25 Easy and Progressive Etudes (Op. 100)

2. L’Arabesque (Arabesque) in A minor

Allegro scherzando tells us to play fast and playfully. Keep the LH chords close to the keyboard, the fingertips firm and somewhat active, the wrist loose but relatively still. You’ll need to organise a good fingering for the LH chords (I give some tips on this in my video below). RH semiquaver patterns are played using a drop-roll (down-up) movement generated from the upper arm, the arm and the wrist assisting the fingers. Lateral adjustments (lining up) in the wrist keep us free and loose and help control finger articulation in the fast notes. The first note of each RH group is the strongest, the last note light and short. Don’t get confused with how this works in the crescendos. If you say a five-syllable word over and over again (such as “multiplication”) getting louder and louder each time, you will always put the stress on the first syllable.

Enjoy the contrasts in mood in this piece. After a playful and light start, the arrival in C major (bars 7-10) feels somewhat triumphant as the RH has a melodic moment. Keep singing in the RH after the double bar, taking plenty of time in the dim e poco rall bars but snapping back into the tempo immediately in bar 19. There is a feeling of tenderness at the dolce (bar 23-25), and exuberance at the end. The risoluto semiquavers in the penultimate bar may be broader, and you might decide to add a direct pedal to the last chord to add resonance.

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