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PIANO LESSONS by Vladimir Feltsman


by Vladimir Feltsman

266 pages
Essays about music, program and liner notes, study of Well Tempered Clavier by J.S.Bach

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About the Book
Vladimir Feltsman presents insights drawn from a lifetime of devotion to music: as a student, a teacher, a performer, and a recording artist. Beginning with his early days studying the piano in the Special School for Music in Moscow, he writes compellingly about his experience of becoming a professional musician and passing along what he learned to the next generation. Along the way, he sheds fascinating light on what it was like to pursue his vocation in the former Soviet Union, including eight years of artistic exile after he was refused permission to emigrate.

In addition to these personal reflections, the book reproduces the highly informative "liner notes" Feltsman provided for many of the recordings in his extensive discography, ranging from Bach's Goldberg Variations to the 20th-century compositions of Soviet Russia's "forgotten" composers.

A final inclusion is the text that Feltsman, a renowned Bach specialist, wrote to accompany a performing edition of The Well-Tempered Clavier, offering both an expansive overview and detailed analysis of each of the preludes and fugues.


“When Vladimir Feltsman first appeared in the West as an escapee from the Soviet musical pressure-cooker, his significance seemed political and ‘Russian.’ But Feltsman’s most treasurable keyboard performances, for me, are of Bach and Schubert, not Rachmaninoff or Prokofiev. In this collection, he cherishes his Russian training and cultural inheritance. But he has put behind him the turbulent personal odyssey that transplanted him to a New World very different from what he left behind. ‘Freedom,’ he writes, ‘is an expression of discipline’–– not ‘making voluntary choices and picking what you like’ but ‘freedom from having to make a choice.’ The lucidity he has attained suffuses these inquisitive writings.’”
- Joseph Horowitz, author of Classical Music in America, Conversations with Arrau, Artists in Exile, and many other books



About the Author
Vladimir Feltsman Vladimir Feltsman was born in Russia and received his training there. After he moved to the US in 1987 Mr. Feltsman established himself as a major artist on the international concert scene, and a sought-after teacher. His still growing discography includes more than 60 CDs. He is Distinguished Professor of Piano at the State University of New York, New Paltz and teaches on the faculty of Mannes School of Music in Manhattan. He is also the founder and Artistic Director of the International Festival-Institute PianoSummer at New Paltz.



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