Facility is an element of excellence. The ability to move quickly, and seemingly without effort, is the eyebrow-raising characteristic of the person who excels at an activity.
Facility is also an aspect of creativity. Creative people display a flat associative hierarchy: the ability to bring to mind numerous associations in response to a stimulus. For example, while a normal person will name “chair” and maybe “tablecloth” if asked to associate things with “table,” an especially creative person will name many items. In addition, especially creative people can focus on many things simultaneously.
Music: Composers, artists, and major works
Felix Mendelssohn, Piano Concerto No. 1 in G Minor, Op. 25, MWV 07 (1831) (approx. 20 minutes), exhibits varying moods and tempos, including lightning-fast runs on the piano. “Apart from being full of agreeable melodies and brilliant passage-work, the Concerto exhibits Mendelssohn's near-obsession with the problem of making the separate movements of symphonies and concertos belong together in a seamless whole.” Top recorded performances are by Joyce in 1947, Lympany in 1948, Rudolf Serkin in 1959, Perahia in 1975, Thibaudet in 2001 ***, Wang in 2009, Lisiecki in 2019, and Vogt in 2021.
Mendelssohn, Piano Concerto No. 2 in D Minor, Op. 40, MWV 011 (1837) (approx. 21 minutes), is similar to Concerto No. 1, though less widely acclaimed. Excellent performances are by Jean-Yves Thibaudet in 2001, Schnyder in 2013, Lisiecki in 2019, Brautigam in 2019, and Vogt in 2021.
Jazz pianist Art Tatum:
- Solo Masterpieces, 1; Vol. 2
- Complete Capitol recordings
- Tatum playing 21 versions of “Sweet Lorraine”
- “anthology of inhuman stride”
- a Tatum compilation
In a similar vein, Bud Powell played with a “lightning-fast right hand.”
- “greatest hits” compilation
- “Early Years of a Genius, 44-48”
- Paris, 1959
- “Live at the Blue Note Café, Paris, 1961”
- “Relaxin' at Home, 61-64”
- “At Home”, Paris 1964
- “Tribute to Thelonious, 64”
A young classical pianist, Lindsay Garritson, plays with breathtaking facility.
- Cliburn competition, preliminary recital 1
- Cliburn competition, preliminary recital 2
- Prokofiev, Piano Concerto No. 2 in G minor
- In 2014
Fabio Biondi and his Europa Galante ensemble have an exceptional flair for Vivaldi’s music:
- Concerti con molti strumenti
- Viola d’amore Concertos
- Mandolin concertos
- 6 violin concertos, “La Boemia”
- Alexander Hawkins, “Iron into Wind”: “The development or evolution of Hawkins’ musical ideas is frequently heard . . .” [Don Lerman, Cadence magazine 2019 annual edition, p. 264.]
- Yuki Negishi, “Enigma” (2022)
- Christopher Wright, Horn Concerto, “After the Silence” (2011): “. . . the hornist (shoots) straight out of the gate, as it were, with dramatic flourishes, quick tonguing, tricky licks, and passages rocketing up to the F horn’s written high C.”