Thank you to those who donated to Piano Society in 2017.

Piano Society Book Club

Discussion in 'General' started by pianolady, Apr 2, 2009.

  1. pianolady

    pianolady Monica Hart, Administrator Staff Member Piano Society Artist Trusted Member

    Joined:
    Jun 14, 2006
    Messages:
    8,712
    Likes Received:
    1
    Last Name:
    Hart
    First Name:
    Monica
    You are funny, Andreas. I bet you spend more time looking for just the right smiley than on actually typing out your comments! haha ( I do too - LOL) (I'm too lazy right now put one up right this second).

    Ok - Chapter 17:

    That poor piano! My goodness, I can’t believe how terrible Jos behaved!

    I can relate to Anna paying him anyway just so that he would leave and to prevent something else bad from happening. My tuner has never done anything wrong to me or to my piano. He is a very nice and normal guy. But when I think about it, he comes to my home when I am by myself. If he were to become ‘weird’, I would pay him so he would leave right away too.

    And what do you guys think about Anna and Thad talking about how they can ‘escape’ into a different place in their minds when they play music. That’s exactly how it is with me. I am most of the time making up a story in my mind when I play. It’s not always good to do that though, because often times I get to the end of a piece without realizing I just played the whole thing. I really should have been working on some technical issue and instead just wasted all that time with my fantasizing! So then I have to back to the beginning…

    What say you both?
     
  2. musicusblau

    musicusblau Administrator Staff Member Piano Society Artist Trusted Member

    Joined:
    Jan 20, 2008
    Messages:
    3,028
    Likes Received:
    3
    Occupation:
    High-school-teacher with subjects music and german
    Location:
    Germany
    Last Name:
    Pfaul
    First Name:
    Andreas
    O.k., chapter 17 was a sad one somehow. It´s really sad, that Luc seems to be an alcoholic and at the end it isn´t clear, if he had replaced also the broken string in Annas Bechstein. It´s just clear, that he has retuned the piano and that he has done this properly now.
    I had good luck until now, because never a string break down in any of my pianos until today. (O.k. anytime there will be the first time, I think.) But I knew, that a new string has to be retuned several times, until it sounds correctly.

    I seldom can be absent, if I play piano, Monica. I´m mostly very concentrated. In the case it´s a piece I know well and if I´m not concentrated I can play it through while thinking on other things, f.ex. what happened in my school-lessons or similar. If it´s a new piece (or a more complicated one), I´m not able to play it properly through, if I´m not truely concentrated.
     
  3. pianolady

    pianolady Monica Hart, Administrator Staff Member Piano Society Artist Trusted Member

    Joined:
    Jun 14, 2006
    Messages:
    8,712
    Likes Received:
    1
    Last Name:
    Hart
    First Name:
    Monica
    It's not Luc that is the alcoholic, but the piano tuner, Jos.

    I have never broken a string, either. I have never even seen a broken string.

    But Andreas, are you saying that you broke a string today? How did that happen? What were you playing? Did it make a loud noise when it broke? Did it shoot out of the piano? Did you jump?
     
  4. musicusblau

    musicusblau Administrator Staff Member Piano Society Artist Trusted Member

    Joined:
    Jan 20, 2008
    Messages:
    3,028
    Likes Received:
    3
    Occupation:
    High-school-teacher with subjects music and german
    Location:
    Germany
    Last Name:
    Pfaul
    First Name:
    Andreas
    Pianolady wrote:
    That´s what I meant, when I told you, that I´m an absent-minded professor sometimes. :roll: I´ve read so much literature (because of my profession of a German-teacher), that in moments, I´m tired and not more so concentrated, it easily happens to me, that I change names of the figures of the novel. Of course, I knew, that´s Jos.

    I have seen some during my life, but fortunately on other pianos than mine.

    No Monica, that´s also fortunately a missunderstanding. May be I didn´t express me correctly. I have never broken a string, not today either. I just think: anytime always could be the first time, so it´s possibel (and probable), that it´ll happen to me and to most pianists one day. (Especially to such wild players like me. :wink: :lol: )
     
  5. pianolady

    pianolady Monica Hart, Administrator Staff Member Piano Society Artist Trusted Member

    Joined:
    Jun 14, 2006
    Messages:
    8,712
    Likes Received:
    1
    Last Name:
    Hart
    First Name:
    Monica
    Chapters 18 and 19 are short, so here is my summary on both.

    Chap. 18 – Thad is finally getting his pedal brace. And what quirky behavior from that locksmith. It does seem like a complicated relationship between the business owners in that little neighborhood. I think that is kind of neat, though; like a sort of ‘you rub my back, and I’ll rub yours’ kind of way. And weren’t you excited to know about the new Erard coming in? And especially if Luc was actually going to receive it?

    Chap. 19 – Never mind the Erard, now we have what could actually be Beethoven’s piano! Wow! I would love to have seen that. And now we clearly know why Beethoven seemed to easily smash pianos – they did not have the metal frame yet.
     
