The Well-Tempered Ear

How will you celebrate World Piano Day today? | March 29, 2022

PLEASE HELP THE EAR. IF YOU LIKE A CERTAIN BLOG POST, SPREAD THE WORD. FORWARD A LINK TO IT OR, SHARE IT or TAG IT (not just “Like” it) ON FACEBOOK. Performers can use the extra exposure to draw potential audience members to an event. And you might even attract new readers and subscribers to the blog.

By Jacob Stockinger

Today — Tuesday, March 29, 2022 — is World Piano Day.

(Below is a restored vintage concert grand piano at Farley’s House of Pianos used for recitals in the Salon Piano Series.)

How will you mark it? Celebrate it?

It’s a fine occasion to revisit your favorite pianist and favorite piano pieces.

Who is your favorite pianist, and what piano piece would you like to hear today?

If you yourself took piano lessons or continue to play, what piece would you play to mark the occasion? Fo the Ear, it will be either a mazurka by Chopin or a movement from either a French Suite or a Partita by Johann Sebastian Bach. Maybe both!

What piano piece do you wish you could play, but never were able to? For The Ear, it would be the Ballade No. 4 in F minor by Chopin.

One of the best ways to mark the day is to learn about a new younger pianist you might not have heard of.

For The Ear, one outstanding candidate would be the Icelandic pianist Vikingur Olafsson ( below), who has won critical acclaim and who records for Deutsche Grammophon (DG). 

Olafsson has a particular knack for innovative and creative programming, like his CD that alternates works by Claude Debussy and Jean-Philippe Rameau.

He also seems at home at in many different stylistic periods. His records every thing from Baroque masters, to Mozart and his contemporaries in the Classical period — including Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach — to Impressionists to the contemporary composer Philip Glass.

But The Ear especially loves his anthology of Bach pieces (below) that include original works and transcriptions, including some arranged by himself. His playing is always precise and convincing, and has the kind of cool water-clear sound that many will identify with Andras Schiff.

You can hear a sample of his beautiful playing for yourself in the YouTube video at the bottom. It is an live-performance encore from his inaugural appearance last August at The Proms in London, where he also played Mozart’s dramatically gorgeous Piano Concerto No. 24 in C minor (also available on YouTube.)

Final word: You might find some terrific pianists and performances on the Internet. Record labels, performing venues and other organizations are marking the day with special FREE recitals that you can reach through Google and Instagram.

Happy playing!

Happy listening!

Please leave a comment and let The Ear and other readers know what you think of the piano — which seems to be falling out of favor these days — and which pianists and piano pieces you will identify this year with World Piano Day.

The Ear wants to hear.

 


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22 Comments »

  1. I’m glad The Well-Tempered Ear is back! I hope the piano will always be with us. I heard Lawrence Quinnett play on the final day of Bach Around the Clock this month, and he’s someone to keep our ear on. https://artofthepiano.org/participants/lawrence-quinnett/

    Like

    Comment by Susan Fiore — March 31, 2022 @ 6:46 pm

  2. Would just echo what others have said — glad the Well-Tempered Ear is back.Favorite piano You Tube is Tic Toc Choc — with no piano! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XMD6xBIXSWo

    Like

    Comment by Cal Bruce — March 29, 2022 @ 3:32 pm

  3. Fondly remembering piano lessons with the beloved Madison teacher Mrs. Myra (?) Syllum.

    Like

    Comment by barbara Furstenberg — March 29, 2022 @ 1:31 pm

  4. So happy to get this! I will mark the day with something by Beethoven. Dream piece would be the Waldstein Sonata.

    Like

    Comment by Anna Shen — March 29, 2022 @ 12:12 pm

  5. Really glad to see you back!

    Like

    Comment by Bill Lane — March 29, 2022 @ 10:22 am

  6. Good to have you back and Vikingur’s Bach a perfect start to the day.

    Like

    Comment by Rolf — March 29, 2022 @ 9:29 am

  7. Welcome back, sir! A much-lamented absence, and a much-celebrated return!

    Like

    Comment by Tim Adrianson — March 29, 2022 @ 8:07 am

    • That you Tim. I sure hope you played something to celebrate the day. You play is well.

      Like

      Comment by welltemperedear — April 1, 2022 @ 9:25 pm

  8. Jake, what a wonderful way to start the day, seeing a post from the Well-tempered Ear! Thank you very much for posting on this special piano day. A new pianist to us was Drew Petersen, whom we now greatly admire.

    Like

    Comment by Renee Farley — March 29, 2022 @ 7:04 am

    • Thank you Renee. From what I have heard Drew Petersen is terrific find. Glad you brought him to Madison.

      Like

      Comment by welltemperedear — April 1, 2022 @ 9:26 pm

  9. I’m also delighted to have the Well-Tempered Ear back!

    Like

    Comment by Nancy Klatt — March 29, 2022 @ 2:59 am

  10. If I were somehow transformed into brilliant keyboardist, I’d want to make my debut either with Brandenburg 5, or the Mozart D Minor Concerto K. 466. And speaking of dreams come true, it’s so wonderful to see a post from the Well-Tempered Ear.

    Like

    Comment by Marika+Fischer+Hoyt — March 29, 2022 @ 2:48 am

    • Thank you Marika for your encouragement Both are great pieces, period, but also great keyboard works. You choose wisely.

      Like

      Comment by welltemperedear — April 1, 2022 @ 9:27 pm

  11. Jake, it’s so good to have you back! I’ve missed The Well-Tempered Ear!

    Like

    Comment by Kathy Lewinski — March 29, 2022 @ 2:46 am

    • Thank you so much, Kathy. So far, it feels good to be welcomed back so enthusiastically.

      Like

      Comment by welltemperedear — April 1, 2022 @ 9:28 pm


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