“Music is a moral law. It gives a soul to the universe, wings to the mind, flight to the imagination, a charm to sadness, and life to everything. It is the essence of order, and leads to all that is good, just and beautiful, of which it is the invisible, but nevertheless dazzling, passionate, and eternal form.”

Sunday, September 3, 2017

Chopin's Octave Etude

(Resting his hands?)
 Many students have asked about  Chopin's octav
e etude. I'm guessing this comes under the heading of "because it's there." It seems to me that this is not a very attractive piece—that the only reason to play it is to show that you can. As we all know, Chopin's collection of etudes are not really etudes in a pedagogical sense. Rather, they are show pieces designed to display a range of facility. Nevertheless, we learn from any piece we play, so in that sense passages in Mozart might be thought of as etudes. The Chopin etudes as a rule require considerable expertise to begin with, but for showy octaves, this etude is as good a place as any to begin. You can watch me talk and poke my way through it here.


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