred, $19.99) J.S.

Enliven the holiday season
(S, E2) Rats ‘n’ Bats and Witches’ Hats by Debra Wanless. This is a collection of eleven short, generally one-page pieces, each with a Halloween theme. The cover indicates that this collection is elementar y level, but I would encourage teachers to use this for early-to-midintermediate students: the Halloween season is short, and these pieces contain concepts—such as compound time signatures of 6/8 and 12/8, multiple tonal centers, and changing key signatures—that would be difficult for elementar y students to understand. Additionally, some of the left-hand passages cover a large span on the piano. The pieces have appealing titles—“The Skeleton Shuffle,” “Stray Cat Boogie,” “Shadows of the Night,” “Gallopin’ Ghouls,” and “Hallowe’en Rock Out!”— and range from syncopated fast boogies to slow and lyrical waltzes. “Black Hat Hoedown,” the collection’s one duet, is really cute and contains easy rhythmic motives and melodic figures. This duet would be a good recital piece for young students. Wanless includes some fun in each of the pieces. In “Una’s Ghost,” for instance, students knock on the wood of the piano to indicate the ghost’s presence, while “The Skeleton Shuffle” imitates the shaky skeleton with a tremolo chord followed by a glissando. A wide range of expression and clever use of the keyboard make many of these pieces come alive. This would be a great book for early-intermediate students who are good readers, enjoy playing lots of

repertoire, and are athletic in their piano technique. (Mayfair Music, available at, $8.95) L.Z. (S3-4) Especially Popular Christmas, Books 1-3, arranged by Dennis Alexander. When he was a boy, Dennis Alexander listened to Christmas music on his parent’s large Curtis Mathes console record player. At the time, he decided that Elvis Presley ’s “Blue Christmas” was “almost the ‘coolest’ thing” he had ever heard, and these three volumes of Christmas arrangements reflect the composer’s love for timeless popular holiday songs. Each book contains seven or eight pieces, for a total of twenty-three arrangements in the series, most of them secular holiday favorites. The books contain plenty of “Alexanderesque” modulations, suspensions, sophisticated rhythms, and appealing harmonies. Book 1 (early




intermediate-to-intermediate level) contains a mix of upbeat and reflective, lyrical selections. A jazzy “(There’s No Place Like) Home for the Holidays” pairs with a contemplative “The Holly and the Ivy” that is set with gentle hemiolas and syncopations. Book 2 (intermediate) includes “Blue Christmas,” the nostalgic jazz ballad “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas,” and a boogie-woogie version of “Santa Claus is Comin’ to Town.” The pieces in Book 3 (late intermediate) are especially mature sounding, and students will be attracted to fresh arrangements of “Believe” from the movie The Polar Express and “The Gift” by Jim Brickman. These pieces have a good deal of pedagogical merit. They offer rhythmic challenges, extended legato patterns in both hands, a variety of articulations, and ample opportunity to teach expressive phrasing and legato pedaling. Another strength of this series is the number of songs which are probably not well known to some of the younger generation: arrangements of “The Christmas Waltz,” “There Is No Christmas Like a Home Christmas,” and “Mistletoe and Holly” will introduce students to classic hits and add spice to holiday recitals. (Alfred, $7.99 each) V.C.M.

(S5) Popular Performer: It’s Time for Christmas, arranged by Kenon D. Renfrow. This collection of ten well-known Christmas melodies draws from a variety of new and classic tunes. The opening arrangement of “Away in a Manger” utilizes a large amount of the keyboard, building on a flowing eighth-note accompaniment low in the left hand paired with thick right-hand chords in the upper register. The sound is glorious, rather than overbearing, especially with Renfrow’s secondary dominants and an Italian sixth chord providing subtle hints of colorful harmonies. William Harold Neidlinger’s “ The Birthday of a King” was originally published in 1912, and is rarely seen in contemporary Christmas collections. Renfrow gives the beloved tune a fresh makeover, with continuous rolling left-hand eighth notes (spanning well over two octaves) and numerous right-hand seventh chords. Clearly marked dynamics create an ebb and flow of loud and soft sounds. “Have Yourself a Merr y Little Christmas” is in a light jazz style, with parallel dominant seventh chords, chromaticism, and a gentle jump bass in the accompaniment. The rhythmic combinations of

