Pictures from July 2004 Ganz Master Class
Brian shares some insight with Florence Rollwagen prior to practice in loosening the shoulders and throwing oneself into the keyboard needed for playing Chopin's Polonaise in C# minor, Op 26, No 1.
Brian works with Dale Dean to bring out the beauty and nuance of the Rachmaninoff melody that is surrounded by a complex accompaniment in the lovely Prelude in Eb Major, Op 23, No 6.
Feel that beat; clap that rhythm! Free yourself. Now play it like that, Brian instructs Patrick Shea in playing Bartok's 1st Dance in Bulgarian Rhythms from Mikrokosmos Vol 6, No 148.
We're serious about our music. . . but we're here to have a good time too. Anne Williams and Brian laugh with one another after Anne's performance of the beautiful Brahms Intermezzo Op. 117, No 2. Then, some tips to gain a level of comfort for those living on the edge. Slow it down. Practice in very short segments, perhaps just a measure or two. Pause while thinking about how your hands and arms will move. Then do it. Then pause again and think about the next short segment. Then play that one. Pause again. Continue practicing in this manner to help eliminate hesitation and achieve fluid motion once it is all connected.
How do you travel that last critical distance from musician to performer? Brian offered some valuable preparation tips to Donna Baldwin after her performance of Moszkowski's Etudes 7, 10 and 11, Op 91. Among the tips: the HATT trick--hands alone, then together--not just playing that way, but also memorizing to achieve that absolute certainty needed for performance. Recognize that performance induces a state of consciousness that makes that which is familiar feel strange. Thus, introduce strangeness into practice to know how to deal with it. For instance, try playing the right hand part with the left hand and vice versa! In the same way you can look at one specific point in a picture while concentrating on that which surrounds it, try concentrating on one hand alone while playing both, then switch the concentration to the other hand. Then when you walk out on the stage, realize "I deserve to be here. I have done the necessary work."
Read the introduction to the music to the audience? O.K., anything you say. Again, you say? Yes, but this time insert some space, give time to breathe, to understand, to shape the phrases. And now play the Liszt Sonetto 104 del Petrarca from Annees de Pelegrinage "Italie" again. . . and, by the way, do the same thing in your playing. Yes, Victor Dyni, you got the point.
An obviously rapt audience sought to benefit from the tips Brian offered performers.
To the ever gracious and generous Brian Ganz, thank you for a truly masterful master class and enough tips to last, well, maybe another year.