Tag: Liszt

Reference for Students: Famous Pianists for Recordings

March 30, 2012

For those of you who have no idea who to listen to when choosing recordings for the pieces that you are working on as reference, here are some names of famous pianists you can look for on YouTube/CD stores:

András Schiff
Murray Perahia
Angela Hewitt
Glenn Gould
Myra Hess

Alfred Brendel
Dinu Lipatti
Rosalyn Tureck
Wanda Landowska
Ivo Pogorelich
Andre Previn
Maria Tipo

Sviatoslav Richter
Rudolf Serkin
Claudio Arrau
Wilhelm Backhaus
Daniel Barenboim
Artur Schnabel
Wilhelm Kepff
Walter Gieseking
Josef & Rosina Lhévinne
Emil Gilels
Alfred Brendel
Josef Hofmann
Clifford Curzon
Edwin Fischer
Krystian Zimerman
Solomon Cutner
Arthur Rubinstein

Mitsuko Uchida
Dinu Lipatti

Alfred Cortot
Vladimir Ashkenazy
Alicia de Larrocha
Krystian Zimerman
Byron Janis
Martha Argerich
Arthur Rubinstein
Jorge Bolet
Maria Joao Pires
Mikhail Pletnev
Maurizio Pollini
Leon Fleisher
Samson Francois
Dinu Lipatti
Earl Wild

Martha Argerich
Clifford Curzon
Vladimir Horowitz
Wilhelm Kempff
Claudio Arrau

Arturo Benedetti Michelangeli
Pascal Rogé
Walter Gieseking
Jean-Yves Thibaudet
Alfred Cortot
Sviatoslav Richter
William Kapell
(“The Snow is Dancing” is particularly amazing)

Radu Lupu
Andre Watts
Alexis Weissenberg
Krystian Zimerman

Gyorgy Cziffra
Marc-Andre Hamelin
Alexis Weissenberg
Earl Wild

Vladimir Horowitz
Ivo Pogorelich
Aldo Ciccolini
Maria Tipo

Ivo Pogorelich
Sviatoslav Richter

Sergei Rachmaninoff
Alexis Weissenberg
Mikhail Pletnev

Marc-Andre Hamelin
Vladimir Horowitz

Note: This list is in no way complete. It is just a very short list of some of the great pianists for those who wants to learn to listening to great piano recordings. I will add more to this list later on with more pianists and more composers. Readers can comment and raise suggestions to whom I am missing and I should add.

Teresa Wong

Teresa Wong’s Piano Studio Presents: Student Concert 2012 (Rundown) 黄穎妍與學生鋼琴音樂會 2012

[anti-rclick]December 14, 2011

Dear Students and Parents,

This is the rundown of our concert:

Teresa Wong’s Piano Studio Presents: Student Concert 2012
黄穎妍與學生鋼琴音樂會 2012

Venue: Hong Kong Arts Centre
地點: 香港藝術中心

Date: January 8, 2012 (Sunday)
Time: 3.30pm (-5.30pm)

— 1st half —

Solo Performance
Alexandra Uy-Tioco
– A Glorious Race (F.X. Chwatal)
– Little Playmates (F.X. Chwatal)
– A Tender Flower (Felix Swinstead)

Bryan Miu
– Tarantella (Pauline Hall)
-Military Minuet (Pauline Hall)

Karim Chan
– Melody (Le Couppey)
-Tarantella (Pauline Hall)
– Camptown Races (Stephen Foster)

Katherine Cheng
– Forget-Me-Not (Pamela Wedgwood)
– Sonatina in C, Op. 36 No.1, First Movement, “Spiritoso” (Muzio Clementi)

Julian Cheng
– Joyous March (Ernest Bloch)
– Mazurka (Mikhail Glinka)

Jeremy Chan
-Sonata in C, KV 545, First Movement, “Allegro” (W.A. Mozart)

Joy Chan
-Prelude in C (J.S. Bach)

Cordelia Wong
-Easy Does it (Pamela Wedgwood)
-Stroll On (Alan Haughton)

Yanie Wong
-Miniature in D minor (A.F. Gedike)
-Flood time (Eric Thiman)

Shanie Wong
-Sonatina in C, Op.36 No.3, First Movement, “Spiritoso” (Muzio Clementi)
– Sonata in F, K.280, Third Movement , “Presto” (W. A. Mozart)

Yan Phu
-Black Coffee (Paul Francis Webster & Sonny Burke)
-Sonatina, Op. 13 No.1, Third Movement, “Presto” (Kabalevsky)

Anisia Wong
-Sonata in B minor, Kp. 27 (D. Scarlatti)

Mae-Z Fam
-Sonata in C minor, Op. 13 (“Grande Sonaté pathétique”), Third Movement, “Rondo” (Beethoven)