eighths, quarters, eighth-note triplets, and sixteenth notes create an atmosphere of improvisation. Renfrow continues the same style in “Let it Snow! Let It Snow! Let It Snow!,” offering an upbeat rendition that includes frequent syncopations, parallel octaves, and chromatic scale flourishes. In contrast, “What Child Is This?” features a haunting recurring E-minor scale woven into a texture of delicate sixteenth notes. The collection also includes “Ding, Dong Merrily on High,” “I’ll Be Home for Christmas,” “It Came Upon the Midnight Clear,” and “Winter Wonderland.” An arrangement of the more contemporary tune “The Gift” rounds out the collection, and its voicing demands, particularly in the right hand, will challenge the pianist: careful listening will allow melodic projection in the thick chords. Further, Renfrow often combines the melody with a countermelody or accompaniment figure in the right hand; precise fingering and a clear understanding of legato are essential. Lefthand accompaniment patterns provide excellent experience in creating different sounds and characters using single-note accompaniment patterns and jump bass. Occasionally the span of a tenth is requested, and Renfrow marks those instances with the option of rolling the chord. (Alfred, $12.95) K.W.B.





The twenty tracks on this two-CD collection feature pianists Bernhard Stavenhagen. but luckily his students did—their recordings from piano rolls and acoustic and electrical discs provide great insight into Liszt’s teaching. and Frederic Lamond. Korea. Foundation Associate Professor of Music at The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga. recording artist. and pedagogue. Himy’s well-schooled musicianship and. Hall completed his D. recitalist. The Lowenthal duo renders a novel and imaginative reading of these eight miniatures. Despy Karlas Professor of Piano at the University of Georgia. This collection is a treasure trove of early piano recordings made by legendary masters. Richard Burmeister. he is Assistant Professor of Music at the University of Alabama at Huntsville. Arthur Friedheim. E. Lowenthal.H. including Clavier. En rêve.CD & DVD Reviews Steven Hall. The big payoffs on this disc are the Mephisto Waltz. To link directly to the respective websites of these recordings. this reviewer was generally more persuaded by his virtuosic than melodic playing. . please click anywhere on the text of the review. Argentina.S. in Piano Performance as John Perry’s teaching assistant at the University of Southern California and is a founder and faculty member of the Brandeis Piano Conservatory in Dallas. quite frankly. was artistic director of the 2011 American Liszt Society Bicentennial Festival. make this B-minor sonata an important new voice in the history of its recordings.A.S. She has performed and taught in Taiwan. She has performed and adjudicated in the U. Also included is Frederic Lamond’s 1945 interview about his first meeting and later lessons with the maestro. Superbly crafted melodic lines juxtaposed with tremendous pianistic depth allow Lowenthal’s probing approach to generate performances that are highly compelling and evocative. Siloti’s abbreviated 1923 “Benediction of God in Solitude” is spectacular. Eugène d’Albert. and orchestral colors. Four selections—described “as played by Liszt”—deviate greatly from markings in the published scores. Himy’s skill and the diversity of the selections make this disc a welcome addition to any collection. Emil Sauer. there are introspective gems like Nuage gris. A German reviewer wrote. such as the first Mephisto Waltz and Funérailles. and visionary. Furthermore. His new CD of solo piano works by Vincent Persichetti. J.C.” He has released two compact discs featuring the Ibach piano on the ACA label. Vera Timanoff. Jacob Druckman. This CD presents pianist Eric Himy performing a satisfying variety of eleven Franz Liszt masterpieces. Along with the brilliant warhorses one would expect on a Liszt olio. Each interprets Liszt’s manner of performance