(Roughly) Daily

“There’s nothing remarkable about it. All one has to do is hit the right keys at the right time and the instrument plays itself.”*…

There was, of course, a flurry of silliness on April Fools Day. Now the dust has settled; we can identify a winner, found by the polymathic Ethan Iverson (a composer, performer, and piano teacher at the New England Conservatory of Music; see also here)…

Marc-André Hamelin is a renowned pianist and composer (as the New York Times puts it, “A performer of near-superhuman technical prowess”). Charles-Louis Hanon was a 19th century composer and piano teacher best remembered for The Virtuoso Pianist in 60 Exercises, still in use.

As Iverson observes: “Part of the joke is how musically Hamelin plays the exercises. A god among pianists, truly…”

Hamelin recorded the spoof in the studios of GBH in Boston, where his wife, Cathy Fuller, is a producer and host at Classical WCRB.

Best April Fools’ Joke Ever

* Johann Sebastian Bach


As we tickle the ivories, we might spare a thought for Johannes Brahms; he died on this date in 1897. A composer, pianist, and conductor of the mid-Romantic period, he composed for symphony orchestra, chamber ensembles, piano, organ, voice, and chorus. A virtuoso pianist, he premiered many of his own works.

Considered both a traditionalist and an innovator by his contemporaries and by later writers, his music is rooted in the structures and compositional techniques of the Classical masters; at the same time, it embeds Romantic motifs. It is a measure of the esteem in which his work is held that Brahms is often grouped with Bach and Beethoven as one of the “Three Bs” of music (a comment originally made by the nineteenth-century conductor Hans von Bülow).


Consider (all joking aside) this marvelous example:

Written by (Roughly) Daily

April 3, 2023 at 1:00 am

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