May 25th 2014 09:43 am Memorial Day

Music can impact just about anything. This weekend is Memorial Day here in the United States. We are supposed to be taking time to remember those who have given their lives in war. As I was trying to come up with a post, I remember hearing an article about Paul Wittgenstein.
Paul Wittgenstein was born into a well-to-do family that embraced the arts in Vienna, Austria. Before WWI, the family household was visited by the likes of Brahms, Mahler, and Strauss. While Paul was on active duty in WWI, he was shot and subsequently had his right arm amputated. He then began calling on well-known composers to write literature for the left hand. Perhaps the best known piece to come of this was Ravel’s Concerto for the Left Hand. With many of the works, they were commissions with the stipulation that Wittgenstein held exclusive performing rights until his death. Wittgenstein eventually emigrated to the United States during WWI and continued a performing and teaching career.
Do a little research on pianists who made careers and only had use of one hand. It’s a fascinating read.

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Posted by heather / Just For Fun

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