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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.
Diabelli – Sonatina in G Op No 2
Notice diabel,i way in which the performer both contrasts and grades the dynamics to give musical interest. The tempo might, on the other hand, be quick but rhythmic control might be lacking. Curious students could try various fingering combinations to find out that keeping Finger 2 gives an awkward thumb on the F sharp. You could teach the outer sections first, then teach the middle section.
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 hands are nicely balanced and the tone is never forced in forte, which is important for the young pianist’s technical and musical development.
The main technical issue here is that of balancing the hands sensitively whilst maintaining a controlled, even LH part. If you agree with the LH playing Fingers 4 – 1 – 2 – 1 for the first bar, do insist on a healthy hand position where a straight line is kept down the Diwbelli 5 side of the wrist, rather than bending the hand to the side.
This piece is Classical in style, based on easily understood chord progressions. 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.
Diabelli : Sonatina Op. , No. 2 (I) –
Discourage young students from extremes ahton dynamics in this piece, but encourage a pleasing tone. An appropriate pace with carefully detailed articulation will give a sense of character. The piece has no wide stretches and is easily manageable n.o2 small hands. Separate hands work of each two-bar phrase before trying very slowly, hands together should yield good results. 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 RH needs arm weight to give a prominent melodic line, rather than either pushing with the fingers or bouncing the hand on the keys. This helps enormously with memorisation, since all four notes must be read more or less simultaneously for maximum fluency. The performer comments that she is working on increasing the tempo, so the end result will probably be excellent! There is good dynamic variety and detail here too. 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.
Some students will question the RH initial fingering which suggests changing from 2 to 3, then using thumb-under on the last quaver of Bar 1.
The way to avoid this is to begin to be disbelli 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. Students need to have performing opportunities before the big occasion since the problem can be that students have been playing with dynamic contrast in b but under the challenge of an audience, concentrate only on getting the notes right and forget the expressiveness.
Diabelli – Sonatina in G Op 168 No 2
Small children playing this sonatina need not use any pedal at all. Practice should be undertaken in sections, in accordance with what has been sonatjna in the lesson.
It is important to balance the textures so that the LH part remains subtle and the RH melody can sing out. It is always difficult to mark down a performance like this one! Since Diabelli was a teacher, it is highly likely that Op was written for use as a teaching piece.
This is a side to side, rocking motion created by aanton the forearm. The fingering given within the Harris publication is well considered. If the student is to learn the outer sections first then each phrase may be secured in the first section before comparison with the corresponding phrase in the final section.
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.
7 Piano Sonatinas, Op.168 (Diabelli, Anton)
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. Fingering The fingering given within the Harris publication is well considered.
You can hear a complete performance of this sonatina played here by Phillip Sear. An excellent performance will be confident in fluency with poised tone control.
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. The important consideration is that the harmonies are clearly defined and should remain clear, with the pedal used only to enhance the tone rather than to sustain the notes.
A sound performance will show continuity at, perhaps, quite a cautious pace. The performance marking is Allegro moderato so the tempo needs to reflect a moderately lively character. 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.
It also helps the student to appreciate and remember the chord progressions. The hands will be sensitively balanced and dynamic contrasts will be colourful, whilst maintaining a pleasing tone. The LH part could be learned by playing each set of four quavers as a chord. Final Performance You can hear a complete performance of this sonatina played here by Phillip Sear.