, piano blog

Chopin’s Nocturne in E minor, Op. 72, No. 1: Rotation, voicing, phrasing

Many students believe their hands are too small to navigate the E minor Nocturne. Seeing awkward intervals inside of broken chords that often span beyond an octave, they have a fixed mindset that the Left Hand (in this composition) must pre-stretch the distance between the lower and upper most note to insure ACCURACY, at least.

That premise defeats accuracy, and more importantly, impedes beautiful phrasing. The Nocturne’s characteristic ROLLING motion in the bass must be preserved from beginning to end using rotational means combined with an understanding of how HARMONIC rhythm (or flow of harmonies/chords) affects the whole fabric. (interwoven melody, alto voice, bass etc)

All taken together, the VOICING or balance between the hands, and within the Right hand when more than one line is considered, create the canvas for a beautiful rendering.

So instead of verbalizing a set of instructions without the benefit of a musical a palette, I recorded my ideas while seated at the piano.

Measures 35 to 38

Skype Supplement: focusing on measures 14-22

P. 1 Chopin Nocturne in E minorChopin Nocturne in e p. 1

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