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Peter Frankl: Schumann - 12 Etudes symphoniques op 13

SCHUMANN, Robert

12 Etudes symphoniques for piano solo op. 13

 

Peter Frankl, guest professor

Ivo Kahanek, student

 

Prof. Frankl likes the general reading of the composition by the pianist very much. Although the student has not played the posthumous studies to keep the unity of the work, he has lost a little this unity sense for stopping too much between variations and playing too much ritenuti. Then, Peter Frankl makes comments and instructions about each specific study:
* Thema. Andante & Etude 1. Variation I: the professor talks about the tempo for the theme and the first variation. The theme ends like a question, and the answer is in the first var. The end of the theme has a fermata, but also attacca to the Var. I.
* Etude 2. Variation II: Frankl doesn’t agree with the character that the student has performed here. It must be more "Florestán", more passionate. They also talk about the use of the thumbs in this part, which is very suitable in the professor’s opinion.
* Etude 3: for this study, Frankl recommends top lay lighter, use a different fingering, and not stop too much in the double bar.
* Etude 4. Variation III & Etude 5. Variation IV: the professor indicates a mistake in the reading of the score for Var. III and he makes comments on chords and dynamics. The sforzato must continue until the first note of the Var. IV, and at the end of this variation the student again should not pause that much.
* Etude 6. Variation V, Etude 7. Variation VI & Etude 8. Variation VII: the upbeat is very well done with the right hand. The contrast with the next variation is important because it is the first one in E major.
* Etude 9 & Etude 10. Variation VIII: there are dynamical instructions to reach the fortissimo for a certain passage of the 9th study. At the end, it is advisable again to continue to the next variation without stopping.
* Etude 11. Variation IX: the professor talks about an alternative fingering using the fifth finger. He also gives indications to play properly the rhythm for a passage, using left or right hand. The pulse is important for not losing the metric of the movement.
* Etude 12. Finale: Allegro brillante: Frankl suggests doing the repetitions and more contrast when the G major part comes. He also corrects a wrong note. Regarding the expressiveness, the point where is the real surprise is right after the moment the student performs it. There is also an indication for the last chord.
Final conclusions: the student must achieve the unity in the whole work trying not to stop too much between variations. The professor also makes some considerations and advices about the study and performance of the five posthumous variations.