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At the Piano: Interviews with 21st-Century Pianists (Hardback)
  • At the Piano: Interviews with 21st-Century Pianists (Hardback)
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At the Piano: Interviews with 21st-Century Pianists (Hardback)

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£42.95
Hardback 184 Pages / Published: 24/10/2011
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In At the Piano: Interviews with 21st-Century Pianists, Caroline Benser explores the kaleidoscopic world of twenty-first-century pianism through a series of extended interviews with eight major pianists: Leif Ove Andsnes, Jonathan Biss, Simone Dinnerstein, Marc-Andre Hamelin, Stephen Hough, Steven Osborne, Yevgeny Sudbin, and Yuja Wang. The pianists represented here are not only a virtuosos on their instrument, renowned for their renditions of classic works by Bach, Beethoven, Liszt, Debussy, and Bartok, they are also dedicated to advancing pianism, commissioning and performing works by living composers as well as revisiting and re-exploring musical possibilities neglected by their predecessors. Interviewees talk with Benser about such matters as their first experiences at the piano, the critical role played by their earliest teachers, the literature they play, the instruments they prefer, the meaning of musicianship to them, and the joys and difficulties of a professional career doing what they love. Teachers, students, and amateur pianists alike will learn about new and lesser-known piano literature; newly developed instruments that have extended the range of the keyboard; the phenomenal rise of pianists in such countries as China; and new research on pianists' injuries and healthy playing. At the Piano is written not only for the specialist and non-specialist pianist but also for all musicians and general music lovers.

Publisher: Scarecrow Press
ISBN: 9780810881723
Number of pages: 184
Weight: 395 g
Dimensions: 240 x 161 x 17 mm


MEDIA REVIEWS
This book consists of interviews with eight concert pianists: Leif Ove Andsnes, Jonathan Biss, Simone Dinnerstein, Marc-Andre Hamelin, Stephen Hough, Steven Osborne, Yevgeny Sudbin, and Yuja Wang. Benser (independent music historian) begins each chapter with a biographical summary of the interview subject, highlighting training, background, and professional accomplishments; at the end of the chapter, she provides a discography of recordings and notes with brief biographical data on all musicians mentioned in the interview. Due to the interview format of the book, information is presented in a nonsystematic way; the index proves especially helpful. This is an anecdotal volume providing fascinating glimpses into the minds of these pianists. This book does not serve as an exhaustive accounting of all important pianists performing today. Rather, Benser uses the eight interviews to delve more deeply into questions of motivation, approach to the instrument, repertoire, recordings, and personality....The present title would be a good supplementary resource for a piano literature course. Summing Up: Recommended. * CHOICE *
In the end it's the meat that matters -- and Benser's book has enough to make it of lasting...value to piano students, pianophiles and the peers of those included in the book. * Teaching History: A Journal of Methods *
In this volume the author provides extensive interviews and critical examinations of eight influential pianists in the world of twenty-first century music. Readers will learn more about the careers and influences of Leif Ove Andsnes, Jonathan Biss, Simone Dinnerstein, Marc-Andre Hamelin, Stephen Hough, Steven Osborne, Yevgeny Sudbin, and Yuja Wang. The pianists interviewed here are both well known for their original works as well as their interpretations of the works of Bach, Beethoven, Liszt, Debussy, and Bartok, just to name a few. In the interviews the author touched on such topics as the musicians first experience with music in general and the piano specifically, the role of their teachers in instilling passion into their performances, their favorite pieces, and the joys and difficulties of being a professional musician. There is also some unexpected information to be found here, such as the discussion on newly developed instruments and their range, the importance of keeping one's body healthy when practicing music as a profession, and the rise of pianists in China. Although a specialized volume, it will appeal to many types of musicians due to its breadth of discussion topics. It will be useful in music libraries as well as in larger academic libraries. * American Reference Books Annual *
Benser summarizes and elaborates on the eight pianists' backgrounds, struggles, and achievements, and I found that her discussion of the artists' favored instruments clarified the reasons for each pianists' preference. This book gives us a window into the life of the contemporary concert pianist. Each interview feels personal: the questions are not the same, and the answers are certainly diverse. Highly recommended. * Clavier Companion *

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