with unique élan. This is great music played by a great musician. Editor Steven Hall has a wide range of performing experience as an orchestral soloist. and Marga Richter will be released on Albany Records this fall. lyricist. further illuminating Liszt’s personal impressions during his pilgrimage through Europe. and her playing can be heard on the AUR label. piano Centaur Records CRC 2969 [Total Time 79:16] This issue’s contributors: Sarkis Baltaian has gained an international reputation as a concert pianist. Eric Hicks is a private piano teacher in Austin. The range of works does as much service to the composer as to the performer.B. Texas. Though there is never a doubt of Mr. Baldwin. Jim Edwards has written for a number of publications. Edwards lives with his wife and Steinway. Conrad Anasorge. Sonata in B Minor Garrick Ohlsson. SUNY at Stony Brook. pianist Carmel Lowenthal. traveler.P. and Taiwan. Currently. Texas.. Lowenthal’s daughter. piano Bridge 9337 [Total Time 61:20] Garrick Ohlsson offers an intriguing Liszt program with this CD: a Busoni transcription of a lesser-known Liszt organ work paired with one of the most recorded compositions in piano literature. part of the SunTimes Media Group. but also through his splendidly penned program notes. and an engrossing performance of the Dante Sonata. the seldomheard duet Christmas Tree Suite. Richard Zimdars. piano Bridge 9307A/C [Total Time 2:58:17] American pianist Jerome Lowenthal pays tribute to Liszt’s bicentennial year in this three-CD collection featuring all three volumes of Années de pèlerinage. and both push the expectations of nineteenth-century form beyond its prior limits.S. Vol. He is the president of BPC Recording Company and serves on the boards of the Lennox International Young Artist Competition and the Dallas Music Teachers Association. Sin-Hsing Tsai is U. chamber musician. stunning technique (especially in the Busoni arrangement of La Campanella). Germany.M. S. During his years in Weimar—a fascinating epoch for Lisztophiles—Liszt devoted himself to composition and teaching while living with the eccentric and influential Princess Carolyne Sayn-Wittgenstein. and exquisite delicacy are evident throughout. Mr. a marvelous artist of a supreme order. “He proved that he need not fear comparison with the greatest in his field. and the U.E. the two works are a striking choice for Ohlsson’s recorded contribution to the 2011 Liszt celebrations. Denise Parr-Scanlin is an Assistant Professor of Piano at West Texas A&M University and teaches piano and chamber music at the Lutheran Summer Music Festival. 10 Pierian 0039/40 [Total Time 2:02:46] COMPOSER Franz Liszt: Années de pèlerinage (Complete) Jerome Lowenthal. José Vianna da Motta. captures Liszt’s aesthetic essence by masterfully portraying the varied facets of the composer’s life as virtuoso pianist. Georg Liebling. Europe. and has served as a music critic for Beacon-News. COMPOSER Homage to Liszt Eric Himy. he vividly portrays Liszt’s music not only through his playing. Alfred Reisenauer. China. SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2011 It is unfortunate that Liszt made no recordings. He received his degrees from the Oberlin Conservatory of Music. and Asia and appears on the Naxos recording of the Sonata for Cello and Piano by Sam Jones. These details. Europe. and chamber musician throughout the United States. Ohlsson unleashes their grandeur with long sweeping lines and crisp rhythmic placement. forcefulness. Alexander Siloti. Though knowledge of historical context may not be essential to an appreciation of these beautiful performances. COMPOSER Liszt Students Play Liszt The Caswell Collection. combined with utterly transcendent moments. D. COMPOSER Liszt: Fantasie und Fuge (transcribed F. Busoni). joins him for the concluding selection.. and the University of Texas at Austin. and Chickering pianos. which depict the celebration of Christmas Eve. the octaves in Funérailles. Both were composed in Weimar. and the Sonetto del Petrarca 123.

