Josef Hofmann (1876–1957) was a master of piano technique and an artist who had few equals at the keyboard. A student of Anton Rubinstein and a leading exponent of the works of Chopin, Liszt, and Schumann, he always balanced his virtuoso playing with a firm adherence to the piece as written. It is this balanced approach to piano playing that he advocates in this highly regarded volume on piano technique.
The first section of the book contains a discussion of the rules and tricks of correct piano playing: touch, methods of practicing, the use of the pedal, playing the piece as it is written, "How Rubinstein Taught Me to Play," and indispensables in pianistic success. The second, much longer, section contains Hofmann's answers to specific questions sent to him by piano students and amateurs: questions on positions of the body and hand, actions of the wrist and arm, stretching, staccato, legato, precision, fingering, octaves, the pedals, practice, marks and nomenclature, phrasing, rubato, theory, transposing, and much more.
Full of important background information that is highly useful to every piano player, this book will set students on the right track in their studies and allow every amateur to measure the level of his commitment and the quality of the instruction he is receiving. For insight into many facets of playing the piano, there is no better guide than Josef Hofmann.
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