“Solfeggietto” is an Italian word meaning “little study” or exercise.
The work is unusual for a keyboard piece in that the main theme is only one note being played at a time. The piece is commonly assigned to piano students and appears in many anthologies.
This piece is easily Bach’s best-known and is often performed by left-hand alone.
See if you can follow along. The notes with the stems down (even in the treble clef) are normally played with the left hand.
With just the left hand:
Are you any of these? This is the first annoying pianist. Too Humble – Solfeggietto in C minor by C.P.E. Bach
Today’s Listening Assignment is Country Gardens by Percy Grainger.
“Country Gardens” is an English folk tune collected by Cecil Sharp from the playing of William Kimber and arranged for piano in 1918 by Percy Grainger.
The tune and the Grainger arrangement for piano and orchestra is a favorite with school orchestras, and other performances of the work include morris dancing.
A piano version:
Piano duet (four-hands)
The Ambrosian Children’s Choir
From the Muppets
And, how a Morris Dance is done:
Find Country Gardens on IMSLP, Piano Maestro (under the method book section) and Piano Pronto: Movement 2
Today’s piece is based on a collection of tales known as the One Thousand and One Nights or Arabian Nights.
The story, which was written many hundreds of years ago, tells of a Persian king who married a young girl every night. Every morning he would send his new wife to have her head chopped off. He had already killed 3000 women in this way.
When Scheherazade heard about this, she wanted to spend the night with him. She spent all night telling him a story. At the end of the night, she stopped the story at an exciting moment, like a modern-day soap opera.
The next night she finished the story and began another one, which she again stopped when it was dawn. The king had to wait another night to hear the rest of the story. Scheherazade kept this up for 1001 nights. By then, the king had fallen in love with Scheherazade and he let her live.
Rimsky-Korsakov’s best-known work is Scheherazade, an orchestral piece that describes in music the stories told by Scheherazade.
The work consists of four movements:
The Sea and Sinbad’s Ship
The Kalandar Prince
The Young Prince and The Young Princess
Festival at Baghdad. The Sea. The Ship Breaks against a Cliff Surmounted by a Bronze Horseman
Today, we’re focusing on The Young Prince and The Young Princess which can be found in Piano Pronto Movement 4
Gene Kelly dancing with a cartoon partner
The entire work
“Morning Mood” is part of Edvard Grieg’s Peer Gynt, Op. 23 was written in 1875.
The melody uses the pentatonic (five-note) scale, lending itself to beginning piano books.
Morning Mood is available in Piano Maestro, Piano Pronto Prelude (as Morning Theme) and other books.
Johann Sebastian Bach’s towering monument of organ music, with its deep sense of foreboding, will forever be associated with Halloween.
Get a free copy of the sheet music at IMSLP or borrow a copy from the O’Connor Music Studio. I have this arranged for organ, piano, duet, 2-piano, simplified…
It’s also available in Piano Maestro, Piano Pronto Encore and Coda
If you want this in a book with other Bach transcriptions, amazon has this: Toccata and Fugue in D minor and the Other Bach Transcriptions for Solo Piano, arranged by Ferruccio Busoni.
Here, Virgil Fox performs it on his Allen Digital Touring Organ.
Diane Bish plays the Massey Memorial Organ at the Chautauqua Institution and talks about this instrument.
Today’s piece is the other one of two pieces that are so often played incorrectly that they have the distinction of being banned from competition in Northern Virginia Piano Teacher competitions.
The first was Fur Elise. This one is Spinning Song by Albert Ellmenreich. It’s in many, many piano method books. When I was in 5th or 6th grade, I tore it out of my book, put it in a construction paper cover and played it for some Girl Scout talent show. I have no idea why I couldn’t leave it in the book.
The left hand is supposed to sound like the foot pumping the wheel to make it move
This is part of a larger work called Musikalische Genrebilder, Op.14 which can be downloaded at IMSLP:
Spinnliedchen (Spinning Song), the best known item from the set, seems to be universally referred to as number four. The announcement of the first edition in Hofmeister’s Monatsberichte lists it as the fifth item. In Schirmer’s 1878 edition (see cover:) of Op.14 it appears that items two and three were possibly combined into one number (entitled Sorrow and Consolation) so that Spinnliedchen became number four. Perhaps, this is the origin of the re-numbering.
To learn this sheet music, it’s available in Piano Pronto Movement 4 and Alfred Premier Piano Course Book 6
Here’s a sample:
With scrolling sheet music
How to conduct(?)
While this piece is not usually popular with other instruments, a trumpet quartet gave it a try
The DMS Percussion Ensemble
Singers from the Londonderry Middle School gave it a try:
The first half of this video is flute tuning. After that is a lovely flute duet.
For clarinet “quartet”. Quartet is in quotes because the performer wrote “This is a ‘cover’ I did of Spinning Song by Albert Ellmenreich. I played all the parts on my clarinet, using the really crappy camera I have. So the sound quality sucks… Also, I don’t have a bass clarinet, so the low part is edited down… and it sounds like a saxophone… oh well. lol!”
I can’t take any more of these!
Today’s piece is Antonin Dvořák’s Humoresque #7.
Humoresques Op. 101 (B. 187), is a piano cycle by the Czech composer Antonín Dvořák, written during the summer of 1894. One writer says “the seventh Humoresque is probably the most famous small piano work ever written after Beethoven’s Für Elise.
Yo Yo Ma (cello) and Itzhak Perlman (violin)
Jazz with Wynton Marsalis on trumpet
Zez Confrey gave this a makeover and included Way Down Upon the Swanee River:
Find the original Humoresque on IMSLP. The O’Connor Music Studio Lending Library has versions of Humoresque available at several levels and Confey’s Humorestless played in the video above.