The composer’s Metronome Marking and how pianists deal with it

I encountered a few performances of Burgmuller’s “Harmony of the Angels” Op. 100, that were so briskly played, that I made sure to consult the composer’s Metronome Marking for a reality check. And it was true that Dr. Alan Huckleberry and Phillip Sear, were the “speediest” players on You Tube. While they were not consistently within the quarter=152 per minute framing, they had a nearly matched fundamental pulse as a starting point that still allowed for expressive give and take, (rubato) within the Romantic genre. Of the two performances, I leaned toward Mr. Huckleberry’s reading.

In the spirit of adventure, I decided to join in and try to approximate the composer’s MM, though I was a lot more at home on lyrical and expressive levels with a more moderate “allegro” tempo. (The latter would be my aesthetic preference.)

Nonetheless, I found it valuable to try to approximate the composer’s marking without sacrificing the expressive dimension of playing.

My preferred tempo framing:


Some thoughts on learning “Harmony of the Angels”

Regardless of selected tempo, the triplets must seamlessly unfold in a horizontal flow. The very basic legato touch, that enlists weight transfer, a floating arm, supple wrist, fused with the imagination, relaxed breaths and attentive listening, promotes expressive playing.

Blocking out the sonorities from left hand to right in slow practice tempo is a good starting point before unraveling them in broken chord sequence. Incremental raises in the pulse should follow gradually. Keeping thumbs from poking out is a keen challenge through relentless triplet strands so they should be feather light.

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
This entry was posted in "Harmony of the Angels, 25 Progressive Piano Pieces op. 100 by Burgmuller, blogmetrics, Burgmuller, piano, piano blog, piano lessons and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to The composer’s Metronome Marking and how pianists deal with it

  1. Pingback: The composer’s Metronome marking and how pianists deal with it | Henry Tan

  2. Pingback: The composer’s Metronome marking and how pianists deal with it | Liv Morales

  3. Judy King says:

    Great comments on this piece. Thank always for great teaching tips!

    Like

Leave a Reply

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

WordPress.com Logo

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

Twitter picture

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

Facebook photo

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

Google+ photo

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

Connecting to %s