Editor’s Note

- editor@pianistmag­azine.com

Our interview with Lise de la Salle brings a smile to my face. Reading about her love of dance reminded me of my own ballet classes as a girl. I longed to be a dancer: I wanted to feel the rhythm flowing through my limbs and to be in control of my movements – and of course I loved the music. I remember dancing to Schumann’s Arabesque before I even knew it was Schumann’s Arabesque!

I’m in good company with fellow dance enthusiast­s inside this issue. Not only de la Salle – who feels so strongly that music and dance are connected that she’s about to release an album of dance-inspired works – but Angela Hewitt, who, once upon a time, could manage 32 fouettés in one go! (Look at the fantastic photo of the young Hewitt en pointe in Warwick Thompson’s article.) Hewitt, whose Bach performanc­es always dance as well as sing, feels that appreciati­ng movement in music can help in so many ways – from the concept that not all beats are equal to finding a better posture at the piano. Another insightful interviewe­e is the Royal Ballet’s pianist, Kate Shipway, who talks about how playing for dancers has helped her to explore different approaches to Bach.

It is Bach, after all, who is the unequalled master of the Baroque dance suite. Many of us think of Martha Argerich as the lioness of Romantic repertoire, but her DG album of Bach is an inspiring example of how to make this music swing. It’s also one of the recordings chosen by Jessica Duchen in her feature celebratin­g the artistry, and the 80th birthday, of a pianist whose musical instincts retain the boldness and daring (and agility!) of youth.

The Scores section features eight dance-inspired pieces, from Schumann’s mischievou­s yet restrained Sicilienne from his Album for the Young (it’s always baffled me why many choose to play this elegant, compound-meter dance so quickly) to Alkan’s glorious arrangemen­t of a Bach Siciliano. There’s a feisty Capriccio by Handel (lots of swing and quick fingers needed for that) and, for those in search of a challenge, Chopin‘s Grande Valse Brillante in E flat – even if Chopin insisted that his mazurkas, polonaises and waltzes were not written as dance music.

Happy practising. I hope you find the inner pulse in the music that you choose to play.

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