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#1483197 - 07/28/10 01:20 PM Re: Lang Lang--Hurrah! [Re: MikeN]
RonaldSteinway Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/11/08
Posts: 1492
Originally Posted By: MikeN
As much as I'd like to say it doesn't matter. It does, it's certainly factored in to Ivo Pogorelich's career.


The same argument, it does not affect Lang Lang career. His mannerism is crazy to put the least. But apparently, he sells well.

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#1483198 - 07/28/10 01:26 PM Re: Lang Lang--Hurrah! [Re: RonaldSteinway]
beet31425 Online   content
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/12/09
Posts: 3815
Loc: Bay Area, CA
Originally Posted By: RonaldSteinway
Originally Posted By: beet31425

This is my opinion too. (As I've posted here before,) I heard him play Schubert's late A major sonata, and it was ravishing and faithful, all 40 minutes. Later in the concert though, he played the Heroic Polonaise like a buffoon, swinging his head from side to side and smiling.

Why do you care how he performs, can you just concentrate on his sound only? Is he good or not. I personally do not care how they make the sound. If they are good, they are good regardless how ugly they are. We need to listen beyond the physcial look of the pianist.


I agree. My criticism of his performance of the Polonaise sounded like I was focusing on his gestures (smiling, swinging his head). But my point was that the interpretation itself was trivialized and silly. In this case, the gestures were the outward manifestations of what was going on musically.

-J
_________________________
Schubert: Bb Impromptu D.935/3; Mozart: D minor concerto; Chopin: first Ballade

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#1483200 - 07/28/10 01:29 PM Re: Lang Lang--Hurrah! [Re: RonaldSteinway]
MikeN Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/18/10
Posts: 579
Loc: Ohio
Yes, but when the name of Lang Lang comes up what do people first think of. It's not the brilliant singing tone. Most people I believe would think of the mannerisms which is sad. Yes we as human beings pay attention to these things.

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#1483206 - 07/28/10 01:43 PM Re: Lang Lang--Hurrah! [Re: MikeN]
Horowitzian Offline
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Registered: 09/18/08
Posts: 8453
Why can't we all just agree to disagree about Lang Lang? These threads are always the same old story over and over and over and over and over and over and over. smile
_________________________
Close only counts in horseshoes, hand grenades, and nuclear weapons.

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#1483219 - 07/28/10 01:58 PM Re: Lang Lang--Hurrah! [Re: Horowitzian]
MikeN Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/18/10
Posts: 579
Loc: Ohio
Alright, whether we like or dislike him he has a career and he doesn't seem to be going anywhere soon.

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#1483235 - 07/28/10 02:28 PM Re: Lang Lang--Hurrah! [Re: MikeN]
RonaldSteinway Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/11/08
Posts: 1492
Originally Posted By: MikeN
Yes, but when the name of Lang Lang comes up what do people first think of. It's not the brilliant singing tone. Most people I believe would think of the mannerisms which is sad. Yes we as human beings pay attention to these things.


I am neutral toward Lang Lang. I heard his recording around 2001 or 2002. I happened at Border book store, and listened those CD machine. I was very impressed with his tone. I did not even know who this young guy was.

His Chopin Nocturne Op. 27 , the Db, I think was extremely good. To date, I think it is the best that I have ever heard.

If you really paid attention, he does all these crazy mannerism since he was a little boy. It is not something he just invented once he became famous. It appears this is the way he performs.

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#1483237 - 07/28/10 02:31 PM Re: Lang Lang--Hurrah! [Re: MikeN]
RonaldSteinway Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/11/08
Posts: 1492
Originally Posted By: MikeN
Alright, whether we like or dislike him he has a career and he doesn't seem to be going anywhere soon.


Financial and fame wise, he has reached the peak...nowhere to go....I think most pianists in the world will be happy if they can reach Lang Lang level of success. We cannot deny that he is a successful pianist, whether we like it or not.

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#1483243 - 07/28/10 02:39 PM Re: Lang Lang--Hurrah! [Re: Bech]
mr_roberts_z Offline
Full Member

Registered: 10/09/07
Posts: 204
Loc: Canada
Originally Posted By: Bech
Liszt "Don Juan 2"


Don Juan 2? confused

LL's Carnegie Hall performance is my favourite Don Juan performance (MAH comes in second) but for some reason he completely skips the Eb-minor Andante section right before the ending octaves. I'm pretty sure both the original score and Busoni's reduction have it in there.

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#1483249 - 07/28/10 02:46 PM Re: Lang Lang--Hurrah! [Re: MikeN]
Kreisler Offline



Registered: 11/27/02
Posts: 13802
Loc: Iowa City, IA
I have an interesting theory about this.

