Hobby

  Me and my piano in Munich



When I studied at Tilburg as a PhD student, I tried to go to practice piano in Esplanade building everyday. The particular August Froester piano placed in the room is "a piece of antique", according to a piano technician I ran into the other day. Since it is 100% hand-made, it sounds pure and melodious. I have also met many young and talented Tilburg pianists and made friends with them. Needless to say, this is no doubt a piece of precious memory.







The following are the main pieces I practice these days (together with some other small pieces).

  • Étude Op. 10, No. 3 (Chopin) (nickname: Tristesse
        An introduction of this piece can be found here I find this essay on Chopin's music highly interesting. Chopin's etudes are often played in concerts. Each of them has a musical story yet technically challenging even for professional pianists. Hence, I am no doubt stretching my limit here, both technically and emotionally.  

  • Piano Sonata No. 14 (Beethoven) (moonlight)
        An introduction of this piece can be found here.  I could only play the first movement (Adagio sostenuto) though. I do not even attempt to try the third movement, since it is "one of the most difficult and virtuosic compositions for the solo piano, demanding supreme technical skill to play accurately according to Beethoven's own metronome marking." 

  • Piano Concerto No. 23 (Mozart)
       An introduction of this piece can be found here.  Again, I could only play the second movement (Adagio in F-sharp minor). This is a very special piece of Mozart. Mozart's music, if depicted by color, is pink. However, this movement is slow, melodious and even contains a sense of sorrow. It well demonstrates his virtuosity in composition.   

  • Schwanengesang, D 957: no 4 (Schubert)
       An introduction of this piece can be found here.  The first time I heard this piece was in the early 90s. It was played by my cousin (a nine-year old) in a family talent show. I consider it one of the most beautiful melody I have ever heard in my life.