who was himself a pupil of Liszt. 2 in B Minor—atmospheric pedal sonorities. is a spontaneous. Bolet’s recitations of the Three Petrarch Sonnets offer an intimacy of expression clothed in a ravishing tone. all of whom received the Medal of the American Liszt Society: Claudio Arrau. In Réminiscences de Don Juan . His hair-raising Rhapsodie espagnole (Alice Tully Hall. a disciple of Busoni.T. 1972) is delivered with rhythmic panache and control. performed live in Toronto at age 74. In contrast. never descending into melodrama or kitsch.H. Conducting from the keyboard. S. and structural organization—are realized to the maximum.Z.COMPOSER Liszt Illuminated Claudio Arrau. With the three pianists’ technical command undiminished in maturity. associate and son-in-law of Godowsky. risk-taking event: Arrau gives the impression that the piece was wrenched from his being at that very moment. SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2011 CLAVIER COMPANION 57 . unhurried reading. the American Liszt Society sponsored a two-CD set featuring three pianists. orchestral rhythmic discipline. The fugue and buildup to the recapitulation construct a gigantic arch of tension and release. All aspects of the 1986 Carnegie Hall performance of the Ballade No. a pupil of David Saperton. from airborne lightness in La Campanella to the grand chordal sonorities of “Vision” from the Transcendental Etudes. live from the Salzburg Festival. opting instead to illuminate the mature simplicity of Mozart’s final work in this genre. Uchida’s interpretation eschews the typical allegro mood. This collection is an outstanding addition to the Liszt recordings appearing in the composer’s bicentennial year. As part of its celebration of the Liszt bicentennial. who worked with Egon Petri. and Gunnar Johansen. Johansen’s pianism had it all. Filled with tender lyricism and gentle gestures. pianists Marston Records 50625-2 [Total Time 2:32:01] COMPOSER Mozart: Concertos No. his Sonata in B Minor.27 Mitsuko Uchida. but reciprocates with sonorities of symphonic dimensions. sending the audience into a frenzy. expressing the dramatic writing in dexterous and engaging ways. 466 with profound substance and unrelenting energy: her articulation is as remarkably unique as it is well crafted and convincing. noble declamation. agitato sweep. The F-minor etude from the same set has an unrivaled forward. The Concerto. 595 receives a serene. Jorge Bolet. Johansen offers Liszt’s contemplation on Mozart’s masterpiece with dignity. at the young age of 79. and Gunnar Johansen. She truly brings a fresh and valid perspective to the already abundant recorded catalog of Mozart concerti. elegance. K. Uchida captures the essence of these compositions with her sincere and committed performances. Several tracks have never been released in any medium. a pupil of Martin Krause. Jorge Bolet. presents a magisterial account of Après une lecture du Dante. Never maudlin but always highly nuanced. The cadenzas effortlessly display her consummate artistry. showing Bolet at his greatest at age 69. R. She delivers the Concerto. Arrau. Uchida not only challenges the Cleveland Orchestra to be her equal partner. and wit. and only one selection has appeared previously in CD format. pianist/conductor Decca Classics CD 0289 478 2596 8 DH [Total Time 65:53] This newly released CD highlights Mitsuko Uchida as soloist and conductor in two of Mozart’s late piano concerti. 20 & No. this triumvirate takes aim at the music within Liszt’s oeuvre and realizes the full range of his kaleidoscopic musical visions. K.