Many of those who dislike Lang Lang are older, and those of us in the 35+ category grew up listening to recordings. There was no such thing as the internet when I was in high school, so we got all of our music on CD.

MTV pretty much changed all that, mostly for popular music. MTV was a HUGE influence on my generation, pairing music with video (it used to be a station that played nothing but music videos - they didn't start doing those stupid reality shows until the mid 90's.)

Nowadays, younger people are more visual and have difficulty connecting with performances that don't have a visual aspect to them. I think this explains some of Lang Lang's popularity and the direction taken by people like the Anderson-Roe Duo and Alexander Tharaud (check out his site for the visual art and video work.)

Plus, most people listen to music on bad computer speakers these days, and recording engineers do a lot of electronic processing to the sound - both of which have an effect on the tone quality of what most people hear. Those with experience listening to live acoustic music usually have a better sense of tone quality, and this is also why it's important for serious pianists to study at music schools with good instruments and good students, and why it's important for student pianists to practice on acoustic instruments. (Digital pianos use very expensive, carefully maintained concert grands as models for their sound. The player of a digital piano doesn't need to work nearly as hard to get a beautiful tone - Yamaha and Roland have already done that for you!)


Originally Posted By: MikeN
Yes, but when the name of Lang Lang comes up what do people first think of. It's not the brilliant singing tone. Most people I believe would think of the mannerisms which is sad. Yes we as human beings pay attention to these things.
_________________________
"If we continually try to force a child to do what he is afraid to do, he will become more timid, and will use his brains and energy, not to explore the unknown, but to find ways to avoid the pressures we put on him." (John Holt)

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#1483259 - 07/28/10 03:06 PM Re: Lang Lang--Hurrah! [Re: RonaldSteinway]
pianoloverus Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/29/01
Posts: 19472
Loc: New York City
Originally Posted By: RonaldSteinway
Financial and fame wise, he has reached the peak...nowhere to go....I think most pianists in the world will be happy if they can reach Lang Lang level of success. We cannot deny that he is a successful pianist, whether we like it or not.
You've only defined success in terms of money and fame.

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#1483261 - 07/28/10 03:09 PM Re: Lang Lang--Hurrah! [Re: MikeN]
-Frycek Offline
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Registered: 08/06/05
Posts: 5921
Loc: SC Mountains
I suppose I'm too late to throw in a Lang Lang grenade just for the heck of it?
_________________________
Slow down and do it right.

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#1483262 - 07/28/10 03:11 PM Re: Lang Lang--Hurrah! [Re: Kreisler]
pianoloverus Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/29/01
Posts: 19472
Loc: New York City
Originally Posted By: Kreisler
MTV pretty much changed all that, mostly for popular music. MTV was a HUGE influence on my generation, pairing music with video (it used to be a station that played nothing but music videos - they didn't start doing those stupid reality shows until the mid 90's.)
OMG- I used to encourage my studnets to watch that because I thought it meant Math TV.


Edited by pianoloverus (07/28/10 03:12 PM)

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#1483272 - 07/28/10 03:33 PM Re: Lang Lang--Hurrah! [Re: pianoloverus]
RonaldSteinway Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/11/08
Posts: 1492
Originally Posted By: pianoloverus
Originally Posted By: RonaldSteinway
Financial and fame wise, he has reached the peak...nowhere to go....I think most pianists in the world will be happy if they can reach Lang Lang level of success. We cannot deny that he is a successful pianist, whether we like it or not.
You've only defined success in terms of money and fame.


What other definition of success for a concert pianist other than money and fame?
Their two main goals to be a succesful concert pianist is to make money and to be famous from playing piano. I do not think their goal is just to play piano beautifully. If it were the case, they would have chosen other career while playing piano for fun.

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#1483277 - 07/28/10 03:40 PM Re: Lang Lang--Hurrah! [Re: RonaldSteinway]
Orange Soda King Offline
6000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/25/09
Posts: 6070
Loc: Louisville, Kentucky, United S...
Originally Posted By: RonaldSteinway

Why do you care how he performs, can you just concentrate on his sound only? Is he good or not. I personally do not care how they make the sound. If they are good, they are good regardless how ugly they are. We need to listen beyond the physcial look of the pianist.


That's the thing for me, though. I have listened to his playing (without watching him) while following score, and many times he was not faithful to the score. I think this, coupled with his progressive marketing techniques and style bothers many classical music conservatives/traditionalists.

I mean, he has remarkable technique... he has the ability to literally do whatever he wants. It's just I don't feel that he stays with the instructions of the score and stylistically correct.


