Instead of pumping out Hanon and Czerny exercises to build so-called finger dexterity, try Burgmuller’s Op. 100, Twenty-five Progressive Pieces.
Here’s a sample of the challenges posed by the composer in each of these showcased Romantic era tableaux:
Harmony of the Angels:
1) Arpeggios, or broken chord patterns: for smooth execution and curvaceous lines. If you freeze your wrist, you’re out of luck trying to produce a flowing, singing tone legato. Besides, consider a continuum from left hand to right. There’s no other choice.
And to make the whole endeavor, worthwhile, the music is ecstatically beautiful:
(I’ll trade this for Czerny, Hanon, and Schmitt, any day)
2) Redundant 3-note after beat rolls in 16ths, with downbeat bass staccato chords.
Again the need for the supple wrist and rolling forward motion. (Very pivotal to technical development that serves the music–curves the phrase, and heads off angular playing)
3) Realizing two-note pairs (8ths) juxtaposed with a longer note grouping. Creating lyrical, sustained, well-breathed out phrases.
4) Staccato chords and broken octaves in staccato. Bearing a melody through left hand chords against right hand broken octave staccato. Spinning a contrasting middle section in legato. (also known as mood switching without losing your cool)
5) Right Hand Staccato chords, against legato bass line, followed by contrasting, lyrical middle section (More mood switching and spinning a treble melody above spongy after beat chords in the bass.
6) TWO rolling groups of three 8th notes in rapid tempo–need dipping wrist to energize redundant streams of notes.
Also, section changes with articulation shifts.
7) Complex rhythmic groupings attached to treble 8th notes, strung along through many phrases, with light chords in the bass. Then inverted in a middle section.
I’ll be adding more as I go along.