Saturday, January 15, 2011

Blumenfeld - Etude Op. 3 No. 1

This is the etude that I ripped off for my 'Counterfeiting Blumenfeld' blog post, and I say that proudly. On top of being a revered conductor in his day, Felix Blumenfeld is recognized as Vladimir Horowitz' piano teacher also. I sometimes wonder if Horowitz knew any of his etudes, which I consider very beautifully written but can be very daunting. When trying to adapt the opening arpeggios for guitar, I had been practicing them on the piano as well. You definitely need quite the finger span to get these to sing at the required tempo, but as with most of Blumenfeld's etudes, the beauty is worth the duty! If only I had a bit more pianistic talent.

I highly recommend the channel under the username 'Hexameron', which is named after the collaborative variation set initially written in 1837 by Franz Liszt and thickened up with the help of Frederic Chopin, Sigismund Thalberg, Carl Czerny, Henri Herz and Johann Peter Pixis. The channel is filled with great piano compositions and encompasses many different styles and eras; most notably the era of the Russian musical repression (1900-1929). I urge you all to peruse that great channel!

Yuja Wang - Prokofiev Concerto No. 2 "Cadenza"

Here is an incredible clip of Yuja Wang playing the cadenza from Prokofiev's second piano concerto. I have a penchant for the grotesque when it comes to piano concertos and I've yet to hear anything more colossal than this cadenza. I've been stuck on this video for at least a week's time now, so I had no choice but to post it. The arpeggios at 3:05 are just killer and although they escape the highest register of a 24 fret guitar I'm trying to transcribe the section. At worst I will attempt to use the progression and capture the spirit while staying in the boundaries of the instrument. Check out the Horacio Gutierrez audio recording as well, as it's considered among the best for the Op. 16 concerto.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011