—- 2nd half —-

Guest Performance

Guest Performer:
Mr. Richard Bamping, Principal Cellist of the Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra

Teresa Wong

Performance of Teresa Wong’s Compositions
Joy Chan
– Strollin’ Along

Bryan Miu
– Silly Billy

Jeremy Chan
-Twist & Dance

Anisia Wong

Mae-Z Fam & Teresa Wong
-The First Duet

Anisia Wong & Yan Phu
-Military March (Franz Schubert)

Performance of Diploma Students

Annie Yeung & Teresa Wong
– Symphony No.5, First Movement (Beethoven) (piano duet arrangement)

Gillian Li
– Impromptu in Ab, D.899, No.4 (Franz Schubert)

Jeannette Liu
– Études Op.25 No.7 (Frédéric Chopin)

Clive Ngai
– Hungarian Rhapsody No. 11 in A minor (Franz Liszt)

Anisia Wong & Teresa Wong
– CS Theme & Variations, Op. 6 (Randall Compton)

Prize Giving Ceremony

— End of Concert —

For those who are not performing in the concert this year, please still come and support us! Tickets are available for sale from December 15, 2011 at any Urbtix ticketing office. Or you can purchase them through me, thank you.

Teresa Wong

Student Gathering (October 30) : Clive Ngai

[anti-rclick]November 6, 2011

Clive Ngai plays Franz Liszt’s “Sonetto 104 del Petrarca” from “Années de pèlerinage, Deuxième année: Italie”.

[qt:http://teresawong.dyndns.org:9001/video/cliveliszt.m4v 480 272]

The following is written by Clive about this piece.


“Sonetto 104 del Petrarca” -Franz Liszt

This piece is from Liszt’s second “Années de pèlerinage” (Years of Pilgrimage) suite, which was composed between 1839 and 1846. While Liszt was travelling in Italy, he was inspired by numerous sights. Each piece in this suite represents one of the sights which captures Liszt’s imagination.

“Sonetto 104 del Petrach” was inspired by a sonnet by the Italian humanist writer and poet Francesco Petrarca (1304-1374). The sonnet is quoted below:

War I cannot wage, yet know not peace;
I fear, I hope, I burn, I freeze again;
Mount to the skies, then bow to earth my face;
Grasp the whole world, yet nothing can obtain.
Pris’ner of one who deigns not to detain,
I am not made his own, nor giv’n release.
Love slays me not, nor yet will he unchain;
Nor life allot, nor stop my harm’s increase.

Sightless I see my fair; though mute, I mourn;
I scorn existence, yet I court its stay;
Detest myself, and for another burn;
By grief I’m nurtured; and, though tearful, gay;
Death I despise, and life alike I hate:
Such, lady, do you make my wretched state!


Teresa Wong

Note: For better viewing experience, please click on the post’s title and have the video mostly or fully loaded before you start watching it.

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Pianist-Composers of the Romantic and “Impressionists” periods

[anti-rclick]September 5, 2011

Pianist-Composers of the Romantic and “Impressionists” periods were writing in new forms and in a new harmonic language. The following post briefly describes how these composers were influenced by the masters of the past.

The composing tradition of Chopin‘s “Etudes” Opus 10 and 25 can be traced back to the practice of Baroque period, when Scarlatti’s “Essercizi” and Bach’s “Well-Tempered Clavier” were served as keyboard exercises. Then classical composers like Cramer, Clementi, Czerny and Moscheles wrote exercises for building up technique of piano playing.

Chopin was especially influenced by Bach. For instance, in his “Etude Op. 10 No. 1 in C major”, the harmonic movement and improvisatory writing are similar to those in the first Prelude of Bach’s Well-Tempered Clavier Book I. In the fourth movement of “Piano Sonata Op.2”, the use of unison in both hands implies four-part harmony and shows contrapuntal ambiguities, which are similar to Bach’s writing in violin suite or suites for other single-line instruments. The middle section of “Polonaise in F# minor, Op. 44” has also the same writing. Playing melody with thumb in “Prelude in F# minor, Op.2 No.8” shows influence from Mozart’s “Sonata in A Major, K.311” (the right hand part) and Beethoven’s “Waldstein” sonata (the left hand part). Chopin also adopted the idea of writing piano concertos from composers like Hummel, Kalkbrenner and John Field.

Liszt studied with Czerny (piano technique) and Salieri (theory) when he was young. He had a huge repertoire for his solo recital, like pieces by Bach, Beethoven, Mozart, Hummel, and was much influenced by them. In “Reminiscences de Don Juan”, Liszt transcribed Mozart’s opera “Don Giovanni”, from which one some elements are adopted, like materials from overture and aria. However, he recreated from them a virtuosic, dramatic piece of music in Lisztian style.

