I took piano lessons for a little less than a year in 1990, when I was 14 and then gave up, as I didn't take the time required to practice and learn, busy as I was between school and teaching myself programming, which I have been doing professionally since age 19.
July 2002 :
After 12 years without playing, I decided to give piano another try. I got myself a digital piano with weighted action - a Roland FP-3, if you must know - and started taking piano lessons again in July 2002. This time, I knew I would have to practice seriously.
December 2002 :
I acquired a Schimmel GP169T grand piano for
I am now practicing mostly on that wonderful acoustic piano, except
playing past 10pm, or when I want to use non-piano sounds - my favorite
are harpsichord and organ.
One of my long-term goals is to be able to play the Goldberg Variations from Johann Sebastian Bach. This is a wonderful but notoriously difficult works to play. I own about 25 different CD recordings of it, and never get tired of listening to them.
May 2003 :
I like a good challenge and spent months trying to learn
variation 1, which is one of my favorites. Up until may, I could only
play the first
half of that variation.
On May 16, 2003, I was able to make a recording of it that I consider
decent enough to listen to and share. It is the first recording I share
that I made on my
acoustic grand piano.
July 2003 :
There is now a second recording dated July 25, 2003. This marks my
first year anniversary of starting over with piano. I only had 9
months' worth of lessons though. My former piano teacher dropped me as
a student at the end of March, referring me to other teachers who were
more suitable for my interests in music, specifically Bach. After that
happened, I went on a 6 weeks trip to Europe - during which I did not
play - , and I did not resume taking lessons until July 2003. I did
however get to practice the 1st variation during the time I was home
and without a teacher. The second recording uses a faster, more
interesting tempo. There are also 3 missing notes in the first
recording that are present in the second - I don't know how I could
have missed them the first time around. To me, the two recordings are
like night and day. What a difference 2 months make !
August 2003 :
I finally mastered the second page, after only one month of resuming
piano lessons. I can now play it at almost the same pace as the first
page. I have posted a recording below dated august 3rd. I haven't
managed to make a clean recording of the whole variation at even tempo
yet, but I will post one when I do. I'm now on to learning the much
more difficult opening Aria of the Goldberg variations.
May 2004 :
There has been a big void in this page, but that doesn't mean that I
was not making music. In September 2003, I resumed my lessons with a
new teacher, Ray McIntyre. I have been learning both piano and
harpsichord with him, as he is lucky enough to own a great
double-manual acoustic harpsichord. I wish I had room in my townhouse
for such an instrument, but as it is, it's a miracle the grand piano
fits at all !
With Ray's help, I was able to learn the Aria of the Goldberg Variations. I have now posted several recordings of it. I also learned Invention 3 in D major. I am hoping to get Goldberg variation 7 finished as well soon, as I am going to give a recital on Ray's harpsichord of the Aria, variation 1 and variation 7 in June.
November 2005 :
I am updating this page for the first time in nearly a year. I added
recording of Goldberg variation 19. It is barely listenable, but that's
about as well as I have managed to play this busy year unfortunately.
December 2005 :
I made a recording of variation 18, which I hope you will enjoy. I
wish I could play all the other variations this well ! I am hoping to
add another recording of variation 19 soon, as well as one of variation
7, which I never posted, even though I completed it. I'm now
working on variation 22, which is the first piece for 4 voices that I'm
attempting. I might also try to play the deceptively difficult
variation 3 again, after a failed attempt in 2004.
December 29 and 30 : I had a week off work, and was able to make new
recordings of variation 18, 19, and 7 on acoustic piano, which I added
to the site. Enjoy !
in G major, Anh 114
|Minuet in G major, Anh 114
||September 2002||Digital harpsichord
in D major, Anh 126
||September 2002||Digital piano|
|Musette in D major, And 126
||September 2002||Digital harpsichord|
|Invention number 1 in C major, BWV 772||Nov 15, 2002
|Invention number 1 in C major, BWV 772||Nov 16, 2002
|Goldberg Variation 1, BWV 988||May 05, 2003
|Goldberg Variation 1, BWV 988||Jul 7, 2003
|Goldberg Variation 1, BWV 988||Aug 03, 2003
Aria, BWV 988
||May 25, 2004
|Goldberg Aria, BWV 988||May 25, 2004
|Goldberg Aria, BWV 988||May 28, 2004
|Goldberg Variation 1, BWV 988||May 28, 2004
|Invention number 1 in C major, BWV 772||May 28, 2004
|Invention number 8 in F major, BWV 779||December 2, 2004
||Played on double-manual organ
and new Fantom XR MIDI module
|Goldberg Variation 19, BWV 988||November 25, 2005
||Recorded with M-audio Nova and
|Goldberg Variation 18, BWV 988||December 20, 2005
||one of my best recordings so
far. Using Fantom XR piano sound and FP3 controller
|Goldberg Variation 19, BWV 988||December 29, 2005
||Much better recording than
November 25 . Faster tempo, more expression, and stereo mix
|Goldberg Variation 18, BWV 988||December 29, 2005||Acoustic piano||Slightly slower version than
last week, with more expression. I'm getting better at recording
acoustic piano .
|Goldberg Variation 7, BWV 988||December 30, 2005
||This was an experience miking
inside the piano with the lid closed - and the take came out OK, though
I have played this variation faster and better on acoustic harpsichord
in the past.