I don't know about you, but after this wild, smokey week, I could use a little extra musical inspiration!
I've got someone really special for you today. You may not know her, but it's time to get to know her because she's one of the top concert pianists alive today. She's originally from Beijing, lives in NYC these days, and is downright athletic at the piano. Here's one of her top repertoire pieces and one of the most impressive piano pieces of all time (I aspire to play it someday!): Flight of the Bumblebee.
This piece was not originally written for piano! The original, by Rimsky-Korsakov, was written as an interlude for his opera The Tale of Tsar Saltan. It was played by the full orchestra with a violin taking the lead solo.
A number of composers have created piano arrangements of Flight of the Bumblebee. Rachmaninoff's version is quite famous, but nothing really compares to Cziffra's arrangement which is undoubtedly the most difficult (and impressive!) for pianists.
Not many pianists have even attempted it.
Yuja Wang has mastered it!
Now to bring our heart rate back down after that bumblebee 😂 I've got another treat for you. I hope this performance inspires my guitar students as well as my piano students!
Here he is... one of the most influential blues guitarist of all time and a man I think of with particular fondness after living in Austin: BB King! Watch this incredible solo - in which he is so clearly "singing" with his guitar. Every musician on this stage is a Pro!
I wish you great music listening and playing on this delightfully rainy weekend!
Until next week,