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England's Piano Sage: The Life and Teachings of Tobias Matthay Hardcover – 23 Dec 2011

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 472 pages
  • Publisher: Scarecrow Press (23 Dec. 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0810881616
  • ISBN-13: 978-0810881617
  • Product Dimensions: 16.2 x 3.8 x 24.1 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,624,997 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product description

Review

Stephen Siek has written a defining work about Tobias Matthay, a valuable addition to any piano library. At a time when the piano world is changing rapidly, Siek's detailed research into the late Victorian musical world in London is enormously readable, and places Matthay's evolving theories about piano art in context to the musical world of his times.--John Kenneth Adams, professor emeritus of piano, University of South Carolina

About the Author

Stephen Siek is a pianist and musicologist with an extensive background in the teaching principles of Tobias Matthay. He is professor of music at Wittenberg University.

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Format: Hardcover
Many years ago I discovered a copy of Tobias Matthay’s The Act of Touch in all its Diversity (London, 1903) and his Relaxation Studies…in Pianoforte Playing (London, 1908) in a second-hand bookshop. I recall flicking through these books looking for some inspiration to help me improve my piano playing. I was disappointed. It seemed to be all words and little music. I resolved to return to my Smallwood Tutor and whatever exercises and studies my teacher deemed necessary to my ‘progress.’ I never thought about Matthay again until I discovered his bewitching piano solo ‘On Surrey Hills’. It had exactly the kind of title that appeals to me, so I hunted around the ‘net to find out if Matthay had written any more pieces in this genre. There were a few – A Summer Day-Dream, Elves, Summer Twilights and A Mood Fantasy (In Late Summer at Marley). I was lucky enough to find a ‘hard’ copy of this last piece. It all seems very promising.
In the last couple of years I have had pleasure in reviewing a number of CDs from APR Records. These are explorations of the recorded legacy of pianists from ‘The Matthay School’ featuring Myra Hess, Harriet Cohen and Moura Lympany. Other CDs in this series include Irene Sharrer, Eileen Joyce, Ethel Bartlett and Rae Robertson. As part of those reviews, I explored some of the available literature and was surprised to find a whole stable of pianists that had studied with Matthay – York Bowen, Sir Clifford Curzon, Vivian Langrish and Eunice Norton. My original view that Tobias Matthay’s books were merely ‘verbose psychologising’ probably needed revising.

A few biographical notes about Tobias Matthay may be of interest. He was born on 19 February 1858 to German parents; however he became a naturalised British citizen.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta) (May include reviews from Early Reviewer Rewards Program)

Amazon.com: 5.0 out of 5 stars 3 reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Notable Account of a Great Piano Visionary 13 May 2012
By John K. Adams - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Stephen Siek has written a defining work about Tobias Matthay, a valuable addition to any piano library. At a time when the piano world is changing rapidly, Siek's detailed research into the late Victorian musical world in London is enormously readable, and places Matthay's evolving theories about piano art in context to the musical world of his times. As with many visionaries, Matthay has had his share of detractors over the years, but his long line of distinquished students, many of whom became household names, attests to the power of his influence, still felt today. The art of Dame Myra Hess, Dame Moura Lympany, Sir Clifford Curzon and many others is affirmation enough for Matthay's musical genius.
5.0 out of 5 stars Comprehensive Bio of Great Piano Researcher/Teacher 19 Mar. 2014
By Yodel Nut - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Purchased as a gift for a student of a Matthay Trained teacher, this book was lovingly received and greatly praised for its detail and accuracy. Expense is warranted as it is the only known book about this pioneer. When funds are available - will purchase for myself as well.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A treasure! 23 Dec. 2012
By Teresa Hermiz - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Tobias Matthay's life is an inspiration and his teachings invaluable. I highly recommend this book to pianists and piano teachers. Dr. Siek brings clarity of thought and integrity to his monumental research of England's Piano Sage.
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