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The important consideration is that the harmonies are clearly defined and should remain clear, with no2. pedal used only to enhance the tone rather than to sustain the notes. Accuracy will be reliable overall and there will be quick recovery from any slips.
This fingering does work well and you can explain it in terms of giving neat control of the first two notes followed by a strong finger for the important B that begins Bar 2. The ornaments are turns, as shown below the first page of the piece. Plenty of time should be bo.2 for learning the middle section so that this becomes as fluent as outer sections. This pianist is clearly enjoying the piece.
Diabelli – Sonatina in G Op No 2. Always insist on consistently correct fingering right from the start of the learning process.
There may be some expressive detail, which may be over-enthusiastic with tone control issues, jo.2 maybe not sufficiently convincing. In bars with rests, such as Bars 2, 8 and 16, care should be taken to observe the silence since precision is integral to the style of the sonatina.
Diabelli : Sonatina Op. , No. 2 (I) –
The main technical issue here is that of balancing the hands sensitively whilst maintaining a controlled, even LH part. Practice should be undertaken in sections, in accordance with what has been taught in the lesson.
This piece is ideal for learning the basics of sonata playing since it is Classical in style even though the composer lived beyond the dates associated with Classical repertoire. The performance marking is Allegro moderato so the tempo needs to reflect a moderately lively character.
You could teach the outer sections first, then teach the middle section. Using a rotary action a rocking movement of the hand as the forearm rotates will help to achieve even control. The opportunity to play a short piece with Alberti bass and few technical demands can enable the student to enjoy this kind of music in preparation for the sonatinas of Mozart and later for playing lengthier sonatas.
Fingering The fingering given within the Harris publication is well considered. The way to avoid this is to begin to be expressive early in the learning process so that it is integral to the music – once the piece has been memorised the student will no longer be looking at the score for information about dynamics. This gives a series of musical ‘signposts’ so that the performer need not feel lost if there are any small slips.
Technique The main technical issue here is that of balancing the hands sensitively whilst maintaining a controlled, even LH part. Small children playing this sonatina need not use any pedal at all. Students who are comfortable with pedalling might pedal the first and second of crotchets separately but it is easier to simply pedal the first crotchet of each bar unless the note is a minim in which case the pedal might extend for the whole two beats.
Final Performance You can hear a complete performance of this sonatina played here by Phillip Sear. Since Diabelli was a teacher, it is highly likely that Op was written for use as a teaching piece. Pedalling Small children playing this sonatina need not use any pedal at all. This is not a piece that will present many difficulties but those that do arise will probably be related to interpretation – giving a clear sense of the elegant character, with well shaped phrasing and dynamic variety.
Notice the way in which the performer both contrasts and grades the dynamics to give musical interest. An appropriate pace with carefully detailed articulation will give a sense of character. Practice Tips Practice should be undertaken in sections, in accordance with what has been taught in the lesson.
The fingers need to be quite close to the keys, but should not all rest on them as this can encourage pressing the key with individual fingers, causing too much tension. Students need to have performing opportunities before the big occasion since the problem can be that students have been playing with dynamic contrast in lessons but under the challenge of an audience, concentrate only on getting the notes right and forget the expressiveness.
The piece has no wide stretches and is easily manageable by small hands. If this piece is to be played from memory the teacher will need to give clear guidance about understanding the structure of the music.
Separate hands work of each two-bar phrase before trying very slowly, hands together should diagelli good results. This helps enormously with memorisation, since all four notes must be read more or less simultaneously for maximum fluency. The hands are nicely balanced and the tone is never forced in forte, which is important for the young pianist’s technical and musical development.
There is good dynamic variety and detail here too.
7 Piano Sonatinas, Op.168 (Diabelli, Anton)
The sonatina’s essential charm lies in its simplicity of melodic line and this must not be blurred by inept pedalling, particularly if the child is not yet tall enough to reach the pedal comfortably.
It is important to balance the textures so that the LH part remains subtle and the RH melody can sing out. In many respects this performance is good, being confident in fluency with a sense of character, so it is a pity that the LH needs to be quieter in relation to the RH. Teaching Strategies If this piece is to be played from memory the teacher will need to give clear guidance about understanding the structure of the music.
Here is a performance in which articulation detail is carefully given and the music is well known, even though technical control is not yet confident, with some unevenness at times, particularly in the ornamentation. The performer comments that she is working on increasing the tempo, so the end result will probably be excellent!
In particular draw attention to the changes in the outer sections that depend on the key change to the dominant in the first section, with the introduction of the C sharp, as compared with the final section that remains in the key of G major.
The LH part could be learned by playing each set of four quavers as a chord. However keeping the fingers on the keys and pushing with diabflli finger will create excess tension and give rhythmic unevenness.