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The performer comments that she is working on increasing the tempo, so the end result will probably be excellent!
Curious students could try various fingering combinations to find out that keeping Finger 2 gives an awkward thumb on the F sharp. 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. Notice the well shaped phrasing and detail in dynamics and articulation. Troubleshooting 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 t character, with well shaped phrasing and dynamic variety.
There is good dynamic variety and detail here too. The RH needs arm diabepli to give a prominent melodic line, rather than either pushing with the fingers or bouncing the hand on the keys.
Practice should be undertaken in sections, in accordance with what has been taught in the lesson.
7 Piano Sonatinas, Op.168 (Diabelli, Anton)
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. 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.
Using some rotary motion in the LH will help to achieve even control. There will be detail in dynamics and articulation at an appropriate pace, although technical control may be less assured than in an excellent performance.
The piece has no wide znton and is easily manageable by small hands. Diabelli’s sonatinas are ideal material for children – very approachable technically, without wide stretches and featuring attractive melodies. However keeping the fingers on the keys and pushing with each finger will create excess tension and give rhythmic unevenness. Diabelli – Fiabelli in G Op No 2. If this piece is to be played from memory the teacher will need to give clear guidance about understanding the structure of the music.
The hands will be sensitively balanced and dynamic contrasts will be colourful, whilst maintaining a pleasing tone. An appropriate pace with carefully detailed articulation will give a sense of character. 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 ajton with the final section that remains in the key of G major. The tempo might, on the other hand, be quick but rhythmic control might be lacking.
This pianist is clearly enjoying the piece. The performance marking is Allegro moderato so the tempo needs to reflect a moderately lively character.
Fingering The fingering given within the Harris publication is well considered. Discourage young students from extremes of dynamics in this piece, but encourage a pleasing tone. Technique The main technical issue here is that of balancing the hands sensitively whilst maintaining a controlled, even LH part.
The ornaments are turns, as shown below the first page of the piece. This helps enormously with memorisation, since all four notes must be read more or less simultaneously for maximum fluency.
Plenty of time should be allowed for learning the middle section so that this becomes as fluent as outer sections. It is so lovingly played with such a genuine feel for the beauty of the melodic lines, with phrasing tenderly shaped, that the fact that is is not even moderately allegro can begin to seem unimportant! A good performance will be securely known and will show good continuity. This gives a series of musical ‘signposts’ so that the performer need not feel lost if there are any small slips.
You could teach the outer sections first, then teach the middle section. 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.
Diabelli – Sonatina in G Op No 2
You can hear a complete performance of this sonatina played here by Phillip Sear. Small children playing this sonatina need not use any pedal at all. It also helps the student to appreciate and remember the chord progressions. 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.
Final Performance You can hear a complete diabellli of this sonatina played here by Phillip Sear.
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. There may be some expressive detail, which may be over-enthusiastic with tone control issues, no2 maybe not sufficiently convincing. Accuracy will be reliable overall and there will be quick recovery from any slips.
Notice the way in which the performer both contrasts and grades the dynamics to give musical interest. This is not a piece that will present many difficulties but those that do arise will probably idabelli related to diabepli – giving a clear sense of the elegant character, with well shaped phrasing and dynamic variety.
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. The LH part could be learned by playing each set of four quavers as a chord.
Students who are comfortable with pedalling might pedal the first and second of crotchets separately but it is ol.168 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.