Performed by Martha Goldstein on an Erard piano Problems playing this file? See media help. However, it is likely that the title did not originate with Liszt. It is also a study in the way hands should affect the melody with its many accentuations, or phrasing with alternating hands. The melody is quite dramatic, almost Impressionistic, radically changing in dynamics at times, and has inspired many listeners.
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The most striking part of Un Sospiro is its ethereal and poetic qualities, with its rolling arpeggios and flowing melodic line creating an atmospheric mood. The challenge in learning the music is to produce a beautiful tone color and shape the melody while successfully handling the arpeggios and hand crossings.
The fingerings are also good indications of patterns, such as harmonies that are outlined in arpeggios. The patterns of recurring notes will often have the same fingerings, and noting these patterns can aid our sense of coherence. Ricker Choi , an award-winning amateur pianist who has founded Music Heals! In the measures shown below, for example, the melodic notes boxed in red should be played with the left hand crossing over, with fingers 3,2.
I can reach an octave easily, but a ninth is a stretch. We can overcome small hand issues with careful thought and creativity and with fluid arm and hand motions. Ask questions such as, what is essential in a passage that is difficult or impossible for a small hand—i. Or what can be played with the left hand rather than the right hand or vice versa?
This approach may not produce a professional performance, yet it can create a performance satisfying to the pianist. As a result, Ricker feels the pianist ought to remain true to the score. He points out that on occasion the concert pianist Lang Lang avoids some of the crossovers and plays the melody all with one hand, which Ricker believes can destroy the mood of the piece, its introspective and calm nature.
Moriah Trenk recommends the Hamelin interpretation. The arpeggios are played fast and smoothly, and also played lightly, so as not to interrupt the melodic line. The melody is played with strength and passion, and there is a wide variety of tone color within the performance. Hamelin also uses a lot of pedal, creating a dream-like, ethereal quality. The Hamelin is more free-flowing, more pushing forward, and for me, it is a little bit too much in your face.
When you cheat that way on the fingering, you can play with a lot more expression and rubato, but the calm surface of the piece for me is destroyed. The magnetic Liszt captivated audiences while performing recitals entirely by memory. Similar to the art movement, Impressionistic music originated in France and seeks to evoke a mood or atmosphere.
Claude Debussy and Maurice Ravel are considered to be two of the major Impressionist composers. Both Un Sospiro and Ondine come from sets of three pieces composed for the piano. Both pieces have intense moments of passion and a flowing melodic line amidst a cascading accompaniment. All Rights Reserved. Related Posts.
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