I love browsing the piano master class videos on YouTube and I have a few favorites that I return to time after time. These are the great pianists and teachers who speak in more general terms about the music, concepts that can be applied to all music. Below are links to a few who have inspired me…
- Here is a two-part video of Rubinstein working with a student on Chopin’s g minor Ballade. Near the end of this clip he talks about nobility in music. “Music is an art of emotion, of nobility, of dignity, of greatness, of love, of tenderness….but never show-off pompousness…Liszt liked to show what he can do but there is always music behind it.”
- In the first part of a two-part video filmed at her former farmhouse in Portugal, pianist Maria Joao Pires talks about the bar line and how we should never hear it because it has “zero to do with the phrase.” She talks about time and space and breathing in music. Later she talks about how we must believe that “miracles can happen” because in music, they do.
- In this first part of a six-part video master class with Gyorgy Sebok we learn about the distinction between music told from the first person point of view and music that is an illustration of something… “when you don’t resonate but you understand.” Later he talks about how some pianists control by tension, but how he prefers controlling by freedom. Using the example of a Parisian waiter carrying a tray of soup he talks about how we can control things better in mobility. He also spends time explaining how to create the illusion of a glissando on the piano.
- Finally, there is the Barenboim master class six-part video series on the Beethoven Sonatas. (A complete list of the videos can be found here.) Barenboim talks about rubato, legato, how content determines speed, the sense of well-being that comes from tensionless playing, and how the performer should always go from the standpoint of the ear because the ear knows everything and remembers everything. Six hours of video and fifty years insight from Daniel Barenboim, priceless.