End-of-Year Blowout
Wed, May 5
Program to include Wagner's Ride of the Valkyries!
and other operatic excesses...

[mostly on hiatus since 2012]

View demo videos here

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Piano Hero: Level 2

Last week’s debut of Piano Hero seemed to be a success, so we’ve decided to go to Level 2 this Wednesday (2/25), again at noon in Phillips Recital Hall.

If you missed last week, the idea of Piano Hero is that pianists Michael Monroe and Nathan Skinner will sightread (more or less) a symphony originally intended for orchestra, but arranged for one piano, 4 hands. Such arrangements date from the nineteenth century when the lack of home audio equipment meant that this was the best way to hear Beethoven’s latest at home. So, these performances are intended to be rather informal, which means that Michael and Nathan have agreed not to practice too much. That’s what gives the experience a bit of a Guitar Hero feel – at least for the performers. They also will again be playing from a geeked-up piano that replaces the conventional music rack with two computer monitors, and also incorporates a magical page-turning pedal.

Last week Michael and Nathan survived Beethoven’s first symphony. This week, in anticipation of Saturday’s upcoming Gordon Symphony Orchestra concert, our pianists will be tackling Mendelssohn’s colorful Symphony No. 4, popularly known as the “Italian.” If you don’t know this piece, hearing it in the piano version is a nice way to get to know the tunes and basic character in preparation for hearing the full orchestra play it on Saturday. If you do know the piece, you’re still sure to hear something new in this “black-and-white” version. In a preliminary pseudo-rehearsal, Michael and Nathan noticed that there are a LOT of notes in the first and last movements. This could be the week they go down in flames. Would you want to miss that?

As before the doors will be open and you are welcome to stay for as much or as little as you please. The symphony is about 30 minutes long.

To recap:

Piano Hero
Wednesday, 2/25
High Noon
Phillips Recital Hall

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