About Prelude #2:
Published in 1927, the work was first performed by George Gershwin in a concert at the Hotel Roosevelt in New York City. A challenge to play, it doesn’t fit easily under the fingers because of large note spans, and it requires a tasteful amount of tempo rubato of a bluesy, moody character.
Part of a three Prelude set, the composition is framed by the more spirited #1 and #3.
1) The opening ostinato or repeated bass pattern starts with a 10th that is a large span for many pianists.
At least in the beginning, where there are introductory measures without the treble line yet entering, the bass can be divided between the hands as I demonstrated in the video.
2) Capturing an improvised, bluesy character throughout this composition is a challenge. I find that singing the melodic line before I play it, helps me to shape phrases. Translated to the level of the arms, wrist, and fingers, I think of a delayed entry into certain notes.
3) Hearing more than one voice is necessary, (the chromatic meandering) and on the second page where the melody is scored in octaves, a middle voice should be noted.
4) The crossed-hand middle section must have a fleshed out, bluesy bass line. (Some pianists choose not to cross hands)
5) The way Gershwin scored this piece, it is rather awkward to play, so you do the best you can.
Play Through: (divided hands in opening to avoid broken 10ths)
With broken 10ths: