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Egon Petri plays Brahms "Paganini Variations" - Book 2

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Uploaded on Mar 3, 2010

Variations on a Theme of Paganini, op.35, composed in 1863, dedicated to Carl Tausig.

Brahms chose the title "Studien für Pianoforte - Studies for Piano" for the work which technically is more demanding than the Handel Variations. The two books comprise a theme taken from the 24th Caprice of Paganini for violin, and 14 variations each.

Clara Schumann who was one of the greatest pianists of her time, found the work too much when she first saw the manuscript, and described it as "Hexen Variationen - Witchcraft Variations".

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Book 1 : http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QwvFXJ...
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Some of Egon Petri's (1881 - 1962) teaching principles, gleaned from the notes and remarks of Robert Sheldon who succeeded him in San Francisco Conservatory of Music:

- Think primarily in terms of fingers and keys rather than arm.
- The greatest finger activity is in the knuckle joint. The fingers are prepared for both the black and white keys by the first two finger joints.
- In very soft playing, the firmer the hand, the more control you have.
- Never try to gain volume by hitting the keys.
- Try to find out how little effort you need.
- People are too interested in the beginning of sounds and not in their continuation.
- Practice is arranging things in your mind until they become automatic.
- Do not try to overcome difficulties; find another approach that causes these difficulties to vanish.
- I know all the rules, but if the rules don't fit, I break the rules rather than break the music.

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