EPTA Austria Masterclass 2008

Alan Fraser at the EPTA Annual Conference, Linz, Austria

PART ONE: Oliver Gruske plays Debussy Brouillards


When Alan Fraser was invited to present at the EPTA Austria Annual Conference in 2008 in Linz, one of his colleagues videoed it on the fly. Although the camera technique “leaves something to be desired,” this practical application of Fraser’s principles with a couple of fine young pianists makes great and entertaining viewing.

PART TWO:
1: Cultivating the hand’s inherent need for structure
2: Maintaining the hand’s “unstable arch”


PART THREE:
1: Integrating new sensory information into your playing
2: Adverse effects of relaxation
3: Adjusting posture to support the new hand function


PART FOUR:
1: Posture in singers
2: Fifth finger pull-ups: flattened fingers for stronger skeletal connection
3: Differentiation of touch for orchestration
4: “The Bird Beak” – Stable Equilibrium


PART FIVE:
1: A further differentiation: band the fingers together
2: Unstable equilibrium in 8ves – the differentiated, alive action of two fingers


PART SIX:
1: Explanation of “finger dropping” (desirable) vs. “arch dropping” (undesirable)
2: ‘Forte’ with an emotional component


PART SEVEN:
1: Deficient hand structure can lead to tendonitis
2: “Coaxing” rather than forcing good posture to arise
3: “Structural function” for orchestration in Beethoven Op. 110


PART EIGHT:
1: Steffi from Graz plays Liszt Un Sospiro
2: A skeletal approach works especially well for a double-jointed hand
3: For the hand to stand up, the thumb must become independent from it.


PART NINE:
1: Skeletal playing turns double-jointedness into an advantage!
2: A new differentiation: fingertip presses ‘in’ to make entire rest of mechanism soar tall, not compress
3: Pushing through from the body to galvanize skeletal structure into potent action


PART TEN:
1: Connecting bones to improve your tone
2: Arm lines up with each finger in turn to minimize hand extension
3: ‘Flat fingers’ a radically different path to skeletal connection
4: A return to ‘standing’to consolidate structural integrity and function