lunedì 3 settembre 2012

How to study the Impromptu op. 90 n. 3 for piano by Schubert

We study the Impromptu Op. 90 n. 3 for piano by Schubert

Here is a more detailed explanation of how briefly mentioned in a previous post, we want to study the Impromptu op. 90 3 of Franz Schubert (1827) and in particular the bar 10, which is a situation of this type (remember that we have six flats in the key, time 4/2, Andante):

The problem of piano technique place from this example (and that, similarly, of measure 12 addressed in the previous post) is the presence, in the right hand only, of two different musical situations, which require two different approaches from the point of view of technique that must achieve: we have in fact a singing line in the upper part and a part of accompaniment at the bottom; the same hand must perform two different things simultaneously and must therefore have the ability to create two different types of sounds; all this must be done obviously without stiffening.

A complex piano technique

It is in this case about a complex technique and use this adjective warning that it does not necessarily coincide with the adjective difficult: rather it is a multiplicity and copresence of situations. Obviously it still requires a certain level of skill past. Not surprisingly, in my collection 42 Exercises of piano technique, this technique takes the card (and the corresponding video) number 26, being in the seventh section, dedicated to polyphony.

Exercises for the study

My first advice is to study in separate parts, just as you do when you study hands separately: in which case we study separately the two parts simultaneously present in the same hand. We begin with the singing, of course keeping the fingering provided:
 Esempio musicale: studio della parte superiore della mano destra

On the 'D flat' we must support the weight of the arm, according to the known position (fifth finger pitched above the key, lowering the wrist); on the first 'C flat' we must take care of a little support but considering the diminuendo indicated, will be therefore useful to raise the wrist slightly; the maneuver is made more difficult by the need to use the same finger but try to bind (it will be quite an illusion of legato, then necessarily helped by the use of the pedal); the second 'C flat' we give back a little support, lowering the wrist, however, maintaining the intention of diminuendo (note, however, the most important rhythm of this second 'C flat', so that will naturally have a small support of expression: tries to sing three notes and what you will be clear).

Now we study the arpeggios of the bottom, of course respecting the fingering provided here:
 Esempio musicale: studio della parte interna nella mano destra

In this case we must treat the uniformity of sound, more piano of the singing, homogeneous, legato, curing also in this case the diminuendo. We will have to perform these sounds tying, with minimum articulation of the fingers (fingers near to the keys) and with the small lateral movements of the hand which provide softness and relaxation.

After that, we will try to combine the two techniques in simultaneous execution.

We could also think of a further preliminary exercise, carried out in this way:
 Esempio musicale: esercizio per l'appoggio del peso del braccio nella polifonia

You need to support the weight of the arm to the tune of the song and run a light staccato on internal chords. It may be argued that it is in this case of a different technique from the previous (execute chords is different from run arpeggios), however, I believe is a good exercise propaedeutic, because it develops equally effectively the sensation of this weight difference between different parts of the same hand.

Other examples in the Impromptu of Schubert

The first measure of the piece is simple and, in his writing, truly an example of this type of technique; less difficult than the previous example, because the sounds of singing are always at break of internal figuration:
Esempio musicale: la battuta 1 dell'Improvviso op. 90 n. 3 di Schubert

And even more exemplary this step, to measure 3:
Esempio musicale: movimenti da battuta 3 dell'Improvviso op. 90 n. 3 di Schubert

Song without words

The result is certainly effective, believe me: experimented on myself and many students. We are ready to abandon to the sublime art of this great composer, this Lied ohne Worte (Song, Romance ie, without words) that expresses high his poetry.

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