Every so often I revisit a composition I’ve previously studied applying a different perspective. In Scarlatti’s A Major Sonata, with its very demanding Allegrissimo tempo marking that makes the crossed hand sections seem impossibly difficult, I decided to parcel out pertinent measures in practice tempo. The goal was to inch up to a faster rendering as compared to my last. For the most part, a few months will pass before I set my mind to upping the tempo of a particularly challenging piece, and it’s because the ripening process has to be factored into all learning journeys. Arthur Rubinstein made it a point to underscore how a piece, mindfully practiced, will ripen in time.
Pianists of all levels eventually come to the realization that a composition patiently learned in layers will have the best chance of blossoming in the long term.
In two of three videos, I fleshed out what physical motions best helped me realize phrase shapes in the Scarlatti sonata so I could ultimately play the composition at the desired Allegrissimo. In exploring the physical aspect of piano playing, I found it best to tie everything together: phrasing, dynamics, and nuance– allowing for experimentation, self-analysis, and fine tuning along the way.
In the third video I raised the tempo.
Part 1: Spring forward wrist motion, and some crossed hand measures (with attention to shaping phrases)
Part 2: Isolating crossed hand measures toward the conclusion of the first section (arc motions)
Raising the Tempo: