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Selected Content from the Pianists Department

Content is listed chronologically in the order originally published by "The Etude".
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    Piano Playing and General Musical Instruction. - November, 1887

    Concert pianists, who depend upon their pupils to simply imitate them, and who fail to give them correct ideas as to the most advantageous way of practicing and studying, are really doing nothing to promote the most healthful improvement of the technique and style of their pupils. Read More

    A Waltz of Chopin. - November, 1887

    BY J. S. VAN CLEVE. Every one knows that the waltzes of Chopin are not waltzes; that is, not pieces of tuneful clockwork running on three-cogged wheels of rhythm, but impulsive caprices, coquettish fantasies, flowing in the general outline of... Read More

    Education of Pianists-No. IV. - August, 1891

    A teacher who has given us a Liszt, Thalberg, Döhler, Wilhnarr, DeMeyer and other great performers, cannot be ignored, though some of his studies may have become old fashioned from having others of more recent date take their place. Recently, we have had sent us a selection of Czerny's etudes which we can earnestly recommend in full. Read More

    Thorough Practice. - August, 1891

    It is said that one of the most eminent lady American pianists (Mme. Rive King) owes her great command of the resources of the keyboard to a somewhat strange and rigorous style of practice. The system seems to be also... Read More

    Paderewski and Liszt. - July, 1893

    Poland will some day honor Paderewski as it now honors Chopin; but in order to win the great fame and wealth which have fallen to his lot at the early age of thirty-two, he was of course obliged, like Chopin, to leave his native country and seek the great musical centres of the world. Three years ago he played in London to a $50 audience. To-day he often makes $5,000 in two hours, with $7,000 for the high-water mark. Read More

    On the Use of the Damper Pedal. - July, 1893

    Many teachers instruct their pupils to raise the pedal at each change of harmony. This is a very good rule as far as it goes, but the property that a vibrating string has of giving out overtones (an explanation of which may be found in any work on Sound) often renders it unadvisable to retain the pedal, though the harmony remains the same. Read More

    Emil Sauer On "Practicing"--Brains As Well As Fingers. - May, 1895

    Some valuable hints for piano students were dropped by Herr Emil Sauer the other day in the course of an interview with a Manchester Evening Mail reporter. After recounting the principal incidents in his early career, the distinguished pianist spoke... Read More

    Liszt and Chopin. - October, 1895

    There was a time in which the piano was a species of religion. When the aged Field was on his deathbed, his friends, not knowing what to say in order to prepare him for the last great change, asked, "Are you a Papist or a Calvinist?" "I am a pianist," responded the dying artist. Read More

    Discouragements of Piano-Playing. - October, 1895

    To one with sufficient character to profit by it there is in piano study development for all the cardinal virtues-- neatness, thoroughness, persistence, patience, endurance, honesty, horror of falsehood, self effacement, largeness, stability--enough to make a noble man or woman of the veriest slattern. Read More

    The Hardest Piano Piece. - October, 1895

    "Among all known musical compositions written for the piano, which is the most difficult of execution?" To this often asked question Le Figaro has endeavored to obtain a definite and final answer by interviewing the best-known pianists and teachers of the piano in Paris. The attempt has not been very successful. Read More

    Pianism According To Modern Requirements. - January, 1897

    It is with particular reference to the "musical meaning" that I wish to speak. A piano player possessing the gift of interpreting a work esthetically will have invariably the undivided attention of the better part of his audience, while practically a deaf ear will be turned to the one not having this requirement. Read More

    Recollections of Gottschalk - October, 1897

    BY JOHN FRANCIS GILDER. I have heard many pianists of note, dating back into the "forties," beginning with Henry Herz, and extending through to Paderewski. Of the entire number, I consider Thalberg, Gottschalk, and Rubinstein the three greatest. Each possessed... Read More

    Sophie Menter and Cécile Chaminade. - November, 1899

    Right here, at the risk of being burned as a heretic, let me ask an honest question, to be answered candidly by each reader, in the safe privacy of his own inner consciousness, if he has not the courage to stand openly to his convictions in the frowning face of conservatism and tradition. Does any one to-day really care to listen to these Bach fugues from purely musical reasons; these monstrous tone acrostics; these gigantic thematic puzzles; these huge, mathematically exact monuments of human ingenuity and manipulative skill, which express nothing but pride in the mastery of material, and contain nothing but cold, though perfect architectural symmetry? Read More

    The Fourth-Finger Question. - March, 1900

    Perhaps no problem in the education of the countless number of piano students confronts music teachers with more demand for its solution than the question of how best to cultivate the usage of the fourth finger. While its treatment in... Read More

    Mlle. Chaminade on Piano-Playing. - June, 1900

    "Composition cannot be taught, but I can give excellent advice to girls studying the piano. Let them practice slowly and loud. As a rule, they work too quickly. The only way to acquire grace and lightness of touch is to... Read More

