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Master in the house

Tickets to the Richard Goode concert, Friday at 7:30 at UB's Slee Hall, are going fast.

"It's going to be a mob scene," says someone who is in the know.

Richard Goode, who for my money is one of the best classical pianists in the world today, gave a master class at UB yesterday. I had the time and date wrong in my head somehow so darn it, I missed it. A Richard Goode master class sounds like something to see. Check this one out, at Bard College...

"What I would like to feel is the excitement of the piece, but not conveyed so much through speed, not so much through sheer physical excitement as thru differences. I got a very strong sense of motoric energy, and a kind of power, but I did not hear differences. And that's where the music, I think, is most important."

I love the look on the students' faces as they listen. Everyone through history studying piano has had that same look, is what I am guessing.

My colleague Jeff Simon points out that Goode has written the liner notes to several of his CDs. It is becoming more common for artists to do that, but few have the grace with words that Goode has. Some pianists are talkers and some are not, and if one is not, that is not a bad thing. But it is fun when you run across a pianist who likes to talk about music, and is good at it. Five or 10 years ago (yikes!) I did a story on a Leon Fleisher master class, and I loved how Leon Fleisher talked. Some of that class is still with me. I mean, I retained things.

Let us celebrate Richard Goode's visit with a few clips I love.

Here he is joining singer Benita Valente in Brahms' "Vergebliches Staendchen."

Alas there is no translation, but this is the deal, the title means "Serenade in Vain," and you hear the lover boy pleading with the lady to hear his song and let him in, and it's late at night, and it's cold out, and she mocks him and sends him away.

"Good night, my boy!" is the last line. The word is "Knabe" from which we get "knave." I am sorry, I start talking about Brahms and I cannot stop. Anyway, Richard Goode is a wonderful Brahms pianist and he is playing Brahms in his concert on Friday.

What next?

Here is the slow movement of Mozart's Piano Concerto No. 23, some of the most moving music ever written. I cannot listen to this in the middle of the work day but I figured you would want to know it is out there.

Goode is such a big and ungainly looking man and he plays so delicately.

Who wouldn't want to play like that? We can dream! But happily we can learn, too. Here is Richard Goode teaching a master class to a boy in Israel, at the Jerusalem Music Center. This session is on YouTube in six parts, all devoted to a single Mozart sonata, one of the sonatas every student learns.

Hahaha... I love what the person who posts this video series writes in the description of Part 2.

"Part 2 of 6 of the master class, in which we proceed slowly with the first part of the sonata, as Richard Goode insists on every note and every nuance."

"Time should not be a dictator. It should be the servant of a phrase." That is one thing I like that Richard Goode says, in Part 1.

It is enough to make you want to run home and play the piano right now!! I want to dust off this sonata and give it another whirl.

If you act fast you might be able to get in on Richard Goode's concert Friday. It is a co-production of the Ramsi Tick Concert Series and UB. Tickets are $30. Call 645-2921.

-- Mary Kunz Goldman



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