25 Easy and Progressive Etudes (Op. 100)

4. La Petite Réunion (The Little Party) in C major

The composer paints a jolly picture of a little party in this piece. We hear laughter in the bouncy thirds (RH bars 2, 10, etc.) and perhaps a note of disappointment (the A flats in bars 19 and 20) that the party is drawing to a close and it is time to think about going home. The guests are happy and content, and enjoy each other’s conversation (listen carefully to the dialogue between the hands from bar 15).

This is a study in double note playing on the white notes (mostly thirds, but also sixths), staccato as well as legato. The challenge with double notes is ensuring that both notes sound precisely together while voicing slightly to the upper note to bring out the melodic line (my video demonstration gives detailed instruction on how to achieve this). There are a few different fingering options, depending on the individual. It is perfectly acceptable to play the staccato thirds with the same pair of fingers (4 and 2) or to finger in groups using adjacent fingers. Legato double notes demand considerably more coordination than staccato ones; careful organisation within the hand combined with freedom in the wrist and alignment of the hand with the forearm are essential ingredients.

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