© Gjon Mili, 1940, Josef Hofmann’s Hands in Action
This is such an incredible photoset showing Polish-American virtuoso pianist, composer, music teacher, and inventor Josef Hofmann (originally: Józef Kazimierz Hofmann) photographed by Gjon Mili. Thanks to Tamara and Alec.
The pictures were published in LIFE magazine on January 6, 1941.
Find an online version of the magazine here. Here’s a short excerpt of the original LIFE story:
”(…) When LIFE asked Dr. Hofmann if he would let Gjon Mili photograph his hands with the high-speed camera, Dr. Hofmann was willing and interested. In fact, he was fascinated. For hours on two seperate occasions, he patiently sat at his piano running through scales and trills while Mili took his pictures.
One of the few Mili subjects who ever had any real idea of how the complicated high-speed mechanism works, Dr. Hofmann was tolerant when things went a bit wrong and even made sensible suggestions on improving the setup.
(…) Behind the keys along the length of the backboard, Mili placed a long thin mirror in which Hofmann’s hands were sharply reflected. Each picture, therefore, shows the backs of Hofmann’s fingers and, at the same time, the front of the fingers as reflected in the mirror. This double explanation of Hofmann’s technique should be of considerable help to piano students while practicing. (…)” (read the whole story here)
(thanks to / via: arpeggia & likeafieldmouse)
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