Tradition and Craft in Piano-Playing

By Tilly Fleischmann, John Buckley

Drawing on long experience as performer, broadcaster and pedagogue, the author records what she learnt from her teachers about Liszt's interpretation of the piano music. Tilly Fleischmann n?e Swertz (1882-1967), who was born in Cork to German parents, studied at the Royal Academy of Music in Munich from 1901 to 1905 with two renowned pianists, Bernhard Stavenhagen and Berthold Kellermann, both pupils and close associates of Franz Liszt, who was not only one of the greatest virtuosi of his age, but perhaps the most influential teacher of his time. Her book, written in the mid-20th century, is now published in full for the first time. It draws on her long experience as performer, broadcaster and pedagogue, and records what she learnt from her teachers about Liszt's interpretation of the piano music of his contemporaries, in particular of his friend Chopin, how he wanted his own piano works performed, and what special techniques facilitated the interpretations he favoured, as well as his own virtuoso performance. This is presented in discussions of many well-known works of the classical piano repertoire, and richly illustrated with extracts from the compositions in question. These musical examples have been played and video-recorded for the DVD accompanying the book. This is a document of considerable historical importance, offering an authoritative account of Liszt's teaching methods as imparted by two of his former students to whom he was particularly close. It contains much valuable information of a kind that is unavailable elsewhere: none of the reminiscences of Liszt published by his students discuss technical matters or interpretation in comparable detail. It records a direct and authentic oral tradition of continental European pianism going back to the nineteenth century. DVD musical examples kindly provided by Gabriela Mayer Review Extract After completing Tradition and Craft in Piano-Playing in the early 1950s, Tilly Fleischmann must have been deeply disappointed when she was informed by the publishers that the costs involved in engraving the 300 muscial examples were found to be prohibitive. The book consequently remained in a manuscript for over sixty years, apart from a radically abridged version privately printed in the early 1980s under the title : 'Aspects of the Liszt Tradition'. Now, however, the complete treatise, edited by Ruth Fleischmann (Tilly Fleischmann's grandaughter) and John Buckly, has at last been made available by Carysfort Press. .........This is a well-designed volume, practically laid out in a format suitable for reading at the keyboard, and both the text and musical examples (which have been typeset and edited by John Buckley) are admirably clear. There is a helpful accompanying DVD in which Gabriela Mayer of the Cork School of Music plays the various examples and demonstrates the author's method, and Patrick Zuk of the University of Durham has written a very informative introduction in which the significance of the book is discussed and its historical context is briefly established.


Publication Date: 5/7/2014
Format: Paper & DVD
ISBN: 9781909325524