On the Keys

News & Music Stations: Thu, 8-9 pm

On the Keys is about the most versatile of instruments, the piano. But it also features the organ, the harpsichord and most anything that has a keyboard or manual. All genres are fair game, including song cycles, concertos, sonatas, amplified piano, even the piano in the symphony orchestra. 

Play along with the keyboard question each week. Send answers to keys@scpublicradio.org and if you get the answer correct your name will be read on one of the following shows. No using the internet!

 

This and That

  • You can also find the podcast in Itunes
  • Scroll down for play lists and audio features
  • This is your friendly classical piano music podcast. 

Ways to Connect

Tom Strange

During a rare moment of down time at the Carolina Music Museum, located in Downtown Greenville, I had a chance to bring my microphones, some music and another pianist to sit down and try out the historic keyboard instruments from their Facing South exhibit that will soon be wrapped up to make room for a brand new collection of such extent to warrant a name change.  Lisa Kiser is the principal keyboardist of the Greenville Symphony Orchestra. She will perform works by Mozart and Liszt on pianos from 1791 and 1863.

The South Carolina Bach Show

Oct 24, 2018
Courtesy of the Artist

See Audio Below

From South Carolina Public Radio this is a special feature presented by On the Keys. We dive into the life and music of J. S. Bach wherein we learn about the man through his organ music, which he composed during the entire span of his 65 years. Our organists are all South Carolina based and most of the organs featured could be in your neighborhood church, if you live in the upstate that is! See audio below. The organists featured are Bob Glick, Brennan Szafron, Charles Tompkins and host David Kiser

Courtesy of HHIPC

Click to listen to hear the winners of the 2017 Hilton Head International Piano Competition for Young Artists. 

First Place: Ray Ushikubo

Second Place: Andrew Li

Third Place: Jaeden  Izik-Dzurko

Hear Ray Ushikubo's interview with Fred Child here.

Old-Timey Piano Music

Dec 28, 2016
Courtesy of Artist

Ethan Uslan is a Charlotte based pianist who composes and improvises ragtime and jazz.  On this piano podcast a special edition of Your Compositions. Ethan talks about and performs two of his original compositions. Scroll down for audio. 

Inspired by Gershwin

Dec 13, 2016
Courtesy of artist

On this piano podcast listen to the Iranian born and Canadian trained Iman Habibi's piece Prelude a la Gershwin

The performer is pianist Deborah Grimmett who also happens to be the other half of the duo Piano Pinnacle with Iman, who also happens to be her husband. Terribly romantic...the way Gerswhin would want it. 

One can also subscribe to On the Keys via Itunes.

Elements of a Piano Piece: Melody

Dec 7, 2016
IMSLP

On this podcast an overview of melodies for the piano, how they work, what they are, and what makes them beautiful. You'll hear melodies from Bach to Thomas Ades. 

Bach's Roadtrip

Nov 17, 2016
Wikipedia

Arnstadt to Lubeck, Expected time of Arrival, 77 hours, 234 Miles.

Greenville to Charleston, Expected time of Arrival, 71 hours, 217 Miles.

Bach's pilgrimage to hear the great organist Buxtehude reimagined and set in South Carolina.  

Special thanks to our actors, Tony Sane, who played Christopher Bach and Mathew Goins, who played  Charlie Pachelbel. Yours truly played Johann Sebastian Bach and wrote the script. I also played and recorded the music in the background. Please tune in the week after thanksgiving for part 2. 

Brennan Szafron Recording Bedard
David Kiser

On this edition of Your Compositions Canadian pipe organ music played by a Canadian organist on a French Canadian organ. Brennan Szafron recorded the Suite Romantique on the Twichell Pipe Organ, a 50-some rank Casavant on the campus of Converse College. Our composer is the prolific Denis Bedard who writes contemporary music that in the words of Dr. Szafron does not sound like cats scratching each other. 

Here are Denis Bedard's notes on his piece: 

Library of Congress

  On this Movement of On the Keys, the mostly forgotten composer Georg Joseph Vogler, who was immortalized via words by Robert Browning. With the help of Musical Theater students at Anderson University, Aaron Copland, and Mozart this programs explores piano and posterity and why Mozart was such a great composer. 

Original Piano Piece by 10-Year-Old Composer

Oct 28, 2016
David Kiser

Henry Sun is a 10-year-old piano student and composer from the upstate. Listen to his original composition based on music by Handel. Standing on the shoulder's of giants on this edition of Your Compositions a movement of On the Keys. 

Sidney Foster
Courtesy of Justin Foster

Sidney Finkelstein (changed later to Foster) was born in Florence and lived on West Evans Street. He attended the famed Curtis Institute of Music and played at Carnegie Hall numerous times. 

Music and Memory: Katharine Norman's Fuga Interna

Oct 12, 2016
photo by Carla Rees

  Composer and writer Katharine Norman's piece is about aging and memory loss. 

It comes from a set of pieces influenced by a Bach Fugue, "a compositional teacher," as Katharine Norman puts it. 

Her mother was her first piano teacher and now she is a suffering from Alzheimers. In the piece, Katharine Norman is remembering her first piano lessons with her, because her mother can't remember them any longer. The pianist is Xenia Pestova.

Songs about the Pisgah National Forest

Oct 5, 2016
Courtesy of artist

Jon Grier's piece Pisgah Songs captures the beauty of the NC National forests. The poets kindly allowed their poems to be posted below.

  

Looking Glass (Keller Cushing Freeman)

I send you winter love:

ice crystals glittering like mica

in the stiff red clay; the caught breath

of a silent creek, turned glass

by last night's cold; the oldest stars

shivering light from distances

re-marked in years; lines

a severe wind drew and then erased,

tracks a-cross the landscape of a face,

How Sonata Form Works: A Guided Tour Part Two

Sep 29, 2016
IMSLP

On this two-part series on tonality and sonata form, David Kiser gives the microphone over to Professor of Piano at Converse College, Douglas Weeks who guides us through the sonatas of Mozart and Beethoven.  In the course of this series you’ll learn about tonality and the importance of key structure. Douglas Weeks likens it to moving to different rooms of the house, where “Tonic” is the hearth, home base, the center of the house.

How Sonata Form Works: a Guided Tour Part One

Sep 22, 2016
Converse College

On this two-part series on tonality and sonata form, David Kiser gives the microphone over to Professor of Piano at Converse College, Douglas Weeks who guides us through the sonatas of Mozart and Beethoven.  In the course of this series you’ll learn about tonality and the importance of key structure. Douglas Weeks likens it to moving to different rooms of the house, where “Tonic” is the hearth, home base, the center of the house.

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