I always have advocated designating a go-to place for practicing. It should be all set up and ready for you to play your instrument, without distraction. Johnathan Biss talks with NPR on his practice space and how it’s helping him get through his nine year Beethoven project:
I finally got around to finishing the upgrades on Yingwen’s piano teaching website last Sunday. Talk about taking one’s time…
Anyway it looks fabulous. Used the Piano Black theme by mono-lab, and hacked it up good at Open Web Camp for the mobile audience. Try it on iPhone or Android.
Yingwen has quite a growing studio. With her better students now winning competitions, she’s building up quite a demand for piano lessons. Most of her piano students come from Danville and San Ramon, particularly from the Blackhawk and Windemere areas, but some drive an hour or more for lessons now. Crazy… Check her out at yingwenlewis.com
Recently I had been looking for a recording of the Fantasia for Gutar and Piano by Mario Casteluovo-Tedesco. I was able to find numerous references to the work, but every site I tried listed these CDs as being out of print, or at least out of stock. Not a popular item, I’ll admit. It was not listed on the iTunes Music Store either. But it was listed as available for download at a site that I had never heard before: eClassical.com.
I was impressed. They have an extensive collection of rarities that go far beyond what I’ve been finding at the iTMS. The download came to me as an MP3 compressed at the higher quality 160kbps rate, and I had my two movements of the work downloaded instantly for about a dollar and a half.
The Fantasia is a gorgeous work that seems to be not terribly popular — probably due to the somewhat odd paring of guitar and piano — but it’s one of these gems that shouldn’t be overlooked. Obviously the pianist is going to have to love playing pianissimo; that is the predominant dynamic in the work and definitley anything above a mezzo-forte is going to render the guitarist nothing more than a harmonic suppliment. But for a masterful guitar and piano duo, it has got to be the star chamber work for the very limited repertoire that this combination has available.
A redesigned website for Yingwen:
For this one I used a CSS layout, XHTML, Unicode, and some fun effects in Fireworks. Safari visitors will get an extra treat with the text-shadow CSS property in one of the headings that creates a bit of a neon effect — or whatever noble gas that glows aqua…