Boris Berman Notes from the Pianist's Bench

ISBN 13: 9780300093988

Notes from the Pianist's Bench

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9780300093988: Notes from the Pianist's Bench
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Boris Berman, an internationally known Russian-trained concert pianist and highly respected teacher, here draws on his vast experience to explore issues of piano technique and music interpretation. Combining explanations and advice with anecdotes about his students, colleagues, and former teachers, he also provides many insights into the psychological aspects of musical performance and the teaching of music.

Berman thoroughly examines such practical matters in piano playing as sound and touch, technique, pedaling, and articulation. He gives tips on choosing editions, selecting the best fingering, memorizing, and making the most efficient use of practice time. He gives equal emphasis to issues of interpretation, discussing ways to decipher the inner content of a piece of music. And he offers suggestions about how to prepare emotionally for a performance, how to confront stage anxiety, and how to adapt teaching approaches to the individual students. Informative and entertaining, this book will be welcomed by piano students, teachers, and anyone else interested in the art of piano playing.

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Review:

The shelf of helpful and practical books on piano study is not a full one; perhaps only the books by Josef Lhevinne and by Artur Schnabel's student Konrad Wolff belong there. But Boris Berman has now added to it. Berman has taken on the difficult aspects of playing the instrument and has succeeded in several areas. Setting up opposing ideas--sostenuto versus leggiero playing, fidelity to the score versus personal interpretation--he sends pianists to the instrument with a heightened awareness of what the body wants to show us. Berman is big on images (useful ones, by and large). He talks about the importance of breath (far too rare in piano lessons) and is good on the relation of finger stroke to dynamic level. He offers one fine exercise for voicing of chords and another--a long scale in diminuendo--for finger control. A chapter on time falters a bit on tempo--lots of examples but few concepts--but covers the idea of inner pulse and subdivision of the measure in an exemplary way. Readers will want more help on fingering, but that is probably impossible in book format. There is a good deal of common sense on phrasing and repeated insistence on informed rather than mechanical practicing.

For a pianist with a performing career in Rachmaninoff and Prokofiev, Berman has a surprising amount of respect for the printed scores, and his background in early music comes through several times. At the end, he continues into performance (lots of ideas from the acting teacher Stanislavsky here) and includes a welcome chapter on teaching. This is, in fact, a book to use with your own teacher--ideas about "out" stroke, sustained relaxation ("both impossible and unnecessary"), and wrist height could be dangerous if misunderstood--but it will be provocative. Many musical examples, admirably proofread and helpfully cross-referenced, are included. --William R. Braun

From the Back Cover:

"The book is neither too elementary nor too advanced for any pianist, piano teacher or piano lover. It is informative, inspiring, and entertaining."—Claude Frank "What makes Mr. Berman's book so persuasive and enlightening is his understanding that there is no one 'method' of teaching music—each relationship with a student is a process of discovery for teacher and student both."—Emanuel Ax "A very instructive, imaginative, and stimulating book."—Radu Lupu "Readers who want to become better pianists will welcome Berman's master class. Highly recommended."—Library Journal "Pianists will value Berman's stimulating and personal thoughts and will appreciate the opportunity to learn from this contemporary artist."— Choice

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9780300083750: Notes from the Pianist's Bench

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Publisher: Yale University Press, 2000
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Book Description Yale University Press, United States, 2002. Paperback. Condition: New. Revised ed.. Language: English . Brand New Book. Boris Berman, an internationally known Russian-trained concert pianist and highly respected teacher, here draws on his vast experience to explore issues of piano technique and music interpretation. Combining explanations and advice with anecdotes about his students, colleagues, and former teachers, he also provides many insights into the psychological aspects of musical performance and the teaching of music. Berman thoroughly examines such practical matters in piano playing as sound and touch, technique, pedaling, and articulation. He gives tips on choosing editions, selecting the best fingering, memorizing, and making the most efficient use of practice time. He gives equal emphasis to issues of interpretation, discussing ways to decipher the inner content of a piece of music. And he offers suggestions about how to prepare emotionally for a performance, how to confront stage anxiety, and how to adapt teaching approaches to the individual students. Informative and entertaining, this book will be welcomed by piano students, teachers, and anyone else interested in the art of piano playing. Seller Inventory # AAC9780300093988

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Book Description Yale University Press, United States, 2002. Paperback. Condition: New. Revised ed.. Language: English . Brand New Book. Boris Berman, an internationally known Russian-trained concert pianist and highly respected teacher, here draws on his vast experience to explore issues of piano technique and music interpretation. Combining explanations and advice with anecdotes about his students, colleagues, and former teachers, he also provides many insights into the psychological aspects of musical performance and the teaching of music. Berman thoroughly examines such practical matters in piano playing as sound and touch, technique, pedaling, and articulation. He gives tips on choosing editions, selecting the best fingering, memorizing, and making the most efficient use of practice time. He gives equal emphasis to issues of interpretation, discussing ways to decipher the inner content of a piece of music. And he offers suggestions about how to prepare emotionally for a performance, how to confront stage anxiety, and how to adapt teaching approaches to the individual students. Informative and entertaining, this book will be welcomed by piano students, teachers, and anyone else interested in the art of piano playing. Seller Inventory # AAC9780300093988

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