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The Art of Performance$
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Heinrich Schenker and Heribert Esser

Print publication date: 2002

Print ISBN-13: 9780195151510

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2008

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195151510.001.0001

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The Technique of Playing the Piano

The Technique of Playing the Piano

(p.7) THREE The Technique of Playing the Piano
The Art of Performance

Heinrich Schenker

Oxford University Press

This chapter shows the inherent difficulties in understanding the piano, as it has the dual role of remaining in the proximity of the orchestra as well as of string instruments and the voice. Not understanding that composers wrote as expressively for the piano as for all other instruments, pianists compensated by developing a special pianistic technique which however prevented truly expressive playing. Pure “virtuoso” writing is fundamentally different from the writing of the great masters. The chapter describes technical means which can aid the pianist to produce expressive effects similar to those of singer and instrumentalist: “piano singing”, various pedal and pedal-like effects, voicing of octaves, and special treatment of the bass.

Keywords:   pianistic music, pianistic technique, piano singing, pedal, bass, octaves

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