Edited by Orange Soda King (07/28/10 03:43 PM)

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#1483282 - 07/28/10 03:45 PM Re: Lang Lang--Hurrah! [Re: Orange Soda King]
jazzyprof Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/30/04
Posts: 2634
Loc: Ann Arbor, MI
Originally Posted By: Orange Soda King
I have listened to his playing (without watching him) while following score, and many times he was not faithful to the score.

Would you have enjoyed listening to his playing more if you were not following the score?
_________________________
"Playing the piano is my greatest joy...period."......JP

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#1483286 - 07/28/10 03:53 PM Re: Lang Lang--Hurrah! [Re: RonaldSteinway]
pianoloverus Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/29/01
Posts: 19472
Loc: New York City
Originally Posted By: RonaldSteinway
Originally Posted By: pianoloverus
Originally Posted By: RonaldSteinway
Financial and fame wise, he has reached the peak...nowhere to go....I think most pianists in the world will be happy if they can reach Lang Lang level of success. We cannot deny that he is a successful pianist, whether we like it or not.
You've only defined success in terms of money and fame.


What other definition of success for a concert pianist other than money and fame?
Their two main goals to be a succesful concert pianist is to make money and to be famous from playing piano. I do not think their goal is just to play piano beautifully. If it were the case, they would have chosen other career while playing piano for fun.
A few reasons besides money and fame: love of music, desire to express oneself, the feeling that this is the only thing they could possibly want to do with their life.

I'm sure the professional pianists at PW could give a better explanation. I think most pianists who want to become professionals realize that their chances of making as much money as they might in a different field are very small but choose a career in piano anyway.


Edited by pianoloverus (07/28/10 03:54 PM)

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#1483292 - 07/28/10 04:00 PM Re: Lang Lang--Hurrah! [Re: pianoloverus]
RonaldSteinway Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/11/08
Posts: 1492
Originally Posted By: pianoloverus
Originally Posted By: RonaldSteinway
Originally Posted By: pianoloverus
Originally Posted By: RonaldSteinway
Financial and fame wise, he has reached the peak...nowhere to go....I think most pianists in the world will be happy if they can reach Lang Lang level of success. We cannot deny that he is a successful pianist, whether we like it or not.
You've only defined success in terms of money and fame.


What other definition of success for a concert pianist other than money and fame?
Their two main goals to be a succesful concert pianist is to make money and to be famous from playing piano. I do not think their goal is just to play piano beautifully. If it were the case, they would have chosen other career while playing piano for fun.
A few reasons besides money and fame: love of music, desire to express oneself, the feeling that this is the only thing they could possibly want to do with their life.

I'm sure the professional pianists at PW could give a better explanation. I think most pianists who want to become professionals realize that their chances of making as much money as they might in a different field are very small but choose a career in piano anyway.


I have talked to many concert pianists, fame is definitely one of their main goals. By being famous, they can have more opportunities to show their love of music. Otherwise, they will just end up playing in front of small number of audiences. In addition, if they have had enough money, they can pick and choose the program that they are interested in performing, they do not need to be dictated by others.

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#1483294 - 07/28/10 04:04 PM Re: Lang Lang--Hurrah! [Re: jazzyprof]
RonaldSteinway Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/11/08
Posts: 1492
Originally Posted By: jazzyprof
Originally Posted By: Orange Soda King
I have listened to his playing (without watching him) while following score, and many times he was not faithful to the score.

Would you have enjoyed listening to his playing more if you were not following the score?


I understnad sodaking reasoning. But I doubt that he will enjoy any playing that stray from what prescribed in an Urtext score. I think the beauty of any performance for OSK is the ability of the pianist to stick to the score. It is not a bad thing at all, and it is very difficult to do. Some people are more lose in this criterion so that following the score is not the main criterion to enjoy the music....Personal taste, I guess.

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#1483338 - 07/28/10 05:02 PM Re: Lang Lang--Hurrah! [Re: RonaldSteinway]
pianoloverus Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/29/01
Posts: 19472
Loc: New York City
Originally Posted By: RonaldSteinway
I have talked to many concert pianists, fame is definitely one of their main goals. By being famous, they can have more opportunities to show their love of music. Otherwise, they will just end up playing in front of small number of audiences. In addition, if they have had enough money, they can pick and choose the program that they are interested in performing, they do not need to be dictated by others.
How could what you claim as one of their main goals be reconciled with the fact that they know that only a small percentage can achieve a major solo career?

