Chopin Waltzes

Dedicating my birthday to Chopin!

IMG_20140408_093021 (1)

I’m often asked to name my favorite composer, and nearly always, it’s the one whose music I’m currently studying and teaching.

In this case, Chopin’s posthumous Waltz in A minor, discovered by musicologists in the 1950s, is the CHOSEN.

Not cluttered with reams of intricate runs and fancy ornaments, it’s a good first Waltz to teach among the composer’s rich collection. And students can separately piece out the melody, fundamental bass notes, and after-beat chords before a synthesis is made in baby steps. I always have pupils explore pedaling last.

One of the big challenges in this composition is PHRASING. One must shape lines like a singer, with curves and contour. Third beats should be lightened, and dynamics need to be varied. Rubato playing gives character and nuance to the Romantic era style and is a vital ingredient of interpretation.

It’s a challenge to immerse oneself deeply in this music, so a layered learning process is worth the investment of time.

CONTOURING and Phrasing Chopin’s A minor Waltz

IMG_20140408_090725 (2)

2 thoughts on “Dedicating my birthday to Chopin!”

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.