    How and What to Practice. - December, 1901

    In the present we live, and we must conform our ideas to conditions that confront us, that exist, and shall continue to exist until we eradicate them. So the pianist should eliminate all that is not essential, and find what is best and most needed for his ad­vancement. Read More

    Josef Hofmann on Piano Practice and Technic - January, 1902

    JANUARY, 1902.   A CLOSER knowledge of Josef Hofmann proves two things: his possession of an extraordinary alertness of mind and of concentration,—qualities of eminent importance to the pianist, and an idea is conveyed to him sufficiently by a suggestion,... Read More

    Edouard Zeldenrust On the Training Of An Artist. - February, 1902

    Hollanders are making great strides in music. I can say, I think, without being accused of partiality, that as fine concerts may be heard in The Hague as anywhere in the world. I attribute this completely to the German influence. The Dutch are a little slow and phlegmatic; but, if they take to things slowly, they take to them properly. The Dutch are, however, not as slow as they were. Americanism is getting into us too. People are more restless than they used to be; they are less phlegmatic and less quiet. Read More

    The Modern Piano. - May, 1902

    Mr. Arnold Dolmetsch, a noted musician and piano-expert of London, contributed an interesting article to a London paper on “The Modern Piano and the Modern Virtuoso,” from which we have reprinted the following: “The gorgeous tone these highly trained athletes... Read More

    Technical Phases Of Piano Playing - May, 1902

    By EMIL LIEBLING An article which is to deal with the whys and wherefores which actuate different artists in the physical peculiarities and varieties of attacking and presenting pianistic work will necessarily leave scope for great diversity of opinion, for... Read More

    Liszt As a Teacher, by Amy Fay - May, 1902

    I am sometimes questioned as to Liszt's "method." He had none that I am aware of, although he doubtless served his time when he was a pupil of Czerny, who must have been one of the best teachers who ever lived. Probably it was to the faithful prac­tice of Czerny's etudes (from which he, in vain, prayed his father to be delivered) in his youth that Liszt owed those fine-spun fingers of his, for his finger-technic was something marvelous, and made everybody else's seem coarse and heavy in compari­son. Read More

    Liszt as Pianist and Piano-Composer. - May, 1902

    From the material of his playing it seems quite certain that the early distinctions of Liszt were due to his captivating manner, which as a boy was seri­ous, charming, and full of sensibility, and as yet without the circumambient "atmosphere" of the suc­cessful virtuoso. Read More

    Liszt, the Musical Liberal - May, 1902

    It may help the reader to form an estimate of one of Liszt's chief characteristics if I say that he was the most loved man in history. He was loved by more people than any man I ever heard of, and I think I have not overlooked anybody of consequence in history; he was loved more devotedly, more affection­ately, demonstratively, and more enduringly. Read More

    Liszt as a Musical Influence. - May, 1902

    Liszt's effect upon the music of the last half of the nineteenth century is by no means to be meas­ured by his own work in composition or by his great abilities as a pianist. His power as a composer was scarcely understood during his life-time, although Wagner ranked him as among the very highest in this field, and his abilities as a performer were veiled from all but a select few by his early retirement from the concert-platform. Read More

    Victorious Liszt. - May, 1902

    It is useless to say that nothing aroused his wrath so much as the receipt of an invitation to play the piano at some festival concert by a "friendly" committee which tactlessly ignored the fact that he was a composer as well as a pianist. Though he was the most genial of men, I suspect that he had said to himself: "If they will not listen to my compositions, they shall not hear me play either." Read More

    Edward Macdowell on the Relation of Music and Poetry - July, 1902

    Mr. Macdowell, for he prefers this simple mode of address to that of either professor or doctor, to both of which he is entitled, is firm in his opinions, frank in expressing them, impatient of mediocrity, and unflinching in the holding fast of his ideals. In common with most sensitive and intellectual people, he has two distinct sides to his character, that which the world knows and that which shows only to his friends. Read More

    The Making of an Artist. A Talk With Mark Hambourg. - October, 1902

    BY WILLIAM ARMSTRONG.   A Broad View of Life. THE individuality of Mark Hambourg is as pronounced in his manner as it is in his view of things musical. Excitable, emotional, absorbed completely in his work during a performance, and... Read More

    A Talk With Ossip Gabrilowitsch, Part II. - November, 1902

      The Making Of An Artist. BY WILLIAM ARMSTRONG   Like a number of other noted pianists, Ossip Gabrilowitsch could have recourse to another profession if the necessity should arise. Educated in the law, much of his spare time in... Read More

    Amy Beach - New Gems in the Old Classics - February, 1904

    She is a woman of charmingly simple manners, and, as foregone conclusion, of high, innate refinement. She is of medium height. Her eyes are of a grayish blue, large, and smiling. Her complexion is fresh and brilliant. Her blonde hair, primly parted, is brushed back smoothly from her face. Read More

    In Favor of "Arrangements" - March, 1904

    BY ALBERT W. BORST.   The student's road to that eagerly desired haven, the home of the accomplished pianist, is usually tolerably clearly marked out. It is, indeed, often so very straight that one longs for some friendly bypath... Read More

    Mrs. Bloomfield Zeisler on Study and Repertory - February, 1905

    She is a charming personality, complex, perhaps contradictory, to be more exact. Thoroughly womanly, sensitive beyond the understanding of persons less finely developed, with profound love of home and all the word conveys to a devoted wife and mother. Read More

    The Making of an Artist - The Views of Alfred Reisenauer. - July, 1906

    When I had reached a certain grade of advancement it was my great fortune to become associated with the immortal Franz Liszt. I consider Liszt the greatest man I have ever met. By this I mean that I have never met, in any other walk of life, a man with the mental grasp, splendid disposition and glorious genius. Read More

    Edouard Risler and His Playing of Beethoven's Sonatas - July, 1906

    Edouard Risler, one of the most evenly developed and highly gifted of the younger French pianists, was born of Alsatian descent at Baden-Baden, February 25th, 1873. He was for a long time the pupil of Louis Dièmer, perhaps the most celebrated teacher in Paris, at the conservatoire. His interpretations of Beethoven are especially famous. Read More

    The Interpretation of Bach's Works - October, 1906

    The Interpretation of Bach’s Works By WANDA LANDOWSKA (Translated by Edward Burlingame Hill) EVERY time the keyboard is mentioned in olden literature, it is always spoken of as being caressed, coaxed gently and tenderly. Those slight and fragile instruments... Read More

    The World's Greatest Pianists II, by Dr. James Tracy - August, 1907

    By Dr. James Tracy    HENRY HERZ may be considered as one of the greatest pianists of the world. An Austrian by birth he went to Paris when a mere child, growing up a naturalized Frenchman. At the Paris Conservatory,... Read More

    Some of the World's Greatest Women Pianists - December, 1907

    Short, Interesting Biographies and Appreciations of Great Performers from Clara Schumann to the Present Day   By DR. JAMES M. TRACEY     Principal Qualifications to Become a Great Pianiste. FROM the vast number of girls and young women who... Read More

    Harold Bauer on Music in America - May, 1908

    "THE trouble with most people is that they do not realize the importance of America and its music now. The future of the art here is so dazzling that it is beyond estimate, and the present is a great joy... Read More

    Student Days in Weimar with Liszt - May, 1908

    Reminiscences of an American Virtuoso and Teacher Who Won the Interest of the Greatest Master of the Keyboard By W. H. SHERWOOD   DURING my seven months’ stay in Weimar, where I enjoyed the inspiration of study under that... Read More

    The Remarkable Case of the Late "Blind Tom." - August, 1908

    "What was he? Whence came he? Was he the Prince of the fairy tale held by the wicked Enchantress; nor any beauty--not even the Heaven-born Maid of Melody--to release him? Blind, deformed and black--as black even as Erebus--idiocy, the idiocy of mysterious, perpetual frenzy, the sole companion of his waking visions and his dreams--whence came he, what was he, and wherefore?" Read More

    With Anton Rubinstein in the Classroom - December, 1908

    All who saw Rubinstein playing at the piano had to admire his whole bearing, the complete repose of his body and head. He tried to train his pupils to bear themselves in the same reposeful way while playing. Here is an example of this quoted by Mrs. E. N. Vessel: "How are you sitting at the piano! Please get up!" said Rubinstein to a pupil; he himself took the chair and placed it exactly in front of the middle of the keyboard. "Always take care how you sit at the piano. You should keep your body still while playing, the fingers and hands only should move." Read More

    A Lesson With Dr. Hans von Bülow - December, 1908

    The great master was in amiable mood and made constant and witty comment on music and musicians, and especially on the compositions under consideration. His memory was prodigious. Not a piece for piano could be mentioned that he did not know. He played with and for the pupils and was always alert and on the qui vive. Read More

    The Secret of Public Appearance - December, 1908

    By MRS. FANNIE BLOOMFIELD-ZEISLER   [Editor's Note.—The following is from an interview secured expressly for The Etude and is designed to assist pupils and teachers who are confronted with the perplexing problems leading to public appearance. Coming from one of... Read More

    How Chopin Played - December, 1908

    Chopin held the very highest ideals with regard to playing the piano. His pupils tell us that the first few lessons with him were a veritable martyrdom. The touch must always be crisp (sec?) and the least detail that did not correspond with the master's idea was severely reprimanded. In order to place the hand in a position that was graceful, and at the same time advantageous, he made his pupil place it on the keyboard very lightly. His style always depended on delicacy of touch, and great simplicity of phrasing. He disliked affectation, and, in consequence, all grandiose movement. Read More

