Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Schumann's Piano Sonata No. 1

     Here is Robert Schumann's Piano Sonata No. 1, 1st movement, Op. 11. In this recording the sonata is performed by Klara Wurtz. The sonata is in F# minor

Robert Schumann is one of the greatest Romantic composers, writing numerous works for the piano. His pieces are usually very melodic and this piano sonata especially so having the main motif (musical phrase) a falling interval of a fifth. The piece is so melodic, in part, because Schumann based the slow movement on a song he wrote when he was eighteen years old. Schumannn starting composing this sonata at 23 years of age and published anonymously under the names Florestan and Eusebius. The sonata is in four movements: 1. Introduzione. Un poco Adagio - Allegro vivace 2. Aria 3. Scherzo e Intermezzo. Allegrissimo 4. Finale. Allegro un poco maestoso.

This sonata is the kind of piece that an aspiring pianist will study for years to really master it. And that is the point, isn't it? Pieces that inspire us, push us, make us reach further than we thought possible.

Sunday, July 12, 2015

16 Year Olds Can Do More

         Some times we forget that teenagers, even at 16, can do more than we think. Here is a young man playing his heart out in an international competition. We can expect less or more of the teens in our lives. I choose to expect and challenge my students, even if I make mistakes. Let's stop being scared of hurting the feelings of our students, let's take a chance.