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Tradition and Craft in Piano-Playing

by Tilly Fleischmann

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Edited By Ruth Fleischmann and John Buckley

Her book, written in the mid-20th century, is now published in full for the first time. It draws on her long experience as performer, broadcaster what she learnt from her teachers about Liszt’s interpretation of the piano music of his contemporaries, in particular of his friend Chopin, how he wanted his own piano works performed, and what special techniques facilitated the interpretations he favoured, as well as his own virtuoso performance. This is presented in discussions of many well-known works of the classical piano repertoire, and richly illustrated with extracts from the compositions in question. These musical examples have been played and video-recorded for the DVD accompanying the book.

This is a document of considerable historical importance, offering an authoritative account of Liszt's teaching methods as imparted by two of his former students to whom he was particularly close. It contains much valuable information of a kind that is unavailable elsewhere: none of the reminiscences of Liszt published by his students discuss technical matters or interpretation in comparable detail. It records a direct and authentic oral tradition of continental European pianism going back to the nineteenth century.

Ruth Fleischmann - Preface to the 2014 Edition and Acknowledgements - John Buckley - Preface to the Musical Examples - Gabriela Mayer - Preface to the Recordings of the Musical Examples - Patrick Zuk - Introduction: An Irish Treatise on the Lisztian - Tradition of Pianism- - TILLY FLEISCHMANN - FOREWORD - CHAPTER 1 TECHNICAL EXERCISES - Klopfübung - Scales - Arpeggios - Thumb-Stretching Exercise - Finger-Stretching Exercise - Wrist, Arm and Finger Staccato - Wrist Octaves - Arm Octaves - Skipping Octaves and Chords - Repeated Octaves - Broken Octaves - Glissando Scales and Octaves - Trills - CHAPTER 2 TOUCH AND TONE - CHAPTER 3 PRACTICE: GENERAL METHOD - Use of Emphasis - Rhythmic Problems - Daily Routine - Before Performance - CHAPTER 4 FINGERING - CHAPTER 5 PEDALLING: TECHNICAL ASPECT - Position and Movement of the Feet - Effect on Tone Quality and Volume - Use in Legato Playing - Una Corda Pedal - CHAPTER 6 MEMORISING - CHAPTER 7 SIGHT READING - INTERPRETATION- CHAPTER 8 PHRASING - CHAPTER 9 DYNAMICS - CHAPTER 10 RUBATO - CHAPTER 11 RHYTHMIC SHAPING AND GROUPING - CHAPTER 12 PEDALLING: INTERPRETATIVE ASPECT - CHAPTER 13 INTERPRETATION AND THE TEXT - Textual Accuracy - Misprints - Variant Readings - CHAPTER 14 GENERAL EDITING - Dynamics and Phrasing - Pedalling - Fingering - Metronome Marks - CHAPTER 15 ORNAMENTS - Acciaccatura - Inverted Turn and Slide - Upper Mordent - Arpeggio - Trill - INTERPRETATION AND TRADITION- CHAPTER 16 CHALLENGE TO TRADITION - CHAPTER 17 BEETHOVEN - Sonata in C sharp minor, Op. 27 No. 2 (The ‘Moonlight’) - Sonata in F minor, Op. 57 (The ‘Appassionata’) - CHAPTER 18 SCHUMANN - Papillons, Op. 2 - CHAPTER 19 CHOPIN - 24 Preludes, Op. 28 - Study in E Major, Op. 10, No. 3 - Nocturne in B major, Op. 32, No. 1 - Nocturne in C sharp minor, Op. 27, No. 1 - Waltz in A flat major, Op. 42 - Waltz in C sharp minor, Op. 64, No. 2 - Impromptu in F sharp, Op. 36 - Fantasy Impromptu in C sharp minor, Op. 66 - Scherzo in B minor, Op. 20 - Scherzo in B flat minor, Op. 31 - Four Ballades - Ballade No. 1 in G minor, Op. 23 - Ballade No. 2 in F major, Op. 38 - Ballade No. 3 in A flat, Op. 47 - Ballade No. 4 in F minor, Op. 52 - Fantasy in F minor, Op. 49 - Sonata in B flat minor, Op. 35 - CHAPTER 20 LISZT - Grosse Paganini Etüden, Bk. II, No. 5 in E major - Valse Impromptu - Liebesträume, Notturno No. 3 - Two Concert Studies: - Waldesrauschen - Gnomenreigen - Ballade No.2 in B minor - Années de pèlerinage - Les jeux d’eau de la Villa d’Este - 2 Legends: - St. François d’Assise La prédication aux oiseaux - St. François de Paule marchant sur les flots - CONCLUSION - APPENDICES - Appendix A List of Musical Examples by Chapter - Appendix B List of Musical Examples by Composer - LITERATURE CITED - TILLY FLEISCHMANN 1882-1967 - LITERATURE ON TILLY FLEISCHMANN - BIOGRAPHICAL NOTES 2014 EDITION - INDEX