25 Easy and Progressive Etudes (Op. 100)

3. La Pastorale (Pastoral) in G major

This study features a simple melody in the RH against a chordal accompaniment in the LH. For the required legato cantabile touch, the fingers need to be in close contact with the keyboard, playing from the key surfaces. The wrist is free, loose and mobile. Play the grace notes very lightly but do not hurry them as they are gently expressive, and not percussive. The best way to control the LH repeated chords is to keep the fingers inside the keys rather than letting the keys all the way up to the top. Aim to achieve a chord legato from bars 11-14 for the smoothest result. Tonal balance between the hands is very important, the LH should be softer than the RH throughout.

An awareness of harmony is always a good idea when studying any piece based on tonality. We feel an arrival in the dominant key (D major) by the double bar. The chromaticism in bars 15 and 16 adds colour and intensity to the landscape, while the F natural in the bass (bar 23) gives a relaxing subdominant flavour to the ending. The piece may be played with or without pedal.

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