Impromptus D899 (Op. 90)


Impromptu in E-Flat Major – Walkthrough (1)

Bars 1 - 3

  1. The A section looks like an etude for the RH – fast, relentless triplets spanning the upper registers of the keyboard. However, don’t play the figuration mechanically at any point. The opening, marked p, lends itself to a delicate leggiero played from the fingertips supported by a light arm. Even though the fingers will need to be extremely close to the keys in performance, and much of the passagework very light, we might practise the RH alone slowly and firmly with active fingers.

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Additionally, finger staccato practice is very useful, as is practising the passage in a variety of different rhythms for control:

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Here is a demonstration of slow controlled practice. This is not mechanical, since we attend to phrase shaping, tonal control, timings and balance between the hands:

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  1. LH support is integral. Play LH dotted minims on the first beat of each bar as a line, firmly enough to support the RH figurations. Touch in the B-flats (stems up) very lightly (the second beat will become very important later in the piece). Pedal very sparingly using light, shallow touches.
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  1. The chromatic pattern has a more intense feeling. Begin bar 3 suddenly softer, to maximise the swelling effect of the hairpin crescendo, exaggerating its shape. Bar 4 finishes the first phrase, take a little time at the very end of the bar.

Resources

For complete score, see Practising the Piano Annotated Study Edition (click here)

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