Cover of Olga Bobrovnikova: Playing the Pathways of My Brain

Olga Bobrovnikova Playing the Pathways of My Brain

How a Concert Pianist With Ms Enjoys Pleasure in Performance by Understanding Her Musical Brain

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U Lužického semináře 10, Malá Strana

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Being constantly criticized for excessive emotion and movement by her piano professors, Olga Bobrovnikova took inspiration and a new attitude to performance when she heard the recordings made in the 1890s of a forgotten pianist, Paul Pabst, who Tchaikovsky called "a pianist blessed by God." Her diagnosis of MS coincided with her discovery of Pabst and his music, and in her typically defiant way, she set out to record Pabst's exceptionally difficult piano paraphrases of Tchaikovsky operas, and to make the first-ever recording of Pabst's own piano concerto. Her immersion in this lost history of the Russian Piano School revealed major differences in and controversy regarding the style of piano performance as well as coinciding with a growing interest in the brain and music. A passion for pleasure in performance and a study of the neurology of her MS-damaged brain created this unique book, which is a fusion of fascinating musical history, a wide review of scientific research, and detail of a new performance method.

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