Tag Archives: Romantic era music

What’s Frightening about Schumann’s “Frightening? ” (Kinderszenen, Op. 15, no. 11)

What convinces most pianists that Schumann’s “Furchtenmachen” (Frightening) is an expression of fear or perhaps more specifically anxiety, are the markedly impulsive sections that contrast with lyrical, reflective ones. And not to be overlooked, are the interjections of syncopated SF’s … Continue reading

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Untangling hands and subduing AFTER beats in Robert Schumann’s music

When a pianist tackles a piece like “Am Kamin,” (“At the Fireplace”) from Schumann’s signature childhood reminiscence, Kinderszenen, he/she must artfully navigate the musical terrain, avoiding hand pile-ups and after-beat pounding. A gorgeous Romantic era, lyrical melody that threads though … Continue reading

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How to Practice and Analyze Schumann’s “Blindman’s Bluff” from Kinderszenen

This is a devilish musical tag that flows out of my journey round the bend in finger staccato in the good company of my students. While none to date have tackled Schumann’s animated “Hasche-Mann,” otherwise known as “Blindman’s Bluff,” our … Continue reading

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Capturing the rocking motion of Mendelssohn’s F# minor Venetian Boat Song

In Felix Mendelssohn’s Op. 30, No. 6 Gondola Song, the very character of the lilting motion is sustained in the Left Hand with a metrical awareness of Two beats per measure, not 6. The composition (from the Songs Without Words … Continue reading

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The Chopin Waltz No. 19 in A minor is Poetry in Motion

Adult piano students who aspire to play the Op. Posthumous A minor Waltz must immerse themselves in a poetic musical framing, floating notes with supple wrists and relaxed arms. In the bass, support for a horizontally spun melody should prevail, … Continue reading

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Learning Two Chopin Nocturnes (Eb and F minor) with a framing bass line/treble perspective

One of the biggest challenges in playing the Eb Major (Op. 9) and F minor (Op. 55) Nocturnes is preserving awareness of the fundamental bass note movement against the melody while after beat chords provide a harmonic enrichment in the … Continue reading

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An adult piano student explores phrase shaping in Chopin’s A minor Waltz, Op. Posth.

I’m always warmed by lovely, contoured phrasing, especially when it’s produced by an adult student who’s reached a new level of aesthetic consciousness through especially attentive and consistent practicing. This particular player has increased her sensitivity in shaping the Chopin … Continue reading

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