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Amateur Pianist


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Amateur Pianist


Louis wants to live in a world where exercise comes in pill form and there are no consequences for binge eating sweets.  Outside of that fantasy he works during the day speaking mostly in acronyms while keeping the world connected through various intricate technologies.

When he’s not routing ones and zeros around the globe he strives to be a pianist.  He started studying music as an adult in the summer of 2004.  After having attended a symposium for pianists at Princeton University he met the person who would ultimately become his teacher.  Louis spends as much free time as possible learning new repertoire and perfecting his technique.  

Explore this site and learn more about the music, check out some photography, or watch videos of Louis performing pieces from the baroque, classical, romantic, and contemporary solo piano repertoire.

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Currently learning


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Currently learning


Piano Sonata No. 15 in D major "Pastorale", Op. 28 by Ludwig van Beethoven

It has been debated whether the title ‘pastoral’ refers to the sense of countryside and nature (the 6th symphony pastoral sense), or to its sense of calm, simplicity and lightness. Beethoven's publishers had a tendency to name his sonatas without consulting Beethoven himself. Beethoven wrote most of his works with greatly contrasting parts, and behaves no differently in this sonata. Though its first and last movements can well be described as “pastorale,” the inner two movements do not partake of those qualities at all.

In the upper part of the sheet on which he had written his piano sonata op. 28, Beethoven noted down the date: 1801. The sonata is also called "Pastoral sonata" or "Little pastoral sonata" and is characterized as an idyllic and rural piece close to nature. What cannot be heard in the music is Beethoven's health in the year when the sonata was written. In that year he first confessed the deterioration of his hearing to two friends, Franz Gerhard Wegeler and Karl Amenda. On June 29st, 1801, Beethoven told Wegeler, his childhood friend from Bonn and now a physician, that the jealous demon, namely his poor health, played havoc with him, and that for three years his hearing had continuously worsened - a catastrophe for a practicing musician. Beethoven asked Wegeler not to share this information with others. Only a few days later on July 1st, 1801, Beethoven confided in another close friend, Karl Amenda, who had moved to the Baltic states, and told him that his hearing had diminished ever since Amenda had left Vienna and that he did not know whether the condition could be cured. He also asked Amenda to keep this a secret. On November 16th, 1801, Beethoven again turned to Wegeler and sent him a letter asking about a possible therapy. He told Wegeler how sad and bleak the past two years had been for him with his hearing resembling a ghost and he himself shunning human contact. In the same letter, however, Beethoven gives evidence of his strong will to live, showing clearly the possibility of a coexistence of music and serious suffering: I will tempt fate and it shall not defeat me. Oh, living a life a thousand times is so wonderful but a quiet life, I could not bear. Thus Beethoven accepted his destiny and thereby always managed to express hope and joy in his works.

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Planned Next Piece


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Planned Next Piece


Études Symphoniques, Op. 13 by Robert Schumann

A favorite choice for concert pianists' recitals seems to be Robert Schumann's Symphonic Etudes, Op. 13. It is well-suited for the concert hall containing virtuosic passages, expressive movements and a thrilling conclusion.

Schumann's contributions to the Etude genre follow closely in the footsteps of Frederic Chopin and Franz Liszt. However, the etudes are based on a single theme. Schumann also called the work "Etudes in the form of variations." This contributes to the overall seamlessness of the etudes and helped to establish its presence in the concert halls.

Schumann composed the Symphonic Etudes in 1834, but later revised the work in 1852. There were originally eighteen etudes in the set. Schumann felt that at this length and difficulty it would be too draining and demanding of the pianist and later cut the number down to twelve etudes. This made the work a little bit more agreeable to the pianist as well as the listener. When Johannes Brahms republished the etudes in the 1890s, he selected five additional etudes to add to the set. These are now frequently included in performances and recordings.

The theme that the etudes are based on was composed by Baron von Fricken, the amateur musician father of Schumann's short-term fiancee Ernestine von Fricken. It is in the key of C Sharp Minor and is quite tragic in character. This moves into a dirgelike march for the first etude. The next etude is Andante and is in the style of a rolling nocturne. The next etude is an energectic Vivace composed of a staccato like texture. The fourth etude is Allegro Marcato and uses a canon form in octaves that starts out with the theme but digresses quickly.

In the fifth, Scherzando etude, a key change is made to the key of E major. Following the fifth etude, the sixth etude is a study in syncopation. Like the fifth etude, the seventh etude shifts into E major with a crescendo and dazzling display of virtuosic writing. Next comes an intricately ornamented eighth etude.

The ninth etude is marked Presto Possibile, which means as fast as possible, a daunting tempo for any budding pianist! It is scherzo-like and one of the most challenging of the set. The theme is barely present in this etude. The tenth etude has a light and airy demeanor. However, the eleventh etude, cast in G sharp minor, is very somber and brings the listener into the darkest depths.

The listener is brought out of this dreariness by the 12th and final etude. This etude is in the key of D flat major. It strays from the main theme altogether. Instead, Schumann uses a theme from an opera by Heinrich Marschner. This Allegro Brillante etude brings the work to a thrilling conclusion with its dotted rhythms and optimistic jubilism.

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