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Pianist 114

Pianist magazine is adored internationally by those who love to play the piano. From Bach to Billy Joel, the magazine offers a wide range of music styles to learn from, as you don’t just read it – you play it too! With every issue, you’ll find 40 pages of selected sheet music (suitable for players of all levels) accompanied by specially recorded sound files. The sound files act as the perfect learning tool, so you can listen to a piece of music before you learn it. All you need to do is click on the ‘sound’ icon and turn the Scores pages with a light swipe of your finger. With Pianist magazine you can expect nothing less than the very best when it comes to playing the instrument you love. You’ll have everything you need to play like an expert, including notes on technique, pedalling and interpretation, sheet music reviews, Q&As, teaching tips, in-depth ‘How to Play’ masterclasses, readers’ letters, piano news, interviews with top concert pianists and so much more! And guess what? If you opt for the digital issue, you get FREE EXTRA Scores! From the basics of scale playing to the difficult stretches and fast runs, Pianist magazine is your top piano playing guide – giving you the confidence and expertise you need to play like a pro!

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United Kingdom
Warners Group Publications Plc
6 Issues

in this issue

1 min
johann nepomuk hummel (1778-1837)

WATCH CHENYIN LI PLAY THIS AT WWW.PIANISTMAGAZINE.COM/LESSONS Quite the virtuoso, Austrian composer Johann Nepomuk bridged the gap between the Classical and Romantic eras in his musical writing. However, this energetic and playful Allegro, written in 1810, is 100 per cent Classical in style. Playing tips: In order to play this piece with physical ease, you might wish to adjust your piano stool a little, moving it slightly to the right. That’s because there’s a fair amount of playing in the upper register of the piano – even the LH often appears in the treble. A notable feature throughout is the accent on the second beat in the RH (seen first in bar 5). Try to ‘fall’ onto the note, so as to bring out the witty syncopation – this will bring style…

1 min
giuseppe capasso

The tango dance originated in Buenos Aires and is based on a binary 2/4 beat. It comprises two people dancing in close proximity. Our 2020 Composing Competition winner Giuseppe Capasso writes con sentimento at the start of his Blue Habanera tango, so make sure to bring passion and feeling to the music. Think of the dancers facing each other and staring into each other’s eyes, their movements almost entwined. Playing tips: The LH is the rhythmic foundation over which the dramatic RH melody shines. Feel the sultry ebb and flow of the music (notice the rallentandos and a tempos), but the pulse, even if sometimes abrupt, should always be solid. When the LH jumps around the keyboard (which happens throughout), try hardest not to look down at the keys; instead, feel…

4 min
your chance to have your say

EMAIL: editor@pianistmagazine.com WRITE TO: The Editor, Pianist, Warners Group Publications, 31-32 Park Row, Leeds, LS1 5JD. STAR LETTER wins a surprise CD. Letters may be edited. Th e weakest link We are always told that our fourth (ring) fingers are our ‘weakest’ and should therefore be used as little as possible. (Schumann supposedly damaged one of his trying to strengthen it with some kind of exercise machine.) However, I’ve found that I’m increasingly using my fourth finger in favour of my third and fifth, particularly in opposition to the thumb (e.g. in intervals of thirds and fourths and Alberti basses), where using the third requires an inward rotation of the hand (pronation?) and the fifth, an outward rotation (supination?), while the fourth requires no rotation at all and is therefore the ‘easy’…

1 min
carl reinecke (1824-1910)

This tender lullaby by German Romantic composer Carl Reinecke appears in his Ein Neues Notenbuch für Kleine Leute (a new notebook for small people) which comprises 30 pieces – many of which feature endearing titles such as At the mill, Children and cuckoos and Dragonflies in the sunshine. Playing tips: Try to keep the fingers as close to the keys as possible. The staccatos, even if detached, should be played within the context of a lullaby – hence, keep them soft and gentle. In the LH, you will see that the thumb often plays a black note; students are often told to avoid thumbs on black notes, but it’s often actually the best fingering, as it is here! Make a well-judged decrescendo towards the end, aiming for your quietest pianississimo. Pedal tips:…

3 min
tango to go

One of the most exciting things about the Pianist Composing Competition is the moment when the judges know they’re on to a winner. We look at each other – that’s me, musician Alexis Ffrench, composer John Kember, music educator Nigel Scaife and pianist-composer Melanie Spanswick – with a certain smile. Just one last play-through and we’re nearly there. Yes, this piece fits well under the fingers, it makes coherent musical sense and it’s not too hard. Oh, and it’s a joy to play! Having waded carefully through over 100 entries, the decision is unanimous: Italian music-school teacher Giuseppe Capasso is this year’s winner – with his sultry and dramatic Blue Habanera. Some days later, I call Capasso to break the news. He is, of course, beyond delighted. ‘I didn’t expect it!’…

10 min
the eyes have it

Hearing loss, sometimes avoidable, often the gift of advancing years, has ended the careers of too many fine musicians and blighted those of others. The subject remains one of the great taboos among professional performers – a burden never to be shared for fear of losing out to younger colleagues. It can also drain the spirit from keen amateur music makers, those who play or sing for pleasure, reminding each of their failing powers. While hearing health tops the musicians’ list of wellbeing concerns, sight loss is often ignored until those little black and white notes on a page have turned from familiar friends into blurred battalions. Pianists returning to, or learning the instrument as a retirement project, may discover that what once could be taken for granted – shifting…