Pianists are often encouraged to think more like singers. There’s a long history of such advice, and by grasping the potential link between our ‘real’ voice and our ‘pianist’s’ voice, our playing should sound more compelling. From a rich literature on cantabile playing, dip into Jean-Jacques Eigeldinger’s wonderfully readable book, Chopin: Pianist and Teacher, which pulls together countless quotes and anecdotes from pianists, composers and critics. Seen often through the eyes of Chopin’s pupils, we realise just how lyrically-conceived good piano playing often is – and indeed how a close affinity with the human voice should ideally inform what we are doing when we tease out a melody, whether this be an upper or an inner line.

In an

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