Saturday, January 09, 2010

Stephen Hough on Pedaling

If you've ever fussed and bothered over how to create those nine shades of pink that lie between red and white, you should definitely check out Stephen Hough's Depressed: the amazing world of the pedal in the Telegraph Culture Blog. An excerpt:
Actually, if I’m going to be a stickler for complete accuracy, Rubinstein probably should have said dampers instead of pedal, as the latter is merely the tool to activate the former – the sole connecting with the soul. Every note on a piano is a hammer striking strings, and every one of those strings (except the short ones in the far treble) has a damper on it. As the keys are depressed the dampers automatically rise to allow the strings to vibrate; then as the note is released the damper falls down again onto the strings to snuff out the vibration. The pedal (we always mean the right pedal when the word is singular) lifts up all of the dampers at once, making the whole instrument a box of resonance. It’s the opening of the curtains on a sunny day.
Stephen Hough's 2010 performance schedule can be found here.

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