The Snow is Dancing is the fourth piece in Claude Debussy's delightful Children's Corner. This collection was inspired by his two-and-one-half year old daughter, Chouchou. While pieces such as Doctor Gradas Ad Parnassum and Golliwog's Cakewalk may be the more familiar pieces in this collection, The Snow is Dancing is well worth getting to know. In Oscar Thompson's Debussy Man and Artist Thompson describes Chouchou watching the falling snowflakes through the window and waiting for the return of her "playmate"--the shining sun. This piece is a quiet and light toccata and is a great etude for practicing damper pedal technique. Debussy himself warns the player of using too much damper pedal and suggest using half-pedal. This and the finesse and lightness required of this piece make it by far the most difficult piece of the collection. Czech pianist Ivan Moravec is not a highly celebrated or recognized artist, but the colors he brings out in this interpretation bring the snow to life. Enjoy!
Some great recordings by Benjamin Zander and the Boston Philharmonic Orchestra: CLICK HERE
The year is 1742--the middle of the late baroque era. Society and the world are changing. There is a strong religious devotion on one side, but a growing interest in science on the other. The Ars Rhetorica of Aristotle (art of rhetoric) is the base of many art disciplines, both religious and secular. The understandings of the world around us are changing as Galileo, Kepler and Newton are laying the foundations for science as we know it. Clocks and time calculation have reached a high level of perfection. Is it any surprise that Bach would draw from these disciplines and in his own scientific and mathematical calculations compose music where every musical element is carefully placed to create a complexity of expression with a numerical perfection? It takes a complex mind to interpret this work and perform every nuance with finesse, precision, and intense emotion.Gould's masterpiece of performance is one every pianist should study.
A significant part of who I am personally as a pianist is due to the care and training of this brilliant pianist and teacher, Chiu Ling Lin. I started my studies with Chiu Ling Lin as a high school student in Iowa and continued studying with her through the end of my undergraduate training and Bachelor of Music in Piano Performance and Pedagogy degree from Drake University. What I gained most from Chiu Ling Lin is a deeper understanding of expressing myself from the piano. I also benefited greatly in the area of technical development and control of the instrument. As a teacher Chiu Ling was very creative in choosing and matching repertoire to her students. My own exposure to repertoire was developed in a complete way, yet she prioritized pieces that she knew would speak to me. Pieces by Leonard Bernstein, William Bolcom , Bela Bartok, and George Crumb along with the standard staples of Beethoven, Mozart, Haydn, Liszt, Brahms, Prokofiev, Shostakovich, and many, many others. Enjoy this expressive performance of Franz Liszt's Concerto #1 in Eb, S.124 performed by Chiu Ling Lin and the Bravura Philharmonic Orchestra.