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#1483339 - 07/28/10 05:06 PM Re: Lang Lang--Hurrah! [Re: Bech]
jdhampton924 Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/13/08
Posts: 1009
Loc: Evansville, Indiana
Originally Posted By: Bech
Appears I touched on a sensitive subject with Lang Lang. Good.

During the past hour I've been reading about his struggle to make it in the concert pianists world. Inspiring. Read that Steinway even markets a specially branded Lang Lang piano. The only name-branded instrument they have ever made. Now, why would such a respected and knowledgeable company as Steinway do this? The only reason I can think of is because Lang Lang is a very exceptional pianist. Sure there's a commercial side to this but I trust their integrity and their judgement.


Bech



He brings in the dough, he is flashy, like a neon sign. In the end, there are just many many more pianists I would rather see. All of them have amazing technical abilities. That is what it comes down to, for me at least, that there are just too many other pianists whose work speaks to me on a personal level. Sometimes it is just difficult to tell what Lang Lang is doing.

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#1483341 - 07/28/10 05:16 PM Re: Lang Lang--Hurrah! [Re: jdhampton924]
BDB Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/07/03
Posts: 21669
Loc: Oakland
For most composers, not following the score is more faithful to the composer's intention than following the score.
_________________________
Semipro Tech

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#1483351 - 07/28/10 05:38 PM Re: Lang Lang--Hurrah! [Re: jdhampton924]
Damon Offline
6000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/22/06
Posts: 6168
Loc: St. Louis area
what an awesome thread!
_________________________
It's been scientifically proven that Horowitz sucks.

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#1483371 - 07/28/10 06:01 PM Re: Lang Lang--Hurrah! [Re: -Frycek]
ChopinAddict Offline
6000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/29/09
Posts: 6112
Loc: Land of the never-ending music
Originally Posted By: -Frycek
I suppose I'm too late to throw in a Lang Lang grenade just for the heck of it?


You are never too late because the LL war will never be over...
_________________________



Music is my best friend.


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#1483403 - 07/28/10 06:53 PM Re: Lang Lang--Hurrah! [Re: Damon]
Horowitzian Offline
8000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/18/08
Posts: 8453
Originally Posted By: Damon
what an awesome thread!


Hey! That's my line. Wait, sorry, I stole it from Brendan. grin
_________________________
Close only counts in horseshoes, hand grenades, and nuclear weapons.

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#1483445 - 07/28/10 08:10 PM Re: Lang Lang--Hurrah! [Re: pianoloverus]
RonaldSteinway Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/11/08
Posts: 1492
Originally Posted By: pianoloverus
Originally Posted By: RonaldSteinway
I have talked to many concert pianists, fame is definitely one of their main goals. By being famous, they can have more opportunities to show their love of music. Otherwise, they will just end up playing in front of small number of audiences. In addition, if they have had enough money, they can pick and choose the program that they are interested in performing, they do not need to be dictated by others.
How could what you claim as one of their main goals be reconciled with the fact that they know that only a small percentage can achieve a major solo career?


There are tons of concert pianists with varying levels, from world class to state level. Of course, not all of them have major solo career, but all of them have followed the same direction at the beginning of their career. They want to be noted (a well known pianist), just not all of them are successful to be noted. Their intent, however, is the same which is fame, and money will follow. I do not understand why it is so hard for you to see this, it is such an obvious thing.

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#1483507 - 07/28/10 10:25 PM Re: Lang Lang--Hurrah! [Re: Kreisler]
lauralei Offline
Full Member

Registered: 11/03/09
Posts: 119
Loc: New England
Originally Posted By: Kreisler
I have an interesting theory about this.

Many of those who dislike Lang Lang are older, and those of us in the 35+ category grew up listening to recordings. There was no such thing as the internet when I was in high school, so we got all of our music on CD.



I happen to agree with much of your theory, although we got our music on RECORDS, not CDs! But we spent hours listening to records, often the same ones over and over because there was no easy or cheap access to music. (Compared to today with YouTube and the internet.) We focused on the music and our ears became trained as we listened carefully to the different instruments, harmonic lines, etc. Of course, some of us listened to a lot of garbage, and most of us were partially distracted by the album cover art, and some of us (not me!) were stoned at the time. grin

Laura, still listening to my old LPs, on old stereo equipment, salvaged from the dump and repaired by my amazing husband.

