By Kenneth Hamilton
Kenneth Hamilton's e-book engagingly and lucidly dissects the oft-invoked fable of an exceptional culture, or Golden Age of Pianism. it truly is written either for gamers and for contributors in their audiences via a pianist who believes that scholarship and clarity can move hand-in-hand. Hamilton discusses in meticulous but full of life aspect the performance-style of significant pianists from Liszt to Paderewski, and delves into the far-from-inevitable improvement of the piano recital. He entertainingly recounts how classical concert events advanced from exuberant, occasionally riotous occasions into the formal, funereal trotting out of predictable items they are often at the present time, how a frequently unhistorical "respect for the ranking" started to change pianists' improvisations and diversifications, and the way the medical customized arose that an viewers could be visible and never heard. Pianists will locate nutrients for idea right here on their repertoire and the traditions of its functionality. Hamilton chronicles why pianists of the previous didn't continuously start a section with the 1st word of the ranking, nor finish with the final. He emphasizes that anxiousness over flawed notes is a comparatively contemporary psychosis, and taking part in completely from reminiscence a comparatively contemporary requirement. Audiences will stumble upon a vibrant account of ways significantly diverse are the recitals they attend in comparison to concert events of the previous, and the way their very own position has reduced from noisily lively members within the live performance adventure to passive recipients of creative benediction from the degree. they'll become aware of while cowed listeners finally stopped applauding among hobbies, and why they stopped speaking loudly in the course of them. The book's large message pronounces that there's not anything divinely ordained approximately our personal concert-practices, programming and piano-performance types. Many points of the trendy method are unhistorical-some laudable, a few in basic terms ludicrous. also they are some distance faraway from these fondly, if deceptively, remembered as constituting a Golden Age.
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Extra resources for After the Golden Age: Romantic Pianism and Modern Performance
20 AFTER THE GOLDEN AGE before 1867, when Steinway and Sons scored an overwhelming success in the Paris International Exhibition with its iron-framed, overstrung grand, was originally intended for instruments signiﬁcantly different from the modern concert piano (here deﬁned for convenience, though tendentiously, as a Hamburg or New York Steinway Model D). Those who have played on a range of well-maintained late-nineteenth-century pianos, both European and American, even here often notice a more mellow tone and slightly lighter action.
The cartoons needed no recommendation from Sir Henry Wood to gain viewers, and their effect was sustained long after their initial release date, owing to frequent reappearance on television throughout the world. Even today there seems to be hardly a music student who is not familiar with at least one of them.
18 AFTER THE GOLDEN AGE as an icon. Our practical view of what a ‘‘pianist’’ should be like today is ironically rather closer to the model of his great rival Thalberg. 41 To a certain degree the future belonged to his interpretatively consistent and visually unostentatious aesthetic—he would probably have made a very reliable recording artist. His obsession with producing a ‘‘singing’’ tone on the piano was one that he shared with many of his era, but his achievements in that regard were both original and enduring.