Family Listening Assignment #7

When you have a moment, gather around together and watch these two enjoyable videos. They are performances by pianist, Andre Watts, who began taking piano lessons with his mother and made his debut with the Philadelphia Orchestra at age 9 under Leonard Bernstein.

The first video is an interview/ short performance of Schubert’s Moment Musicaux in F minor from his appearance on Mr. Roger’s Neighborhood.

The second video shows Watts playing the etude, La Campanella, one of Liszt’s Grandes Etudes de Paganini. We often think of etudes (compositions written to develop a certain aspect of a player’s technique) as boring, repetitive exercises. But Chopin and Liszt wrote etudes so full of musical content that they have become standard concert repertoire. La Campanella (little bell) is in the key of G# minor and features quick leaps at speed, fast repeated notes, light finger dexterity and trills, requiring the performer to exhibit great control while maintaining complete freedom of movement. A second etude in the video is the Arpeggio Etude (from the same set.) It sure pays to cultivate solid technical skills through consistent daily practice routines. Enjoy!

As always, I am happy to answer any questions that crop up while practicing during the week or send students video reminders. Please feel free to ask!

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