    Ossip Gabrilowitsch: Touch--the Great Essential of Fine Pianoforte Playing - March, 1909

    From an Interview Secured Exclusively for THE ETUDE with M. OSSIP GABRILOWITSCH [Editor's  Note.—M.Gabrilowitsch, who is now upon his fourth tour of America, is, without doubt, one of the foremost virtuosos of the day. He is still a young man, as... Read More

    The American Woman Pianist of To-day and Yesterday - July, 1909

    An Entertaining Account of the Remarkable Advance in Piano Playing Made by the Women of Our Country During the Last CenturyBy Lorna GillTHE ancient civilizations vested the supreme power of musical inspiration in their goddesses; the Christian Era saw Saint... Read More

    Edvard Grieg on Liszt's Playing - July, 1909

    IN his admirable life of Edward Grieg, Mr. H. T. Finck quotes the Norwegian’s account of a visit paid to Liszt at Rome. “After playing the minuet, I felt that if it were possible to get Liszt to play... Read More

    Prodigies and the Gift of Music - February, 1910

    By HENRY T. FINCK   [Editor's Note.—Over a year ago Mr. Louis C. Elson wrote an article for The Etude citing some of the dangers surrounding the musical prodigy who is carelessly exploited. In the present article Mr. H.... Read More

    Great Italian Masters for the Piano - February, 1910

    By JAROSLAW DE ZIELINSKI   PART II   [The first part of this article outlining the development of pianoforte music in Italy appeared in the January special Italian issue of The Etude.]   THE WORK OF MASTERS.  A modern... Read More

    The Story Of Pepito Arriola - February, 1910

    A representative of The Etude investigated the case of Pepito Arriola with a view to presenting to our readers some interesting educational facts regarding the most astonishing case of precocity known in recent years, with the possible exception of Master Sidis, the child mathematician of Boston. Pepito was born in Madrid on the 14th of December, 1897. A careful investigation of his ancestry reveals that no less than twelve of his forefathers and relations have been pronouncedly musical. His father was a physician and his mother a musician. The child's early musical training was given to him by his mother, and, as he tells in his own story, was along singularly natural lines. Read More

    Old Traditions and New Ideas, by Mark Hambourg - February, 1910

    By Mark Hambourg.   Traditions, pedanticisms, yes, I consider them musical chloroforms which deaden the soul and the emotions. But, before saying anything more, I wish to state that if I venture to talk a little about some views... Read More

    Ten Important Attributes Of Beautiful Pianoforte Playing. S.V. Rachmaninov - March, 1910

    Especially secured for The Etude from an interview with S. V. RACHMANINOFF, Supervisor General of the Imperial Conservatories of Russia   [Editor's Note.—A short biography of M. Rachmaninoff appeared in the "Gallery of Celebrated Musicians" in the October issue of... Read More

    Neglected Details in Pianoforte Study - April, 1910

    There is something particularly interesting in the recent and pronounced successes of Ferruccio Busoni in America which should be of greatest encouragement to those who have striven to succeed and who have imagined that their inability to compel immediate success can only be classified as failure. Busoni has always been recognized as an artist of great gifts and unquestioned artistic ability. It was, however, not until the present season, that American audiences have been forced to realize that in Busoni we now have one of the very greatest virtuosos of our time. His recent success is the result of development and a realization of early deficiencies. Busoni has never stopped in his effort to improve. Read More

    Schumann's Fateful Accident - June, 1910

    By FRANCIS LINCOLN   The accident which changed Schumann's career from that of the virtuoso pianist to that of the composer has been frequently related, but its real part in the career of one of the greatest of masters... Read More

    A Napoleon of the Piano - September, 1910

    The name Napoleon is used so frequently and so inappropriately to describe the successful men of finance and in other lines of human endeavor that it has become ridiculed by many. However, our readers may be somewhat surprised to... Read More

    Some Great Virtuosos of the Present Day - October, 1910

    These missionaries of the music of the present are often ignored in the pages of musical history, but their importance is really very great, for the musical history of to-morrow depends considerably upon the interpreters of to-day. Several of the forty story lessons from the Standard History of Music have been published in previous issues, and the following article refers to them. Read More

    Lessons With Franz Liszt - November, 1910

    By EMIL SAUER   An Absorbingly Interesting, Unbiased Description of the Most Famous of all Piano Classes by the Distinguished Virtuoso and Teacher Well Known to American Concert-goers   [Editor's Note.—The following is probably the sanest, best balanced article... Read More

    Left Hand Music. - August, 1911

    Though music written for one hand alone may so impress a child, as Schumann suggests, it is possible to compose very creditably for a single hand. The reason that the left hand is thus chosen is obvious. While there is generally plenty of work for the right hand in most piano compositions, there is often not so much for the left hand to do. Read More