and Gunnar Johansen. Then. The medal is the society’s highest honor and is given to music professionals who are outstanding advocates for the music and ideals of Franz Liszt. ALS sponsored the production of a two-CD bicentennial album. Professor of Music and Board of Governors Distinguished Professor at Northeastern Illinois University. 2010) by Jonathan Kregor. Matthew Bengtson. shouts of unbridled enthusiasm erupted Alan Walker presents the Alan after Johansen’s performance of Walker Book Award to the Transcendental Etude in F Jonathan Kregor. Submissions of solo piano compositions were to be eight-to-fifteen minutes in length. Walker. distinguished author and biographer of Liszt and Hans von Bülow. Steinway & Sons generously donated a cash prize of $4. er Nancy Roldan looking on. the discs contain sixteen works of Liszt.000 to! SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2011 . The eighty-seven page catalog of works was almost twenty years in the making. foremost among them American Liszt Society the commissioning of a new Festival. Gilad Cohen receive their The Medal of the American prizes from Steinway & Liszt Society is the society’s highest Sons representative Byron award. she has presented twenty-two papers on topics concerning Liszt. and the University of Georgia Symphony Orchestra and Concert Choir presented twenty-three sessions during the 2011 festival. Produced by Gregor Benko and Ward Marston. Mueller and Mária Eckhardt authored “Franz Liszt: List of Works” for The New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians (2001). Composition Competition were presented with gusto and winners Brian Ciach and poetry. visionary lecture given by Dr. many of them about Liszt. played by Matthew Gianforte. ALS treasurMinor. Benko introduced the album in a lecture to the festival audience and played Bolet’s performance of Petrarch Sonnet 123 . dividing the prize between Brian Ciach and Gilad Cohen. 58 CLAVIER COMPANION Roy Gertig ALS also sponsored a competition for a book award to honor Alan Walker. Ontario. Dr. and James Giles declared two winners. She has published over 100 articles.News & Notes Bolcom song cycle premieres at ALS Festival The University of Georgia’s Hugh Hodgson School of Music hosted “Liszt and the Future. was given an exceptionally persuasive premiere by baritone Thomas Hampson and pianist Craig Rutenberg. and thirty-one entries arrived from eleven countries. Forty-three pianists. Three previous medal recipients are featured in the album: Claudio Arrau. Jorge Bolet.” the 2011 American Liszt Society Festival. To offer an opportunity to younger composers. —Richard Zimdars Roy Gertig Elyse Mach and Rena Charnin Mueller receive ALS Medals Elyse Mach and Rena Charnin Mueller are the 2010 and 2011 recipients of the Medal of the American Liszt Society. To honor Liszt’s bicentennial. Musicologists Ben Arnold. To preserve the legacy of Brown. Since 1986.] Mr. five singers. played by Paul Barnes. They opened their recital with authoritative performances of Liszt songs. They chose as the winner Liszt the Transcriber (Cambridge. ALS had launched several initiatives it hoped would produce results Thomas Hampson and remembered long after the 2011 William Bolcom at the festival. including Contemporary Class Piano. and has written extensively on the composer. ten lecturers. Walker himself presented the award of $2. Jay Rosenblatt. She has been a contributor to the Chicago Sun-Times and Clavier Companion and has performed throughout Europe and the United States. Ciach’s Piano Sonata No. The album notes contain an essay about each artist (the Arrau essay is by Garrick Ohlsson). Laura Sonnets. [Editor’s note: Please see the review of this ALS recording. and Cohen’s ALS Bicentennial Ballade. which was followed by a long silence from the mesmerized audience. The resulting song cycle. Mach. received her medal at the October 2010 Great Romantics Festival in Hamilton. and Larry Todd formed the jury. The jury of ALS pianists Paul Barnes. ten instrumentalists. has published three editions of major Liszt compositions. Roy Gertig Explore our new digital edition at ClavierCompanion. Liszt Illuminated. Dr. 2. Dr.000. based on five Petrarch sonnets. and ten books. in this issue. She is Clinical Associate Professor of Music at New York University. great Liszt performers. an inspiring. Kregor in a ceremony prior to the closing session of the festival. The February 17-19 festival welcomed 283 registrants. work from William Bolcom. ALS organized a composition competition. and composers aged 25-40 were eligible.

