pocorina wrote:Let me add another:
13) There is a speed at which no wrong notes can occur. Play it at this speed ALL THE TIME.
N/B this speed will obviously become faster and faster the more familiar you become with the piece, but make sure that no wrong notes occur at all
Some people (*cough*SDC) are really going to argue against this one.. but I agree that one should really learn a piece inside out before bringing it up to speed. But like James once brought up at the old CF, the mindset of a pianist is usually very impatient and this 13th rule often becomes neglected.
Nice find Goldberg!
Thanks! I was excited too. I'm really quite interested in learning more about Busoni, especially as a pianist (his compositions are wonderful but not top-notch; Erik made a good point when he said they are more intellectual than emotional). He had some extraordinary ideas about pedalling, and was world-famous for his frequent, yet masterful, use of two or even THREE pedals at a time for the best effect. Apparently he even used a technique in which he rapidly moved the sustain pedal up and down to create a sort of vibrato!! I tried it, but nearly killed my right foot straightaway...heh, what does that tell you about my pedal technique?
Anyway, I quoted that because it struck me as rather interesting. Personally, I always try and push ahead in speed no matter what it means for missed notes (though I slow it way down if I can't hit 95% of them). A bad example of that technique's effectiveness is my HR6, so don't start criticising me on that point. I really think that if utilised correctly, however, an aggressive rather than cautious approach to speed will yield better results overall, technically and musically. In my experiences, playing a piece at "careful" speeds too much results in a slow and heavy performance---La Campanella is a bad good example of this, for me.
If you REALLY want to know how I approach my playing (I've said it elsewhere before), it's through implementation of that stuff above with Busoni's 9th "Commandment". Even though he might not have had technical exercises in mind, I personally practice Liszt's exercise book quite a lot these days. My thoughts on doing so are that I should attend to technique almost entirely separately from music (that is to say, I don't practice the exercises with complete disregard for the musical aspects like good tone, dynamics, etc., but they also aren't music...you know what I'm talking about), so I can concentrate on one--technique--or the other--music--but rarely both at the same time. This way, it's possible for me to learn and play pieces fast(er) than if I had to learn the technique along with the piece itself. I like being able to look at a piece--in fact, take my PE2 as an example--and play the 3rds and 4ths scales with more confidence than usual, because I practice those in the Exercise book, and I have a relatively solid fingering and "feel" for the configurations.
Exercises might be regarded as some as being a waste of time, but for me, they end up making up for it all when it comes to learning the pieces.
So, perhaps it's not entirely in correlation with Busoni's dictum, but it's mostly there.