    Originality in Pianoforte Playing - Vladimir de Pachmann - October, 1911

    The peculiar and inimitable gifts of M. Vladimir de Pachmann have attracted such unusual attention in all art-loving countries that it seems hardly necessary to give the biography of this well-known artist or to comment upon his playing. One of the most notable characteristics of de Pachmann is that he has never ceased to work, never ceased to practice with the view of making himself a better and greater pianist. He has not appeared in public in America for some years. Recent London criticisms declare that he has made an entirely new pianist of himself, and that, while he has preserved all of the velvety touch of other days, he has developed a Bravura style which has not been approached since the days of Franz Liszt. Read More

    Rubinstein's Meteoric Tour Of America - November, 1911

    A multitude of Liszt imitators now flooded the country, cruelly abusing the innocent pianoforte in their vain efforts to show how the master, in whose name they offended, produced orchestral effects on the instrument. They always had a tuner on hand to repair damages, and felt they had done badly if they failed to snap two or three wires of an evening. Sometimes we who heard them were lost in wonder at their bewildering feats; more frequently our finer sensibilities were jarred. Read More

    Work, the Secret of Pianistic Success. - November, 1911

    The great teacher is an artist who works in men and women. Every pupil is different, and he must be very quick to recognize these differences. He should first of all teach the pupil that there are hundreds of things which no teacher can ever hope to teach. He must make his pupil keenly alert to this. There are hundreds of things about my own playing which are virtually impossible to teach. Read More

    Harold Bauer - Artistic Aims in Pianoforte Playing - March, 1912

    People talk about 'using the music of Bach' to accomplish some technical purpose in a perfectly heartbreaking manner. They never seem to think of interpreting Bach, but, rather, make of him a kind of technical elevator by means of which they hope to reach some marvelous musical heights. We even hear of the studies of Chopin being perverted in a similarly vicious manner, but Bach, the master of masters, is the greatest sufferer. Read More

    Georges Mathias - Some Personal Recollections of Chopin - September, 1912

    The present article is by far the most eminent of Chopin's pupils. Georges Mathias (1826-1910) was also a pupil of Kalkbrenner, and a graduate of the Conservatoire, where he subsequently became professor of the piano (1862-87). The article appeared in the Exercise Quotidiens of Isidor Philipp, and is here translated and reprinted from the French journal Musica. Mathias was a Chopin enthusiast, and like many of his kind a somewhat blind hero-worshiper. Nevertheless, he was an interesting personality, and the article not only gives a glowing description of Chopin, but also affords us a fascinating glimpse of Georges Mathias. Read More

    Leopold Godowsky - The Place of Technic in Pianoforte Playing - January, 1913

    [EDITOR’S NOTE.—The following interview with the renowned pianist, Leopold Godowsky, was secured shortly after his arrival in America for his present tour, No pianist in recent years has attracted such wide attention as Godowsky. He was born at Wilna, Russia... Read More

    Mile-Posts in Pianistic Progress. By the Eminent Pianist Teacher SEÑOR ALBERTO JONÁS - January, 1913

    The mechanical piano will be so perfected that the "performer," by manipulating stops and levers with hands and feet, will be able to give an individual touch, accentuation and color to every single note, as the pianist does now, and the result may be the same, but with greater effects, with the peculiar articulation and rapidity of enunciation of mechanical appliances. The device, until now sought in vain, whereby a "vibrato" can be imparted to any string of the piano, like the vibrato a violinist brings forth, will be invented; the tone will be sustained, increased and diminished at will, as produced now by players of string and of wind instruments. More than that every instrument of the orchestra will be played automatically, and it will be possible for one person to control a combination of them, or possibly all, so that the "virtuoso manipulator" will "play" alone sonatas for piano and violin, quartets for piano and string instruments, concertos for piano and orchestra. Read More

    The Art of Pianoforte Playing in Russia - An Interview with the Distinguished Russian Pianist JOSEF LHEVINNE - March, 1913

    "Rag-time," and by this I refer to the peculiar rhythm and not to the bad music that Americans have come to class under this head, has a peculiar fascination for me. There is nothing objectionable about the unique rhythm, any more than there is anything iniquitous about the gypsy melodies that have made such excellent material for Brahms, Liszt and Sarasate. Perhaps some day some American composer will glorify it in the Scherzo of a Symphony. Read More

    Emil Sauer - Progress in Music Study - January, 1914

    From an Interview Secured Expressly for THE ETUDE by G. Mark Wilson with the Famous Teacher and Virtuoso EMIL SAUER   [EDITOR’s NOTE—Few pianists of our time have been so fortunate in pleasing both professional musicians and amateurs as... Read More