In his “Piano Sonata No.3 in F Minor, Op.5” (1853), Brahms used classical sonata form in the first mvoement, and linked various movements by thematic transformation, which is especially distinctive that themes are broken up into smaller components. It is called thematische Arbeit that is a characteristic of the Viennese classicists, like Haydn, Mozart, and Beethoven. But with the truly romantic harmony and texture, the pieces is a combination of classical and romantic style. In “Variations and Fugue on a Theme by Handel, Op.24” (1861), the Baroque aria theme is transformed into different characters and textures so that the whole piece is in fact in Romantic style. The writing of fugue combines the Bachian style and the Romantic idiom. It has all kinds of traditional fugal writing. But as the music moves, the texture becomes thicker and the writing more complex that show influence from Beethoven’s “32 Variations”, “Eroica Variations”, and “Diabelli Variations”.

Busoni was interested in Bach’s music, and did many piano transcriptions of the latter’s master pieces. “Organ Chorale Preludes” of Busoni maintain chorale melodies of original pieces, but they are transformed with thicker texture and more complex compositional writing that there is a musical re-creation of Baroque and Romantic idiomatic writing. His transcription of Bach’s “Fantasy and Fugue in D Minor, BWV 905” includes modifications, including octave transposition, voice exchange, motivic alteration and addition of new material. Fugal writing is kept with the use of 20th-century counterpoint.

Scriabin was much influenced by Chopin that he wrote many preludes, mazurkas, and a polonaise. His early piano music has a strong sense of Chopinian style, like strong right-hand melodies with chromatic accompaniment and occasional secondary voices in the same hand, combinations of marked, bass lines and extended left-hand arpeggiation, as well as mournful sadness and melancholy cry. All these can be found in “Sonata No.9, Op.68” (“Black Mass”), and poem “Vers la flamme”, Op.72.

Rachmaninoff was deeply affected by Chopin’s harmonic and melodic style. He translated Chopin’s lyrical chromaticism into a Russian idiom. In “Prelude in G major, Op.32 No.5”, one can sense the Chopinian style from melancholic melody, flowing arpeggios in the left hand, and sheering beauty with simplicity. Other preludes like Op.23 No.2 and No.9 show influence by Liszt and Chopin that the virtuosic style, technical demand, and melodies imply the combination of styles of the masters’ etudes and preludes. Moreover, his harmonic language was much indebted to those of the 19th century Romantic composers, like Berlioz, Liszt, Tchaikovsky, and Mussorgsky.

Debussy was much influenced by Chopin in terms of virtuoso agility and suppleness, combined with extraordinary sensitivity of touch and the ability to control a musical line under and circumstances. These are shown in his “Douze Etudes” (1915), which are modeled with Chopin’s etudes in mind, with each exercise encountering a single technical problem. From enjoying Wagner’s music dramas, Debussy was overwhelmed by the Gesamkunstwerk (universal art work) which cast some marks in his musical development. In his “Children’s Corner” (1908), Debussy captures the intimacy and innocence of childhood in the similar way found in Robert Schumann’s “Kinderszenen”.

Ravel was an admirer of Liszt. His “Jeux d’eau” (1901) is informed by the virtuosity of the master. The title invites comparison to Liszt’s “Jeux d’eau a la ville d’Este”. Ravel also looked to the past for musical models, like “Sonatine” with classical structure. “Valses nobles et sentimentales” takes listener directly to the aura of 19th century Viennese waltz. The titles of six movements of “Le tombeau de Couperin” (1917) suggest influence from the French harpsichordist of 17th and 18th centuries. In the set of “Miroirs” (1905), the writing style of “Une barque sur l’ocean” is again reminiscent of Liszt. “Alborada del gracioso” evokes bizarre acciaccature employed by D. Scarlatti in his harpsichord esercizi from the 18th century.

Two other French composers were also inspired by masters of the past. Faure’s Nocturnes definitely show the influence of the same genre from Chopin. The 2nd piece of Satie’s “Embryons desseches”, ‘d’Edriophthalma’, is influenced by Schubert and it adopts the melody from the second movement of Chopin’s “Piano Sonata No.2”.

Franck was much influenced by Bach as revealed in his writing of “Prelude, Choral and Fugue” (1884). It was inspired by the master’s “Organ Prelude and Fugue in B Minor” and “Fantasia and Fugue in G Minor”. The prelude has an organ-like texture, having sustaining pedal notes to imitate organ playing of 3 manuals. The chorale has also an organ-like texture, with left hand rolling over right hand to play the melody of arpeggiated chords on the top. The fugue has contrapuntal writing, buy from the end of exposition, it becomes harmonic. However, the transition between chorale and fugue shows reminiscence of Lisztian material, like the B minor Sonata which presents materials from the theme before real statement of the theme.

Teresa Wong

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