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#1483525 - 07/28/10 11:02 PM Re: Lang Lang--Hurrah! [Re: RonaldSteinway]
pianoloverus Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/29/01
Posts: 19472
Loc: New York City
Originally Posted By: RonaldSteinway

There are tons of concert pianists with varying levels, from world class to] state level. Of course, not all of them have major solo career, but all of them have followed the same direction at the beginning of their career. They want to be noted (a well known pianist), just not all of them are successful to be noted. Their intent, however, is the same which is fame, and money will follow. I do not understand why it is so hard for you to see this, it is such an obvious thing.
Your statement assumes you're correct. I would say the opposite of what ou said is "obvious. Saying someone wants to be able to make a living from music is reasonable, but that is not" the same as saying someone chooses a career as a pianist, or any profession, for money and fame.


Edited by pianoloverus (07/29/10 11:40 AM)

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#1483680 - 07/29/10 09:25 AM Re: Lang Lang--Hurrah! [Re: MikeN]
Bech Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/24/10
Posts: 844
Loc: Indiana
I'm thinking if you handed top musical critics and top pianists a CD containing performances by the best concert pianists and included Lang Lang performing at his best many would, upon hearing Lang Lang, say: Wow, whose that player?

No names on the CD just all great players so the listeners can pick the best PLAYER and NOT the "best NAME."

I really believe there is some elitist, follow the herd kind of psychology when it comes to "whose the better pianists." Same for players of other instruments too.

Shouldn't it be: Forget the looks or expressions or how many contests they've won or even what the critics say. Whose playing excites me the most? Isn't that just about all that matters? Whose playing COMMUNICATES the most to me? Expressiveness.

Bech
_________________________
Music. One of man's greatest inventions. And...for me, the piano expresses it best.

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#1483719 - 07/29/10 10:29 AM Re: Lang Lang--Hurrah! [Re: Bech]
somedood Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 07/27/10
Posts: 12
My 2 cents, if I may...

1) No question, LL has good technique. You can't really play the works he does without good technique. But music is not about technique. Technique is merely a tool to enable you to get to where you want to go.

2) Steinway offering a LL piano. Well, duh. Have you noticed how big the market is in China? Put that together with the godly status LL has there...what do you get? $

3) LL cops so much abuse because he popularises classical music. It appeals to the greater audience...the common person, which, in a way is great for classical music. But it's also like britney spears to a tiny extent. Heaps of people like britney. But most of us with some musical understanding would say that she couldn't sing if her life depended on it. And I do sincerely believe that if you extensively listened to all the great masters, and played some of the pieces yourself, you'd understand why the number of LL haters (read: understand the number of LL haters, not necessarily be one). I'm gonna brutally generalise and over simplify here, but LL articulates the notes for the sake of articulating them. People who don't seem to know the piece hear it and thinks he's awesome. But if you listened more carefully to someone like...oh...glenn gould playing bach....well taht's another level of articulation that goes far beyond the surface. Even experienced pianists may not immediately notice the purpose of every subtle phrase he uses, and certainly to the common man it would be much too subtle for them to notice even after multiple listens of the same track. Classical music is all about subtlety - it's not rock and roll. LL turns classical into rock and roll...sort of bastardising the beauty of what classical music is about. When you hear something played fast and clearly, certainly it's impressive. But you'd soon realise that purely being impressive on a technical scale is not music. Music is more than that, in fact, you could make a hundred mistakes and still get the message across (horowitz).

Which brings me to:
4) His outrageous expressions while playing. When you go on stage, you are performing. Everything you do, every subtle detail is PART of the performance. And in my opinion, ANYTHING that spoils the enjoyment of the performance is something that can be done better. Why do pianists bother to wear nice clothes when performing? Why not wear track suit pants and runners? that would certainly be more comfortable. Everything you do, whether it's visual or acoustic, is part of the performance. If you go to a rock concert, you expect flashy lights and loud sound. You're not there just "for the music".

I fear I may have just started a following of haters for saying the above...


Edited by somedood (07/29/10 10:31 AM)

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#1483721 - 07/29/10 10:29 AM Re: Lang Lang--Hurrah! [Re: Bech]
Victor25 Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/30/09
Posts: 1676
Loc: The Netherlands
@Bech So now its: 1. You either think Lang Lang is great, or 2. you are some person who doesn't listen well....? How about listening to him, and still not think he is good (or world class, might be a better word)? I listened to him enough, I have been to a performance of him, and I don't like his playing. Sue me smile


Edited by Victor25 (07/29/10 10:31 AM)
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Currently working on: Perfecting the Op 2/1, studying the 27/2 last movement. Chopin Nocturne 32/2 and Posth. C#m, 'Raindrop' prelude and Etude 10/9
Repetoire: Beethoven op 2/1, 10/1(1st, 2nd), 13, 14/1, 27/1(1st, 2nd), 27/2, 28(1st, 2nd), 31/2(1st, 3rd), 49/1, 49/2, 78(1st), 79, 90, 101(1st)

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