At times his recordings are surprising to modern ears that are used to clinical perfection, as the pianist would drop the odd note here and there. But at the time that Cortot made his legendary recordings, commercial discs were not considered permanent statements and there was no sense that they would be listened to decades later — rather, they were provisional accounts, certainly not a replacement for a concert experience. As such, note-perfect playing was not the goal but musical insight was, and Cortot delivered this in spades. It is all the more miraculous that, with this timetable and the antiseptic nature of a recording studio, Cortot was able to deliver such musically inspiring performances that continue to be held as benchmark readings over eight decades later, and it is little wonder that there are occasional dropped notes!
|Published (Last):||10 August 2006|
|PDF File Size:||10.28 Mb|
|ePub File Size:||13.56 Mb|
|Price:||Free* [*Free Regsitration Required]|
It makes me hopping mad when people go on about the numerous wrong notes in his recordings. Would that they could begin to hold a candle to playing of such genius, flawed as the results sometimes were. But these surface blemishes which would not pass the censors nowadays, admittedly detract from the playing not one iota — besides, he admitted he hardly had time to practise, busy as he was with his teaching, conducting, administrative duties and touring.
After just one week of practising the exercises, my playing of the piece improved dramatically. I still use them all the time, not just for the exercises Cortot designs, but also for his fanciful and poetic running commentaries which illuminate the music wonderfully. The essential principle of this method is to practise, not so much the difficult passage taken as a whole, but the particular difficulty it presents by reducing the latter to its elements.
The principle will hold good for all pianoforte practising; it does away with mechanical work which degrades the study of an Art essentially featured by sensibility and intelligence — and though it may appear superficially slow, ensures in fact definite progess. Cortot , Salabert. Even though Cortot belonged to the finger school of piano playing, he realised the importance of diagnosing the technical problem and coming up with an array of exercises that focus on it.
Doing the mechanical work on the exercises rather than in passages from the music is a great idea. Then, when you go back to music, it all works so much more easily, as though the hand had been lubricated.
This might be transposition, but often seems to involve a pair of fingers in ever-increasing stretches, and I find myself constantly warning students only to stretch as far as is completely comfortable and to AVOID the sometimes unnatural and potentially damaging extremes of stretch he suggests. Other than that, I find if you use these exercises, not only do you learn the piece so much quicker and more thoroughly, but you can transfer the thinking behind them to other pieces.
Check it out here.
The Study Editions of Alfred Cortot
This Op. For example, in the Op. The first item in the Op. The piece is lively and full of color, but slightly wistful in its dark gentleness. The first of this trio, in A minor, hustles along and presents contrasts between legato and staccato. It has been linked to the virtuosity of the legendary violinist Paganini.