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The Leschetizky Method—
Leschetizky to Raab to Krasoff to Heitman—
Classical Piano Performance Preparation

Biography: 1   2   3   4    5   6   7   8   9   10

My Professor, Wanda Krasoff, also taught me the method of weight transference (original method handed down from Leschetizky to Raab at the Vienna Conservatory), which is useful with regard to creating a singing tone and tonal qualities on the Steinway piano that sing like a human voice (photographs and/or paintings of Beethoven, Czerny, Leschetizky, Paderewski, Liszt, Brahms, and Raab).

Ludwig van Beethoven

Ludwig van Beethoven


Carl Czerny

Leschetizky with his students

Theodor Leschetizky with his students;
Alexander Raab’s Professor at the Vienna Conservatory.


Theodor Leschetizky

Ignace Jan Paderewski

Ignace Jan Paderewski

He studied with Leschetizky.


Franz Liszt

Taught Rappoldi and Ryss was his pupil;
Ryss was Wanda Krasoff’s Professor in San Francisco.


Johannes Brahms

Alexander Raab and Brahms were friends at
the Vienna Conservatory, when he
studied classical piano with Leschetizky.

My Professor's Professor

Alexander Raab

My Professor's Professor
Figure 1

Wanda Krasoff’s Professor for 25 years.

Alexander Raab, her piano performance Professor, studied with Theodor Leschetizky in Europe and was acquainted with Johannes Brahms, including piano performance at the Vienna Conservatory under Hans Schmitt as well as with Robert Fuchs.

Update—Masters of the Roll—Piano Played by Alexander Raab

I obtained and listened to a rare, original, recording, by Alexander Raab, from the reproducing piano by The Great Masters of Classical Piano, 1904-1935, Disc 26. After I heard Alexander Raab play on this new CD, I could not believe what I was listening to in his recording on the CD. His playing by far exceeded my expectations. His technical command of the piano is sincere and filled with clear, clean playing. I am very thankful for the legacy passed down to me.

The phrasing is spot-on right, and very expressive with big bold tonal qualities. From listening to his piece of Brahms, it is obvious that he knew Brahms from the way he plays the piece. Additionally, the way he slides in and out of chords and complicated runs, commanding the keyboard with his swift and quick technique is well thought out before he performs. Using the weight transference method obviously eases him into a more comfortable command of his playing. It is quite amazing to me. From the CD Masters of the Roll, Disc 26, piano performance by Alexander Raab (https://soundcloud.com/alexander-raab-official):
  1. Mozart: Fantasia in D Minor, K. 397
  2. Frommel: Serenade
  3. Frommel: Romance
  4. Schutt: Harlequin’s Serenade, Op. 48, No. 5
  5. Schutt: Pierrot’s Dream, Op. 48, No. 5
  6. Schutt: Reverie, Op. 34, No 5
  7. Schutt: Tender Aveu (Promise), Op. 59, No. 2
  8. Brahms: Waltz in A Flat Major, Op. 39, No. 15
  9. Liszt: Soirres De Vienne, No. 6 in A Major
  10. Chopin: Sonata in B Flat Minor, Op. 35, 1st Movement, Grave Doppio Movimento
  11. Chopin: Sonata in B Flat Minor, Op. 35, 2nd Movement, Scherzo
  12. Chopin: Sonata in B Flat Minor, Op. 35, 3rd Movement, Lento March Funebre and Presto
  13. Liszt: Hungarian Rhapsody, No. 5 in E Minor “Heroic Elegy”
Indeed, my Professor gave all the distinct details through her private tutelage, which I found to be accurate. While I often had two lessons a week, I stayed after for 5-6 hours. We would have lunch and talk for a few hours about music, composers, Professor Raab, piano performance standards, music theory, music history, and different approaches.

Also, her next door neighbor was a piano teacher. She would come over and play a piece or two for review for both of us. Wanda, stated: It was a good start, but you know dear you can play it better. Please play it again for us! That was good. Again, I think you can do better, so please play the piece over for us. Then she proceeded to give her review for improvements. When she left to go run errands, she trusted me to practice on her Steinway piano.

Piano Performance Professor Endorsed by Arthur Rubinstein

Professor Krasoff prepared performers for Professor Rosina Lhévinne at Juilliard. She had very high standards for her learners—especially with regard to achieving bell-like tonal qualities as well as accurate performances. She was acquainted with Josef Hofmann and Arthur Rubinstein in Los Angeles (Figures 3). While she received a full scholarship to attend the Curtis Institute of Music and study with Josef Hofmann, because her father was ill, she decided to stay in Berkeley and study with her Professor, Alexander Raab.

When she was a young child, she performed for Ignacy Jan Paderewski. His review of her playing was excellent. Many years later she performed for Arthur Rubinstein; he reviewed her performance. Again, his review of her performance was excellent.

Wanda Krasoff, my performance Professor
Figure 2

Wanda Krasoff, my performance Professor
Figure 3

Reviews of Professors

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Updated: March 1, 2022