    Teresa Carreño - Observations in Piano Playing - February, 1914

    Reviews of the interesting life of Teresa Carreño have frequently appeared in THE ETUDE, but we may be excused for reminding our readers of some of the accomplishments which make this famous pianist one of the most significant figures in the history of the music of the new world. Read More

    Ossip Gabrilowitsch - Memorizing Music Successfully - May, 1914

    AN INTERVIEW WITH THE DISTINGUISHED PIANIST OSSIP GABRILOWITSCH SECURED ESPECIALLY FOR THE ETUDE BY EDWIN HUGHES  [Editor's Note.—Interviews with Mr. Gabrilowitsch have appeared in previous issues of The Etude and have always pleased our readers greatly. His interest in... Read More

    Olga Samaroff - Concentration in Music Study - June, 1914

    "The subject of concentration in music study has been discussed so many times that it would seem well nigh impossible to say anything about it approaching novelty. Yet, concentration is a matter of such great consequence to all students, particularly music students, that there are few artists who would hesitate to place it at the very foundation of all serious work." Read More

    The Real Paderewski - February, 1915

    Excepting only Frédèric Chopin, no character in musical history has been so prominently iden­tified with Poland as Ignace Jan Paderewski. Considered from a popular standpoint, Chopin never attained that wide celebrity which attaches to the great Polish virtuoso of the present day, whose fame has reached millions who may never hear him play, but are as familiar with his name as that of the greatest statesman of the day. Read More

    Breadth in Musical Art Work - Ignace Jan Paderewski - February, 1915

    The call for breadth in musical art has been insistent since the earliest days of its history. Yet one can not help being conscious of the fact that the public in general is inclined to look upon all art workers as idealists confined to a narrow road very much apart from the broad pathway of life itself. Read More

    A Study of Studies Old and New - March, 1915

    Sitting not so long ago in the company of two wise men of music, one of them asked me: "Which fingers do you trill with?" I was so startled that I did not answer. His companion, a younger pundit, told me how he trilled, and being pressed I simply answered, Irish-like, with another question: "Why should anyone trill at all?" Perhaps this shed some light upon the subject of the hand in modern piano-playing. Read More

    The Wonderful Touch of Adolf Henselt - April, 1915

    PROFESSOR FREDERICK NIECKS has been writing in the London Monthly Musical Record on the subject of Adolf Henselt as man, pianist, composer and teacher. Speaking of Henselt’s touch, which Liszt said was “inimitable,” Niecks says: “Elasticity was at the... Read More

    Franz Liszt--The Last Word in Piano Playing - November, 1915

    Although the standard in this art has grown and is continually growing better, the highest excellence of several decades ago has not been maintained, nor is it equalled by any of the present day piano virtuosos. Read More

    The Phenomenon of "Blind Tom" - February, 1918

    In his day, people regarded Tom merely as a great freak, as he indeed was. Nowadays, people realize that his case was principally interesting because it was a marvelous manifestation of the sub-conscious or dream mind as differentiated from the conscious mind. Tom's mind, that is, his conscious mind, was just about sufficient to remove him one step from the helpless imbecile who has to be fed and cared for. Read More

    Has the Art of the Piano Reached Its Zenith or Is It Capable of Further Development? - December, 1918

    The Etude has secured a series of articles and statements from illustrious men and women, including General Pershing, General Hugh Scott, Lyman Abbott, Henry C. Van Dyke, Samuel Gompers, John Philip Sousa, Ida M. Tarbell, Dr. Anna Shaw, Thomas Edison and others, emphasizing the special need for music in war time. It is most important that the interest in our art be actively maintained by its leading workers at this time. Read More

    Rossini at the Keyboard - July, 1920

    The world thinks of many of the great composers in the light of creators, but in reality many of them have also been very fine pianists. Massenet and Debussy are said to have been especially fine performers. An interesting... Read More

    Memories of Rubinstein and Liszt - July, 1920

    By the Great Russian Pianist-Teacher  ALEXANDER SILOTI [Editor’s Note.—The tragic end of Siloti, who recently, according to report, dropped dead from starvation in the streets of Moscow, ends the career of one of the greatest of present-day Russian pianists.... Read More

    Memories of Rubinstein and Liszt - August, 1920

    By ALEXANDER SILOTI II The first section of this unusual work, translated by Methven Simpson, appeared in THE ETUDE for July. Siloti, possibly the most famous of Liszt’s Russian born pupils, dropped dead in the streets of Moscow recently... Read More

    Keyboard Masters of Other Years - October, 1920

    An Intimate Brief Review   By CONSTANTIN VON STERNBERG   The actor lives but for his own time; No laurels has posterity for him. Schiller   As in a theater the eyes of men, After a well-graced actor leaves... Read More

