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#2273314 - 05/09/14 03:35 PM Weight-based technique, boxing, Taiji, and the cherry tomato
Mark Polishook Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/29/12
Posts: 1018
Loc: Leicester, UK
A blog post about weight-based technique with reference to all things mentioned in the title

http://www.polishookstudio.com/2014/05/on-piano-technique-weight-in-motion.html
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#2273556 - 05/10/14 06:48 AM Re: Weight-based technique, boxing, Taiji, and the cherry tomato [Re: Mark Polishook]
custard apple Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/11/09
Posts: 2313
Loc: Sydney
Great article Mark.
I agree that much of sports technique is about weight transfer rather than strength.

I believe that the piano technique you describe can achieve a huge tone without harshness. I enjoyed witnessing this live a couple of days ago at the Lukas Vondracek Rach 3 concert.

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#2273630 - 05/10/14 12:05 PM Re: Weight-based technique, boxing, Taiji, and the cherry tomato [Re: Mark Polishook]
keystring Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/11/07
Posts: 13205
Loc: Canada
The concept is definitely true, in that we don't just play piano with our fingers, and the whole body works together as a unit. There is a danger, however, if anyone tries to teach or learn via words no matter how carefully written. And anything can be misunderstood. What does "weight" mean? What does "relax" mean? (I'm not looking for an explanation). Years ago on another instrument I was caught out by both of these words, and misunderstood both of them. Now I work with a teacher, and even here we are careful not to get caught up in misconceptions. Everything is carefully tested.

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#2273674 - 05/10/14 01:59 PM Re: Weight-based technique, boxing, Taiji, and the cherry tomato [Re: Mark Polishook]
Mark Polishook Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/29/12
Posts: 1018
Loc: Leicester, UK
Cus,

Thanks for that great reference to Lukas Vondracek. I found this video of him playing Prokofiev's 7th piano sonata - some pianists call it the "Boogie Woogie Sonata" because of the last movement But whatever it's called, Vondracek plays the heck out of it. The link here is to the 3rd moment - the boogie boogie part.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y2Xt0RUXarE#t=1039

And glad you liked the post smile ..
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#2273871 - 05/11/14 07:23 AM Re: Weight-based technique, boxing, Taiji, and the cherry tomato [Re: Mark Polishook]
custard apple Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/11/09
Posts: 2313
Loc: Sydney
oh woooow Mark !
The boogie woogie sonata played by Lukas at 17:25 is phenomenal, especially his hand independence.
I noticed also how he used the shifting weight principle to achieve his great variety in dynamics.

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#2273891 - 05/11/14 08:33 AM Re: Weight-based technique, boxing, Taiji, and the cherry tomato [Re: Mark Polishook]
Mark Polishook Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/29/12
Posts: 1018
Loc: Leicester, UK
Cus, it's an amazing piece.He's playing the heck out of it! Interesting to see your observations on weight ... what you're seeing ...

I can't help myself ... smile Here are other versions.

Here's Glenn Gould

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f93J9DVEEIQ

Grigory Sokolov

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Zwji3k0v_AM

Horowitz (perhaps turn speakers down! )

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bojpZYm6s9I#t=875

Richter

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zptvLiMBn7E#t=856

there are a million others on YT ...
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mark@polishookpiano.com

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#2274589 - 05/12/14 06:25 AM Re: Weight-based technique, boxing, Taiji, and the cherry tomato [Re: Mark Polishook]
custard apple Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/11/09
Posts: 2313
Loc: Sydney
Hi Mark
It was interesting to hear how differently the masters played it. This is how I heard them:

a) GG had great groove, his sense of drive was relentless.

b) Horowitz had a greater variety of dynamics than GG, plus he brought out a different voice throughout the movement.

c) Richter was the most swinging of them all, the most danceable and it was my favorite version.

Thanks for the clips.

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