I remember reading a legendary performer once say that no two performances are alike. When I starting studying the piano I recorded some of my practice sessions to hear how I was playing without the distraction of making the music.

The great musician was right, not only were all my repetitions different, I couldn't make my performances sound the same if I tried.


In the hurly-burly of a Piano competition there are selections that can make or break the chances of a competitor; pieces so difficult or dense that only a master musician can make them work for the audience and more importantly, the judges.

On the Piano this Sunday, we continue with music from the 2012 San Antonio International Piano Competition where two of the pianists "go big" in an effort to convince the judges that they have what it takes to be worthy of the gold medal.


Sony Classical

Violinist busy with recordings and nominations

The latest from Joshua Bell isn't a violin album, although he does play. It features his "new band," the Academy of St. Martin in the Fields, of which Bell is the Music Director; only the second one in the group's 54 year history. The new Sony Classical release features Ludwig van Beethoven's Symphonies No. 4 and No. 7.


In the 3 sonatas of Opus 10, Ludwig van Beethoven was making a statement about his pianistic abilities, and one thing he knew that would certainly attract attention was contrast. The composer asks for double fortes, throws in unexpected rests, and invents the heroic funeral movement that he would exploit in future symphonies. This is all in the third sonata in D Major.

James Dick has a good relationship with the Chamber Orchestra Kremlin and conductor Mischa Rachlevsky; in fact they have performed together previously in Texas, as well as in Moscow.

"They're the finest players in Russia, either in the conservatory or playing professionally," says soloist James Dick. "It is a pleasure to work with them. I can also guarantee you haven't heard Beethoven like this before, a new orchestration that has written the wind parts out for the strings and piano. It is breathtaking!"