    Josef Lhévinne - Practical Phases of Modern Pianoforte Study - March, 1921

    Scales, it seems to me, are the basis of the development of a perfect technic. I always have been a firm believer in them. I am aware that some seem to think that they are not necessary, but anyone who has sat beside pupils and watched the almost magical effect that the right kind of scale drill produces upon pupils at a certain stage of advance could not fail to be convinced. Read More

    What Was Liszt's Technic Like? - April, 1921

    It has been said that Liszt learned certain things from Thalberg. Even Duncan Hume, Thalberg's biographer in Grove's dictionary, inclines to believe it. But the admirers of Thalberg, who have set this tale afloat, overlooked two significant matters: Thalberg's mission (if it deserves to be called a mission) consisted solely and exclusively of the display and exploitation of his beautiful touch, an important but none the less auxiliary matter. Liszt used his playing in the most unselfish manner, as a propagandist for Bach, Beethoven, Schubert, and for championing (also in composition) the Neo-German movement in music, a movement of which he was the head and in which Schumann, Wagner and Peter Cornelius were congenial followers. Read More

    Josef Lhévinne - Practical Phases of Modern Pianoforte Technic - April, 1921

      From an interview with the Eminent Pianoforte Virtuoso JOSEF LHEVINNE   (The first part of this interesting and helpful article appeared in The Etude for March)       Touch, Acquired and Natural So many people seem to... Read More

    Ignaz Friedman - What is the Most Difficult Thing in Piano Playing? - May, 1921

    "Many pianists never develop their rhythmic side so that they are able to play more than a very few pieces with the proper effect. Rhythm is the life of music, color is its flesh and blood. Without either all interpretative art is dead." Read More

    What the Piano Student Could Learn from the Violin Teacher - January, 1922

    If given a certain page of music to study, the average pupil plays it through time after time in the hope that it will improve of itself, the Sevcik method would be to play it through at speed, and to observe the places that do not go well, or at all. Having picked out the difficult passages, the pupil then commences to dissect them to see what the difficulty really is, and if it is a combination of difficulties, to master them one by one, and then combined. A favorite prescription of Sevcik's is: "Jede Vier Noten Hia Und Zurúck." That means "every four notes forward and backwards." It is not so unusual to find some pianist who has taken four notes of a passage, then the next four notes, and so on. But to Sevcik that was objectionable. He wanted the first four notes, then the four notes starting with the second note, then four notes starting with the third note, and always forwards and then back. In other words if we call the first four notes one, two, three, and four, the order of practice would be: one, two three four, four three two one, -- first very slowly, and gradually more rapidly, until the four notes can be played more rapidly than the tempo calls for. Then two, three four five, -- five four three, two, -- and so on to the end of the passage. Read More

    Mischa Levitzki - Getting a Start as a Virtuoso - February, 1923

    A debut is a very expensive thing. A failure debut is still more expensive. The managerial cost, the advertising, necessary in these days, the excitement of the event, all concentrate much in the life of a young person. Why is it then that there are so many ill-timed debuts? Better none at all than one given by an unripe talent. Read More

    Liszt at the Court of Napoleon III - March, 1923

    By the PRINCESS PAULINE METTERNICH ETUDE readers who may have missed the October issue will be pleased to know that the Princess Metternich’s “Memoirs of Richard Wagner” may be obtained in that issue or secured in book form in... Read More

    Many Roads to Artistic Playing: Alexander Siloti - March, 1923

    Many Roads to Artistic Playing An Interview with the Eminent Pianist-Conductor By ALEXANDER SILOTI Secured Expressly for THE ETUDE    “IT may seem paradoxical, but I have learned almost as much from teaching others as I have from studying with... Read More

    Alexander Siloti - Leaves From a Virtuoso's Note Book - August, 1923

    Young pianists nowadays are fond of placing some of [Bach's] big works on their programs. Well and good; if they play the notes with clearness and precision and give a general idea of the form of the compositions. When I see these programs I say--if the player is young--no, he has not lived, he has not the life experience to play such things. When one is twenty one cannot fathom the mysteries of Bach. Neither at thirty. At forty one begins to understand; at forty-five, yes, at forty-five, one should have arrived at years of experience--of life. But, lest these words should discourage young students and players who like to play Bach's music, I hasten to say that I encourage them to study much and deeply into the works of this great master, for this study will bear rich fruit one day, when experience has prepared the soil and fertilized it. Read More

    Josef Lhévinne - Basic Principles in Pianoforte Playing - October, 1923

    Secured Exclusively for The Etude by Interview with the Famous Virtuoso Pianist JOSEF LHÉVINNE   THE possibilities of the piano have been a matter of continual development. The highly developed instrument of to-day is the descendant of many attempts at... Read More

    Basic Principles in Pianoforte Playing - Josef Lhévinne - November, 1923

    I have repeatedly had students come for instruction who have after great effort prepared one, two, or at the most three show pieces, even pieces as far advanced as the Tschaikowsky or the Liszt Con­certo, who barely knew what key they were playing in. As for understanding the modulations and their bearing upon the interpretations of such com­plicated and difficult master works, they have been blissfully ignorant. Read More

