Welcome to this music-blog dedicated to classical piano music ánd my old Bechstein B grandpiano.
My name is Paul Hoffman, I live in the Netherlands.
In this blog I will post my recordings of piano pieces ánd write about them: musical content, technical issues, personal memories, historical circumstances, anecdotes etc.
My main objective is that pianists and lovers of piano music will post comments. Either with remarks on my playing or additions to my writings on a piece. Thus sharing our views on pianomusic. As to learn from each other and appreciate the music even more. Let’s use the internet at its best: communication without borders in a positive and creative atmosphere.
And then: my Bechstein grand piano, it’s about 100 years old. Bechstein is famous for its distinctive sound. Some call it velvet, others romantic. I like it?. I like the intimate, recognizable sound. It’s not an easy instrument to play. Although my piano technician, Frans Sikkema, tirelessly made many adjustments and tweaked it over the years it still responds somewhat “untamed”. But then, that’s also the beauty of this instrument, one has to build a relationship with it, get to know it. I’m still learning.
Why did I decide to start ablog and not for example record a CD?
Being a professionally trained pianist I make my living mainly as a piano teacher. I find teaching a very rewarding thing to do but it is the “art of playing” that makes me a musician. Though classically trained I’ve also played jazz and pop since my teens. After my graduation, when I did a concert or gig it was mostly in jazz/pop bands. As much as I like playing jazz and pop let me also be honest: putting together a classical solo program requires such a focus and amount of study I simply didn’t have that time and energy next to family life and my teaching job. Thus playing classical music became a pleasure in the sparse free hours at home.
When turning 60 this year I decided the time had come to return to my roots, my old love: classical piano music. That’s where it all began. I still remember how it almost felt like an intitiation into a secret and mysterious world when I went to music school and Conservatory.
My ambition is not to try to restart my career and seek recognition in playing solo recitals. No, I wholeheartedly leave that to the young and eager pianists: it’s their turn, their time.
No, I would like to share my love for and insights on piano music. While the fingers are becoming a little rusty with beginning arthrosis my thoughts on music deepen and broaden. Aging brings advantages of its own 🙂 .
Please Note: these are not studio-recordings, there is no editing or otherwise any manipulation of my playing done. I record a few takes and then decide which one to use for the blog. This means you will sometimes hear mistakes or other unintentional play. Or the birds in my garden or a car driving by. So be it, I can only hope that my musical ideas will compensate for this.
That’s it for now, let the music speak. I sincerely hope my blog will be interesting and inspiring to you!
Visit paulhoffman.nl for my pianoteacher website (Dutch).