At measures 29-32. Measures 1-4 set the tone: At the bridge in measures 13-16. —Myra Brooks-Turner Find us on Facebook! www. the left hand crosses to a high G as the composition ends in peaceful slumber. getting slower and softer in the final bars. hand crossings run up the keyboard before pausing at F-sharp.Pupil Saver A dream of a piece E. L. and the tempo direction “Reflective” is more a feeling than a speed. The tonal center is SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2011 CLAVIER COMPANION 59 .facebook. Lancaster’s “Dream Echoes” (in Alfred’s Contest Winners. The dream theme then reappears. allowing the pianist a personal choice of expression. Editor’s notes instruct the late-elementary pianist to mark the score’s hand-position changes and to listen carefully for the differences between mezzo forte and mezzo piano in the echoing theme. Book 2) is built on a repeating two-measure theme that moves into new hand positions with ease.

His compositions were not taken seriously and fell When Franzi was almost twelve years old. the side faced the audience as we do today. but realized when he grew up that his teacher Gypsies’ music and dancing. so true as the compassion of God. Europeans were awestruck by The Franz Liszt The Liszt Academy in Great Comet of 1811. After Franzi played for programs from memory. made a lifelong impression six other children. and especially his one of the fortunate ones! For you will give joy and legendary master classes (another of his inventions). Franzi’s father became sick and died. He invented the modern piano When Franzi was about eleven years old. His father taught him. the old master took him by the hands. happiness to many other people! There is nothing Liszt died on July 31. the happy. The Liszt family moved to Vienna so that Franzi obligation!) could study with Carl Czerny and Antonio Salieri. Stricken with sorrow. He turned the piano so that Beethoven. Franz Liszt was one of the most important pianists. and composers of the Romantic period and hard for cleaner technique. He was fascinated by the singers’ and taught them to read and write. He wrote around 1. worked as a sheep accountant for the royal Esterházy family. where the village schoolmaster on Liszt. practice only exercises for months. Franz Liszt took the minor holy orders of the priesthood.” At the age of fifty-three. “Like him. said that nothing seemed “so selfevident as heaven. Stories of kissed him on the forehead and said. Franzi pointed to a portrait of generous to friends and charities. Czerny forced him to all times.Keyboard Kids’ Companion Created by Teachers Approved by Kids Meet the Composers Happy 200th Birthday.” but made him work teachers. His father. Franzi begged for dancers’ improvisation as they performed around their piano lessons. the had been right. He guided his life Beethoven and said. A talented musician. whose father taught him the ways of the Catholic Church. taking a Liszt for his amazing contributions to music. He began teaching piano lessons to support himself and his mother. and Niccolo Paganini. into the future. Anna. Liszt wowed audiences with his Etudes to his old teacher.400 musical compositions. Adam played in the palace’s summer orchestra under Franz Joseph Haydn’s direction. Franz Liszt! ranciscus “Franz” Liszt was born on October 22. But now the world knows family left Vienna for a world concert tour. told him the comet was a sign The Gypsies. stunning technique. Franz Liszt. who often camped that he was destined for greatness. outside Liszt’s village when he was Franzi attended a one-room schoolhouse with sixtyAnna Liszt a boy. He was to be when he grew up. Hungary. and he was one of the first to play entire took him to Beethoven’s home. Czerny called the boy “a natural. in Raiding. today and route similar to that of Wolfgang and Nannerl Mozart. 1811. which became Budapest more brilliant as Franz Liszt’s birth date approached. Franzi moved back to Paris. 1886. Franz’s mother. After three years. 60 CLAVIER COMPANION F Many thanks to award winning Liszt biographer Alan Walker for his assistance with this article SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2011 . He even dedicated his Transcendental best ever violinist. the out of favor for many years. “Go! For you are Liszt as a piano teacher are famous.” Génie obligie! (With genius comes with his motto. at the age of seventybetter or finer!” four. Czerny recital. and Franzi made campfires. Adam. astonishing progress. Franzi was not Much of his music was inspired by his religion. Whenever asked what he wanted Liszt made a lot of money during his lifetime.

or even getting worse with poor practice habits. if you attempt to play pieces beyond your technical skill level. 2. 24 I Liszt’s piano arrangement of Paganini I Tom and Jerry play Liszt! Liszt Review 1. Many doctors. but it’s more common than you think. 4-H Club. 4. Instead of booking lots of after-school activities. But if your parents hear you working hard and making progress. To help your parents understand that more piano practice is worthwhile. understand that your parents are right to wish you exposed to many opportunities. or summer camp. We can spend time accomplishing very little. Keyboard Kids’ Companion ©Clavier Companion 2011 SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2011 Reprint permission granted exclusively for Clavier Companion subscribers and their students Helen Smith Tarchalski. Click here to download “A Few Benefits of Music Study” • Ask your teacher to help you prepare a wish list of repertoire and performance opportunities possible if you step up your practice hours. What should I do? This may sound like an unusual problem. your parents want what’s best for you. • Point out that the more you practice. Hearing the great virtuoso violinist ________________ inspired Liszt to push hard for virtuoso technique on the piano. Remind your parents that kids gain many health and school-related benefits by practicing piano. they will likely feel that investing additional time is valuable. “Mazeppa” I Egon Petri plays Schubert-Liszt I Heifetz plays Paganini Caprice No. Liszt’s first teacher was ___________. 3. Very few students practice too much! Of course. You can sample many activities without overburdening your schedule! A closer look at Keyboard Kids’ Companion Click on the text below to view videos of Lisztrelated performances! I Transcendental Etude No. Your parents will get more for their tuition money! • Of course piano teachers want you to practice more. try these ideas: • Tell them that you want to practice more. and they’re setting up lots of after-school activities for this year. But my parents won’t let me. the more you understand in your lessons. They say I need to make time for other things. and why: practice time isn’t just about learning new pieces. But it’s also important to pursue an activity or two in depth. and in Vienna. As a pianist and teacher. Franz Liszt was born in the village of ________________. he invented the ___________ and ________________. • Finally. You can also develop injuries. • Ask your teacher to review productive practice tips. it’s about building skills. you will soon be stalled on one level. Editor CLAVIER COMPANION September/October 2011 61 . 4. ask your parents to consider enrolling you in an organization such as a scout troop. scientists. and education specialists believe it’s important too. even permanent injuries. If you don’t practice enough.Ask the teachers My piano teacher says that I need to practice more. his teachers were ____________ and _____________.