    Basic Principles in Pianoforte Playing, Part III - Josef Lhévinne - December, 1923

    The reason why a number of people say that they do not care for piano playing is that so many so-called performers upon the instrument treat it as though it were an anvil and go on hammering out musical horse shoes. Read More

    Should Piano Playing Undergo a Radical Reform? - Vladimir de Pachmann - December, 1923

    An Interview Secured Exclusively for the Etude With the Famous Virtuoso VLADIMIR DE PACHMANN Who at the Age of Seventy-five Has Remolded His Entire Repertoire According to New Principles Which He Claims Are of Paramount Importance Read More

    Praise of a Poor Piano - A Paradox - By Eugenio Pirani - January, 1924

    Everybody, of course, is able to produce a voluminous tone with a modern concert grand. He needs only to glide gently over the keyboard. The tone is ready made; the pianist needs only to use it. Let us sing a hymn of praise to the poor pianos! Read More

    Basic Principles in Pianoforte Playing, Part IV - JOSEF LHEVINNE - January, 1924

    Basic Principles in Pianoforte Playing SECTION IV Secured Exclusively for THE ETUDE by Interview with the Famous Virtuoso Pianist JOSEF LHEVINNE This Series Began in the "Etude" for October. Each Section May be Read Independently Acquiring Delicacy and Power In... Read More

    Josef Lhévinne - Basic Principles in Pianoforte Playing - March, 1924

    Four hours a day of practice is good measure. Over- practicing is just as bad as under-practicing. It should be the younger student's aim and desire to get done with technic as soon as possible. There is no short cut. One cannot go around or under the mountain. One must climb straight over it. Therefore in the earlier lessons more attention must be given to technic than in the later lessons when a really masterly technic has been developed. The trouble is that most students seem to look upon it the other way. Read More

    Moritz Rosenthal - If Franz Liszt Should Come Back Again - April, 1924

    Liszt would also be filled with the keenest pleasure by witnessing another advance in piano playing. I refer to the general adoption of the syncopated pedal, that is, putting down the damper pedal after the note is struck rather than when it is struck. Only in this way can a beautiful cantilena be preserved in melodic passages. Liszt knew of this. However, it was not widely used until the last twenty years. It has made a vast difference in the beauty of piano playing generally; and I consider it the most distinctive differences between the piano playing of forty years ago and of to-day. Read More

    Gottschalk Bit His Nails - July, 1925

    By R. A. Di Dio Louis MOREAU GOTTSCHALK was not only the first American piano virtuoso, but also was something of a character as well. In Some Musical Recollections of Fifty Years, Richard Hoffman has this to say about... Read More

    Modern Ideas in Pianoforte Technic - E. Robert Schmitz - August, 1925

    When a melody ascends it generally gathers intensity or force. When it descends it diminishes in force, tending toward relaxation. This principle is observed almost universally by sensitive artists. Take the Busoni edition of Bach's Forty-Eight Preludes and Fugues, for instance, and note how the great interpreter has indicated that the phrases gain in intensity as the pitch ascends. Read More

    Frank La Forge - How to Play an Artistic Accompaniment - September, 1925

    THE art of accompanying is one of the most difficult to master. The old idea that anyone who was a somewhat indifferent soloist might eke out a livelihood at accompanying has long since been abandoned in higher musical circles. The accompanist must be a master musician with quick wit, splendid judgment, extensive experience and a really very great digital technic. More than this he must have a chameleonlike mind to fit his mood instantly to that of others who employ his services. Read More

    Four Hands that Play as Two . . . - December, 1933

    By Josef Lhévinne and Rosina Lhévinne   AS TOLD TO ROSE HEYLBUT   TWO PIANO playing is practically virgin territory and this, perhaps, is its chief interest. The possibilities of entertainment and instruction, both to the performers and their hearers, are... Read More

    Gala Days with Liszt at Weimar - November, 1936

    By F. W. Riesberg, A.A.G.O. ONE OF THE FEW REMAINING PUPILS OF LISZT   F. W. Riesberg was born April 8, 1863 at Norwich, New York. He was graduated from the Leipzig Conservatory in 1883 and later studied with Scharwenka... Read More

    More Audiences - Rafael Joseffy - November, 1936

    WHAT YOU WANT, young man, are more audiences. You have gone about as far as you can expect to go as a student. Of course you will never cease studying and you may always learn new things from real masters... Read More

    Silent Hands - Ossip Gabrilowitsch - November, 1936

    The "Gabrilowitsch touch" was an indescribable something that was the envy of pianists. The hands that brought such beautiful tones into being, are now silent, but the memories of his art cannot be stilled. Read More

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