Tony Ann: Piano Therapy

Tony Ann: Piano Therapy

As someone who plays to hundreds of thousands through his YouTube channel, pianist Tony Ann understands the power of music to tap into our emotions. “I feel music is a great escape from reality and a positive option when it comes to lifting people’s moods,” he tells Apple Music Classical. Piano Therapy, says Ann, “is a way to help audiences connect their inner feelings with the language of music.” He begins with Bach’s Prelude in B minor from Book I of The Well-Tempered Clavier in a mesmerizing arrangement by Alexander Siloti. “I first heard this piece in 2012 played by Vadym Kholodenko at the Van Cliburn International Piano Competition in 2013,” says Ann. “For me, it highlights a feeling of space. It sets the tone of reflection and transports you to a different world.” Equally transporting, says Ann, is “Une barque sur l’océan” (“A boat on the ocean”) from Ravel’s Miroirs—“One of my good friends is a music therapist, and this is something he always played in his sessions with patients,” says Ann. “Audiences should listen for the different textures in this piece. The running arpeggios almost create a water-like effect.” Schubert’s G flat major Impromptu, says Ann, possesses a healing quality, its power emanating from the simple beauty of its opening melody. And for those who need clarity, Ann offers Rachmaninoff’s G major Prelude. “From the beginning,” he says, “the left hand establishes the mood. The right hand then enters with a spacious melody, which gradually grows into something bigger.” Piano Therapy concludes with another piece of Rachmaninoff—his Vocalise, beautifully arranged by Zoltán Kocsis. A perfect balm for the soul.

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