Currently the fact that literally “getting in touch” with old instruments, such as a harpsichord and fortepiano would give invaluable insight into the style of composers through discovering of the authentic sound is not a relevant anymore. How much harpsichord’s articulated and masculine Bach would be different from the modern piano’s Bach with a super careful, gentle dynamically touch and at 440’ feminine descant pitch? How Mozart’s piano would reveal graciousness and poetry, and favorite Beethoven’s Broadwoods would help to identify and delivery an appropriate measure in use of a pedal, considering his creative experiments? Realization of the problems as a time request compels piano educators to seek for knowledge to a greater extent in comparison with a couple of decades ago.
In anticipation of NDMTA Sonata Competition and as a NDMTA Program Vice-President, I invited Dr. Linda Li-Bleuel from Clemson University with a presentation “ Too Fast, Too Legato, and Too Loud! A Guide to Stylistic Challenges in Classical Era Repertoire”. Being exposed to the Fortepiano during her studies, she is densely equipped with the knowledge of the fortepiano touch in comparison with the one on the modern pianos. As a very often adjudicator on the auditions and festivals, she clearly realizes problems of adequate performance of the Classical composers on all levels of the Piano Performance. Her self-descriptive title of the presentation points out in its core to the main aspects of an interpretation of the Classical Era compositions relative to the rhythm, articulation and dynamics. Concise definitions and precise illustrations, interspersed with the humorous, sometimes with the tragically-humorous reminiscences from her musical up-bringing entertained and enriched/refreshed Classical Era Piano Performance fundamentals for the NDMTA members. Thank you, Dr. Li-Bleuel!