  6. musicusblau

    musicusblau Administrator Staff Member Piano Society Artist Trusted Member

    Joined:
    Jan 20, 2008
    Messages:
    3,028
    Likes Received:
    3
    Occupation:
    High-school-teacher with subjects music and german
    Location:
    Germany
    Last Name:
    Pfaul
    First Name:
    Andreas
    Hi MOnica,
    this weekend I had only time for the first half of chapter 18. I think, I need a little break now, because at this time I have very much to do for my job.
     
  7. pianolady

    pianolady Monica Hart, Administrator Staff Member Piano Society Artist Trusted Member

    Joined:
    Jun 14, 2006
    Messages:
    8,712
    Likes Received:
    1
    Last Name:
    Hart
    First Name:
    Monica
    No problem, Andreas. Whenever you feel like posting something is fine. Nathan has probably read the whole book by now, and I am just sort of following you guys. So we will all just go with the flow.
    (that means to take it day to day)
     
  8. nathanscoleman

    nathanscoleman New Member Piano Society Artist

    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2007
    Messages:
    725
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Louisiana, USA
    Last Name:
    Coleman
    First Name:
    Nathan
    No, actually ... I didn't read it at all over the weekend .... although it's KILLING me not to know!!!

    anyway, I thought the drunk Jos was hysterical ... I don't know why, but I couldn't stop laughing at his really horrible behaviour.

    I too like to go other places when I play. I loved your comment thought about suddenly being at the end of a piece and wondering where the rest of the music went!!! hehe

    Gonna catch up to you this morn. So, bbl.
     
  9. nathanscoleman

    nathanscoleman New Member Piano Society Artist

    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2007
    Messages:
    725
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Louisiana, USA
    Last Name:
    Coleman
    First Name:
    Nathan
    I would like to play on some of these pre-iron harp pianos.
    I remember when I was really being forced to perform Mozart at about 12-13 years old, I complained to teacher at time "I feel like I'm being squished into a too-small box". I now think about how frustrating it must have been for those composing greats of time to be confined to a lesser sound than they wished.

    I'm starting to wonder if Luc is a smuggler?? That scene with the blacksmith was bizarre. Is there a piano black-market?
     
  10. pianolady

    pianolady Monica Hart, Administrator Staff Member Piano Society Artist Trusted Member

    Joined:
    Jun 14, 2006
    Messages:
    8,712
    Likes Received:
    1
    Last Name:
    Hart
    First Name:
    Monica
    Yeah - poor Beethoven. At least Liszt was around when the piano he needed came to be.

    And Nathan, was it that the Mozart pieces you were playing felt like 'small' pieces and therefore you weren't interested in playing them, or were you playing on a different instrument?

    A piano black market - hmmm. Wouldn't surprise me. There are piano collectors who probably get into some shady dealings to get the piano they want.
     
  11. nathanscoleman

    nathanscoleman New Member Piano Society Artist

    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2007
    Messages:
    725
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Louisiana, USA
    Last Name:
    Coleman
    First Name:
    Nathan
    I played on a modern piano. The rigidity of style and lightness of tone irritated me in pre-romantic music. It made me feel boxed-in ... not free, as with the romantics and later. Of course, now I understand why it made me feel as such.

    In any case, just read ch20 whilst stirring the chefboyardee for the monsters. I'd love to do a master class sometime, although I'm finding myself oddly intimidated playing for others (especially knowledgeables) now. Never had a care before. do a google search on feuchtwanger ... interesting stuff ... similar to abby whiteside's philosophy it seems. I believe in this too ... makes mastering technical difficulties much easier.



    ps - thinking about next book for club. I have two nominations but we don't have to do them first. I read them as teenager and had a big impression ... would love to revisit them with you guys! The first one is titled "Solo" by Jack Higgins. It's was great fun ... a concert pianist/assassin tours the world.

    The other is called "Fingers" by William Sleator. here's the synopsis: Eighteen-year-old Sam has always been jealous of his younger brother, Humphrey, the famous “wonder child” pianist. But now that Humphrey is fifteen, the one-time child prodigy isn’t able to get any more bookings. Sam’s mother refuses to accept that Humphrey’s career is over and devises a scheme to recapture his fame: Sam will compose “new works” by a long dead gypsy composer, and they will tell the world that the composer is dictating the music to Humphrey from the grave. The scheme is a wild success—until some ghostly occurrences convince Sam that the spirit of the dead composer has actually taken over Humphrey’s fingers. Have Sam and his family unleashed a force from beyond the grave?

    This second book started my obsession with Liszt. Although a fictional composer in the novel, it seemed loosely based on Liszt. Anyway, let me know what ya'll think when we finish with this one. I'm THOUROUGHLY enjoying this so far!
     
  12. pianolady

    pianolady Monica Hart, Administrator Staff Member Piano Society Artist Trusted Member

    Joined:
    Jun 14, 2006
    Messages:
    8,712
    Likes Received:
    1
    Last Name:
    Hart
    First Name:
    Monica
    haha - well, I just inhaled a plate of spaghetti because I was starving.

