Tricky Corners: Wrist Circles & Finger Articulation

Speed isn’t always synonymous with clarity.  My work as an adjudicator can testify to the fact that’s it’s quite common to hear semiquaver (or demisemiquaver) passages played in a ‘garbled’, unstable, or just plain unrhythmical, manner; either too fast, with the tendency to rush through technically challenging sections resulting in the inevitable slips, errors and…

Tricky Corners: Fourth and Fifth Fingers in Chords

Today’s ‘Tricky Corner’ examines those pesky fourth and fifth fingers in chords. A student recently studied the Praeludium from Ludas Tonalis by Hindemith. This delightfully contemplative piece presents a few technical challenges, not least the opening introduction, which must sound improvisatory, and the subsequent Moderato passage (from bar 4), with its copious demisemiquaver figurations. None…

Tricky Corners: The Opening Phrase

I’ve been working with a student on Franz Joseph Haydn’s beautiful Sonata in E flat major Hob 52. Haydn’s final piano sonata was written in 1794, and it’s full of joie de vivre, a characteristic synonymous with Haydn’s music. Set in my favourite key, this work exudes warmth, colour, and a quite different harmonic and…

Tricky Corners: Smooth Passagework

In my previous Tricky Corners post, I focused on fifth finger leaps within a passage from C P E Bach’s Sonata in A flat, H. 31 (first movement, Un poco allegro); you can read the article, here. Today’s post will continue with this piece, looking, this time, at another caveat which can present serious issues…

Tricky Corners: The Leaping Fifth Finger

September heralds the start of a new academic year and is therefore an appropriate time to begin my new monthly series, ‘Tricky Corners’. Those who read this blog will know that I particularly enjoy developing a student’s technique. This is all about re-training bad habits, transforming them into good ones, which takes time and care….