The shortest Connection between the Hands and the Feet is the Ear.
With introductory Remarks and Contribution from André Isoir
Translation from German "Techniken des Orgelübens": Carol Guckelsberger
This book is an attempt to challenge our familiar, current methods of practising the organ which often tend to simplify things too much. In this publication selected professional pianist methods of practising are transferred onto an organ context.
Furthermore, the author tried to systematize her experiences as a concert organist and bring them into a practical sequence.
The techniques described in this book can be useful to both detect as well as recondition unconsciously developed habits. By persevering on these techniques, one should be able to achieve an individual and richly varying mental idea of one’s interpretation and develop those mental and physical tools required for musical expression in an increasingly subtle way.
Logically, the dynamic presentation of "the notes" has to be based upon a dynamic way of practising. Not "the notes", but rather the movements and hearing have to be the flexible, continually growing basis of practising and be under constant observation – with the aim of becoming increasingly conscious of and mastering one’s own dynamic personality.
Having become knowledgeable of not only the stylistically correct ways of interpreting music of various epochs, but also, or even more, of one’s own expressive potential, it is then possible to do justice to the meaning of "the notes", may it be beautiful or grotesque, tender or aggressive, and to let this happen for real.
138 note samples, 92 p.
"This book is a treasury of new practical exercises for the student and welcome support for the teacher when trying to improve on assessing and solving his or her student’s difficulties. How should one practice a new piece? Which technical weakness relates to which unconsciously conditioned habit? ... The tips on mental practice without the organ and the mental preparation of a recital polish this book up to completion … highly recommendable!" Musica Sacra 3/04
"… Interesting variations on practical exercises in unison with training of absolutely critical listening skills …. The subtitle of the book – “The shortest connection between the hands and the feet is the ear” – sums it up… a new and refreshingly non-ideological book."
Musik und Kirche 4/04
"Practising ‘the Kraus way’ certainly sometimes entails hard work, but is just as promising in terms of success. A rewarding book best laid down next to the organ within hands’ reach in case one catches oneself simply playing through the pieces." Forum Kirchenmusik 1/05