    I'm ready to read chapter 20, just kind of waiting. I'll do it later today.

    And all those books sound great! I think I've read Jack Higgins before but I can't remember what. But that "Fingers" book sounds like something right up my alley. Reminds me of another book I read a couple years ago about a woman whose body is taken over by Franz Schubert. She can suddenly play piano like an expert, stuns the teachers of Juilliard and then Schubert leads her to his 'Unfinished Symphony'.

    So let's go for Fingers next. Maybe we can round up some more members too?

    Ok, I'm going to look up that word now after I finish up doing a new member.
     
  13. nathanscoleman

    nathanscoleman New Member Piano Society Artist

    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2007
    Messages:
    725
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Louisiana, USA
    Last Name:
    Coleman
    First Name:
    Nathan
    HHMMMMMM ..... man, when I signed up all I got was a handshake from Chris and a distant wave from Robert! :lol: 8)
     
  14. juufa72

    juufa72 New Member Piano Society Artist

    Joined:
    Jul 13, 2006
    Messages:
    2,388
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Obamanation, unfortunately...
    Last Name:
    Grocholski
    First Name:
    Julius


    [​IMG]
     
  15. pianolady

    pianolady Monica Hart, Administrator Staff Member Piano Society Artist Trusted Member

    Joined:
    Jun 14, 2006
    Messages:
    8,712
    Likes Received:
    1
    Last Name:
    Hart
    First Name:
    Monica
    aha ha ha - very funny. You both better watch it, or I'll give you a Chinese foot massage. (they hurt!):lol:

    And that word, feuchtwanger. I thought it was a kind of sausage, but it looks like it's a person, right? I only briefly glanced at some articles. Not sure where it says anything about mastering technical difficulties.
     
  16. nathanscoleman

    nathanscoleman New Member Piano Society Artist

    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2007
    Messages:
    725
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Louisiana, USA
    Last Name:
    Coleman
    First Name:
    Nathan
    *striving to contain a sausage joke* :cry:

    In any case, when you read ch20 ... he conducts a masterclass.
     
  17. musicusblau

    musicusblau Administrator Staff Member Piano Society Artist Trusted Member

    Joined:
    Jan 20, 2008
    Messages:
    3,028
    Likes Received:
    3
    Occupation:
    High-school-teacher with subjects music and german
    Location:
    Germany
    Last Name:
    Pfaul
    First Name:
    Andreas
    I haven´t still read chapter 20, but I think, I´ll find some time at the weekend. (I have read ch. 18 now and will start tomorrow with ch. 19.)
    Lion Feuchtwanger (1884-1958) was a famous german author, well known for his historical novel like f.ex. "Jud süß", "Die hässliche Herzogin Margarete Maultasch" and the "Josephus-Trilogie". So, a bit another "thing" as a sausage, alas! :lol: Or may be you mean Wilhelm Furtwängler, which was a famous conductor?
    Don´t know, if that helps you.
     
  18. nathanscoleman

    nathanscoleman New Member Piano Society Artist

    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2007
    Messages:
    725
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Louisiana, USA
    Last Name:
    Coleman
    First Name:
    Nathan
    peter feuchtwanger actually
     
  19. musicusblau

    musicusblau Administrator Staff Member Piano Society Artist Trusted Member

    Joined:
    Jan 20, 2008
    Messages:
    3,028
    Likes Received:
    3
    Occupation:
    High-school-teacher with subjects music and german
    Location:
    Germany
    Last Name:
    Pfaul
    First Name:
    Andreas
    Ah, o.k., the pianist with his method of a physiological, psychological cure at the piano...Didn´t come on this thought first... :roll:
     
  20. pianolady

    pianolady Monica Hart, Administrator Staff Member Piano Society Artist Trusted Member

    Joined:
    Jun 14, 2006
    Messages:
    8,712
    Likes Received:
    1
    Last Name:
    Hart
    First Name:
    Monica
    I just finished reading chapter 20 and found it very interesting! It hit on a couple points I am currently dealing with. The first is what Feuchtwanger teaches. I’ve heard others talk about that same philosophy about staying in a relaxed position, striking the note, and then going back to a centered repose. My own teacher has tried to get me to that too, because much of my tendonitis problem stems from remaining tense all the time when I play.

    I’m working on a piece with a difficult LH fast ascending arpeggio and when I do actually remember to relax, it goes better. However, I can’t relax too much or it doesn’t go at all. For me, I have to tell my brain to relax and don’t get so nervous about that arpeggio coming up. But when I actually start on it, I have to play really hard and forcefully to get it to go to the top.

    The other point I found interesting is when he admonished the young student when she didn’t want to take a repeat. I liked when Feuchtwanger said, "A repeat is never the same." Made me think of that Bach Aria in which you can play the ornaments differently in the repeats. Remember talking about that, Andreas? I was thinking of not doing a repeat in the same piece I’m working on that I mentioned up above, but now I think I will.
     

Share This Page