We heard some wonderful music for the piano at my last class, April 30. Here are links to YouTube videos showing how composers have seized on the piano's chameleon-like qualities to create impressions of a shimmering fountain, exploding fireworks, a flamenco guitar, a rippling harp, a singer breathing long lines of melody, a three-part conversation and, finally, imitating the heft of a symphony orchestra.
In 1984, the Soviet Union boycotted the LA Olympics. As a cultural symbol of musical muscle, precision and American jazz, 84 pianists played George Gershwin's "Rhapsody in Blue" at the opening ceremony.
A clavichord from 1763:
A harpsichord, popular in the Baroque era:
One of three surviving pianos built by the piano's inventor Bartolomeo Cristofori:
No one plays a singing line as well as Artur Rubinstein in the Chopin Nocturne in D-Flat Major:
A fountain, in Liszt's Jeux d'eaux a la Villa d'Este:
As a flamenco guitar:
A three-part conversation in Myra Hess' famous arrangement:
A massive symphony orchestra:
David Stabler is a pianist, writer, dad and cyclist. He's working on a novel based on his childhood years living in Africa and just finished riding across America with his brother this summer.