Sign in  |  Register

The New Criterion

America’s leading review of the arts and intellectual life
- Harry Mount, the London Telegraph

Features

February 2012

Let's tickle the ivories

by David Dubal

On the joys of playing the piano.

There is an old proverb that goes “Play the piano daily and stay sane.” For me, the main word of this proverb is daily. Playing the piano daily means inevitable accomplishment, and, without a sense of accomplishment, life is an impoverished journey.

Machines have taken us away from our hands. In his last days, Rachmaninoff continually practiced a composition he never performed. One of his last statements was: “Farewell, my dear hands.” Today, we are starved for a deep contact with our hands. The poet Edward Dahlberg felt “our hands are already very stupid and morose. What can we do with them? What do we do with them?” Let’s get back to our hands—they are craving good work. At one time, the terms “handmade” and “handcrafted” meant a great deal. In schools, the young are no longer taught to write in script. Handwriti ...

This article is available to subscribers and for individual purchase

Subscribe to TNC (Print and Online editions)

Subscribe to TNC (Online only)

Purchase article credit and clip this article

If you already have an account login first

David Dubal is an American pianist, teacher, author, broadcaster and painter.


more from this author

This article originally appeared in The New Criterion, Volume 30 February 2012, on page 17

Copyright © 2014 The New Criterion | www.newcriterion.com

http://www.newcriterion.com/articles.cfm/Let-s-tickle-the-ivories-7274

E-mail to friend


The New Criterion

You might also enjoy

The law & Richard Epstein

by Hadley Arkes

Analyzing the views of the distinguished legal scholar Richard Epstein.

Artists & politics

by Donald Kagan

A lecture delivered by Donald Kagan after he received the second Edmund Burke Award for Service to Culture and Society.

Reclaiming Madison

by James Piereson

A new biography of James Madison hopes to change the way we remember America's fourth President.

Most popular

view more >

Subscribe to our newsletter!

* indicates required

Webcasts

The Walter Duranty Prize for Journalistic Mendacity
On May 5, 2014, The New Criterion and PJ Media presented the second Walter Duranty Prize for Journalistic Mendacity. The award is given to highlight egregious examples of dishonest reporting. Also awarded this year was the Rather, a new award for lifetime achievement in mendacious journalism.
The Duranty Prize is named after Walter Duranty, the New York Times Moscow corresponded in the 1920s and 1930s who whitewashed Joseph Stalin’s forced starvation of the Ukrainians (the Holodomor) and many other aspects of Soviet oppression. Duranty was awarded the Pulitzer Prize in 1932 for his efforts. It has never been revoked.
Audio copyright Ed Driscoll, www.eddriscoll.com.


Introduction to The Kennedy Phenomenon
Roger Kimball introduces The Kennedy Phenomenon, a conference presented by The New Criterion on Tuesday, November 19.


The Kennedy Phenomenon: "Watching the Kennedy Train-Wreck"
Roger Kimball reads Peter Collier’s paper on oft-overlooked unsavory details of the Kennedys' lives. Much of the paper is drawn from Collier’s book, coauthored with David Horowitz, The Kennedys: An American Drama.