Performance practice

The art of pedalling

The one bee in my bonnet is over-pedalling, and I give my students a hard time about that. It's the lack of being able to play a true legato with the fingers.  People rely on the pedal for that, and the pedal is not there for that.  The pedal is for putting the gloss on.  There has to be something underneath that has to be controlled and beautiful.  … Rubinstein's playing is a lesson in how to pedal.  You never hear people coming out of a concert and saying: "Wow, wasn't that great pedalling!" If it's good, you don't notice it.  Rubinstein's pedalling in the nocturnes is just amazing.  These nocturnes are difficult to pedal, yet his pedalling is mind boggingly good.

Jonathon Plowright, pianist
Cited in: Worth, Erica.  Chopin with a twist", Pianist. London: Warners Group Publications, vol. 54, p.9.

By Greg

Australian composer and pianist