Piano Instruction: “Ballade” by Burgmuller– phrase contouring and curves of energy (Videos)

Burgmuller’s Ballade from his Opus 100 Progressive Piano Pieces is often coined “spooks” because of its Halloween-like opener. Composed in 3/8 time, it moves along in ONE, though the performer should not over-emphasize the first beat in each measure.

The way the composer slurs and phrases notes suggests another approach.

Thinking LONGER lines and phrases gives this piece the Romantic era polish it deserves. (A descending, Forte C minor arpeggio, for example, can use this overall curve down without redundant rhythmic accents or punctuations in every measure)

In the video below, I demonstrate the CURVES of melody as they appear in the Left Hand with light chords in the Right, and how the contrasting middle section is a fluid, lyrical line with subdued after beats. (Play like a vocalist)

To render this piece with finesse involves using a supple wrist. On big, resounding chords, approaching these from below with the flexible wrist avoids a pencil point impact.

In the Codetta (starting measure 88) with its stream of rapid 16ths from forte to piano, the dipping wrist on every C after 6 notes, keeps the passage bristling with a looping energy, that allows a controlled, dynamic tapering.

A lesson-in-progress with Albertina, 13 who will play this piece on our Spring Recital.

Play Through:




About arioso7: Shirley Kirsten

International piano teacher by Skype, recording artist, composer, piano finder, freelance writer, film maker, story teller: Grad of the NYC HS of Performing Arts, Oberlin Conservatory, NYU (Master of Arts) Studies with Lillian Freundlich and Ena Bronstein; Master classes with Murray Perahia and Oxana Yablonskaya. Studios in BERKELEY and EL CERRITO, California; Member, Music Teachers Assoc. of California, MTAC; Distance learning and Skyped instruction with supplementary videos: SKYPE ID, shirleypiano1 Contact me at: shirley_kirsten@yahoo.com OR http://www.youtube.com/arioso7 or at FACEBOOK: Shirley Smith Kirsten, http://facebook.com /shirley.kirsten TWITTER: http://twitter.com/arioso7 Private fund-raising for non-profits as pianist--Public Speaking re: piano teaching and creative approaches
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