. 40 www. . . . . . . . . . . Co. . . . . . .com Music Perceptions. . . . . . . 62 TEACHING SKILLS: A complete guide for piano teachers. . . . . . . . .edu Burt & Company .theachievementprogram. . . . . .com Piano Street . . . . .yellowcatpublishing. .com Carol Montparker. . . . . . .musicedmarket. . . . . . . . . . . . . .alfred. . . . . . . . . .com MusicLearningCommunity. . . . Tools included. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .uga. . . . . . . 55 www. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 54 www. . . . . 14 Piano Wellness Seminar . . . . . . . founder of the Gina Bachauer International Piano Lamont School of Music .tonictutor. . . . . . . .rider. . . .mtna. .MusicLearningCommunity. . . . . . . . . . .musicbagpress. . . . . . . . . . . . 29 www. . . . 53 www. LLC. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 32-33 www. . 25 www. . . 24 www. . . . . . . . . . . . . . .missouri. .esm. . . .pianostreet. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 26 www. . . . . . .leerobertsmusic. . . . . . . .rochester. . . . 54 www. . 41 www. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 49 www. 63 www.hutchinsandrea. . 15 conservatory. . . . .edu/westminster WholeMusicLessons. .halleonard. . 55 www. . . . . . . . . . . .pianofonics. .com. Ltd. . . . 41 www. . . . 38 www. . . . . .naz. . . . .org Pianofonics . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .WholeMusicLessons. . . . . . .. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 62 800-873-3043 Tonic Tutor . . .montparker. . . .pianolifesaver. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .music. . . . . . . . . .com Indiana University Press . . . . . . 48 www. . . . . . . . . . . Forward by Dr. back cover www. 21 www.myc. . . . . .edu/music The Novus Music Group . inside back cover www. . . Paul Pollei. . . . . . . .musicperceptions. .com Music for Young Children . . . . . . 45 www. . .WellBalancedPianist. 7 The Boston Conservatory. . .edu Well-Balanced Pianist . . . . .keynotetheory. . . . . . . . . . . . . .pianoexplorer. Music Educator’s Marketplace . . .com MTNA . . . . . .pianowellnessseminar. . 49 www. . . . . . . . .com Nazareth College . . . . .com . . . .org Mason Gross School . . .pianoarts. .com DePauw University . .willispianomusic. . . Houghton College . . . . . . . . Topics for teaching beginners through preparing an advanced student to present a solo recital. . . . . . . 54 www. . . . . . . .edu Keys To Imagination. 800873-3043 Fax: 936-271-4560 SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2011 CLAVIER COMPANION . . . . . . . . . The Frederick Harris Music Co. . . . 63 PIANO TUNING PAYS: Train at home to become a qualified piano technician with American School of Piano Tuning complete homestudy course. . . . . . 63 www. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .edu/greatbatch Hutchins & Rea . . . . . .95 Intellectual Pub. . . . . . . . . . 5. . . . . . . .com Yellow Cat Publishing. . . . . . . . . . .edu University of Missouri .houghton. .com Westminster Choir College . . . . . “How to” strategies. .edu University of North Carolina . . .edu University of Georgia . . . . 43 www. . . . . . 3 www.rutgers. .com San Francisco Conservatory of Music . inside front cover www. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 40 www. . . . .com UMKC Conservatory . . . . . . . . .3-dpiano.harmonyroadmusic. . . . . . . . . . .net Piano Life Saver . .burtnco. . . . . . . .com Harmony Road . . 48 www. . . . . .sheetmusicplus. . . .com Piano Explorer . .edu Sheet Music Plus . .com Teaching Skills .com The Achievement Program . . .NVmusicgroup. . . . 62 www. . . . 52 www. . . 39 www. .org Hal Leonard . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 54 www. .piano-tuning. . . . . . .. 55 www. . .sfcm. . . .edu/music Eastman School of Music. . . . .com KITS .du. .Advertiser Index 3-D Piano . . . $15. . .edu/lamont Lee Roberts Music . . . Major authorities of piano pedagogy cited. . . . . . . .depauw. . . . . 20 www. . . . . . . . .org Alfred Publishing Co. . . .com The Golandsky Institute. . .umkc. . . . . . . . 800-497-9793. . . . . . 26 www. . . . . . . . .masongross. . .com American School of Piano Tuning .indiana. .frederickharrismusic. . .com Willis Music . . . . . . . . 59 48 www. . . . .golandskyinstitute. . . . . . . . .iupress. . . . 19 www. . .uncsa. 55 www. . . . . . . .com PianoArts . . . . . 53 www. . . . . . . .keystoimagination. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .edu Music Bag Press . . . 55 www. . . . . . . . . 57 www. . .

membership in Music Teachers National Association is an essential part of your professional life. Since 1876. SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2011 CLAVIER COMPANION 63 . MTNA has been the foremost leader in empowering the music-teaching professional by providing valuable resources and networking opportunities for its! Whether you are a seasoned professional or new teacher.Explore our new digital edition at ClavierCompanion.

extended positions. Perhaps the best repertoire to begin with are the Liebesträume and the Consolations. The Lyric Preludes in Romantic Style by William Gillock were composed specifically to prepare students for more demanding Romantic repertoire. The three Sonetti del Petrarca are also good listening experiences because of their lovely melodies and wonderful bass support. 1-8. Students must find the “high point” of the phrase. 16-21. She currently serves as the Chair of the Frances Clark Center for Keyboard Pedagogy. 139. including playing full octave chords in both hands. Strain and discomfort result when a student presses into the key and continues pressing after the hammer has struck the string. and quick release of the thumb. There is much helpful material in the etudes by Burgmüller. of The New School for Music Study in Princeton. No. The great Romantic literature also requires extensive technical preparation. She is an author and editor of the Music Tree series and the Frances Clark Library for Piano Students. 109. 109. along with Frances Clark. 64 CLAVIER COMPANION Louise L. and the inner harmonic material is the quietest of all. that it is only the very advanced high school student who can undertake this repertoire. both in their musical challenges and their virtuosic requirements. with the preparatory crescendo leading to that focus and a sensitive tapering to end the phrase. 100 and Op. Excerpt 2: Czerny: Study in A-flat Major. NJ. mm. 3) and the harmonic filler in the middle register. Op. No. This basic three-layer texture is common among all composers of the Romantic period. This can strain the smaller hand and eventually lead to injury if the teacher does not proceed with insight and great care. Finally. However. the melody is the most prominent element of the texture. Heller and Mozkowksi have also made important contributions to literature that promote technical fluency and the control of various keyboard figurations. The focus of these rote exercises can be on loosed. Goss Preparing for Liszt he Questions & Answers column of Clavier Companion typically deals with issues related to elementary and intermediate level piano instruction. they should begin listening to recordings of his music. In general. In contrast with the more closed positions of classical piano music. and Gillock often guides the students in a refined rubato (see Excerpt 3). One hallmark of Romantic piano literature is the singing melody. This is especially harmful when the hand is extended to produce a full chord or octave. SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2011 . as students near the time they are ready to study their first pieces by Liszt. and we constantly instruct our students to “bring out the melody. both Op. 7. Excerpt 3: Gillock: “Night Song” from Lyric Preludes in Romantic Style. This issue of our magazine is devoted to a celebration of the bicentennial of the birth of Franz Liszt. Each layer is assigned its own dynamic level. Excerpt 1: Burgmüller: Berceuse. I thought it would be interesting to explore some of the ways in which intermediate-level students might begin preparing for the advanced Romantic literature of Liszt and his colleagues. T 1) the all important melody. Goss is a co-founder. the texture often changes from two musical layers to three: It is also at this level that the student must begin to master the use of Romantic rubato —stretching the rhythm at climactic moments. This begins early in a student’s instruction. We must help our students learn to relax the arm immediately after the sound occurs. relaxed arm and hand. 1-8. mm. Musical examples that prepare for the control of this threelevel texture abound—here are two examples (see Excerpts 1 and 2). I believe all teachers should create preparatory exercises that can be taught by rote and will help the student deal with octaves (playing octave pentascales or major and minor octave scales) and full octave chords in various inversions. The bass is supportive of the melody. Most of Liszt’s compositions are so demanding. Romantic literature frequently requires open. The Czerny studies are famous for their emphasis on the development of facility. We encourage our students to project melody over the accompaniment.Questions & Answers Louise L. Discomfort is also relieved substantially when the thumb is allowed to leave its key and return to its position close to the second finger. and taking special time at the ends of phrases and sections. 51. Op.” Equally important to effective Romantic interpretation is the shaping of the melody. In the more advanced Romantic repertoire. 2) a supportive bass line. mm. Learning to control these three textures is an important part of the teacher’s curriculum for the advancing student. Excellent preparatory studies can be found in music that includes light finger work in fast passages and figurations.

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