Michelangeli’s Teaching Method
There are two ways of playing: well and badly! Michelangeli As one of Michelangeli’s pupils, I came into close contact with his teaching method during the six summer Pianistic Perfection and Interpretation Courses I participated in at Arezzo. If I had to describe Michelangeli’s approach to teaching in terms of the various ‘pianistic schools’ that have come into being, I should have to say that it does not belong to any of these, though it does reveal certain features common to the best of them, and these are readily embraced in Michelangeli’s teaching. We will thus find rules from the so-called ‘old schools’, though this is not to say that Michelangeli should be regarded as their advocate — it is simply that he don’t deny the validity of previously discovered truths, pro- vided that their foundation accords with the laws by which music is governed. Traditional methods of teaching piano playing have generally suffered from a one-sided acceptance of the primacy of one element over another, or else have attempted to generalize certain questions, to systematize them into various groups. Martienssen (25) does this when he divides pianists into three types. However, the same author admits that the work of the truly great pianists displays a mixture of characteristics from each of these types. Michelangeli’s concern for a beautiful sonorous sound full of musicality, and for variety of 62 articulation, as well as the emphasis he placed on the struggle of the ‘creative will’ in the pianist’s work, remind us not...
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