Charles W Wilkinson.

Well-known piano solos, how to play them online

. (page 1 of 18)
Online LibraryCharles W WilkinsonWell-known piano solos, how to play them → online text (page 1 of 18)
Font size
QR-code for this ebook





['J 1 ": /

■ -I










1712 Chestnut Street

Copyright, igis, by Theo. Presser Co.

Index by Composers

(For Alphabetical Index, see page 281.)


Arensky: Le Coucou, Op. 34, No. 2 13


Bourree in A Minor (English Suites) 16

Fantasia Chromatica 17

Gigue in G (French Suite) 20

Loure in G (Third Violoncello Suite) 22

Barili : Cradle Song, Op. 18 26


Minuet in G, No. 2 29

" Moonlight Sonata " in C Sharp Minor, Op. 27, No. 2 :

First Movement — " Adagio Sostenuto " 31

Second Movement — " Allegretto " 33

Third Movement — " Presto " 35

Sonata in A Flat, Op. 26:

First Movement — " Andante con Variazioni " . . . . 38

Second Movement — " Scherzo " 41

Third Movement — " Marcia Funebre sulla Morte

d'lm Eroe " 43

Fourth Movement — " Allegro " 44

Sonata in E Flat, Op. 31, No. 3:

First Movement — " Allegro " 46

Second Movement — " Scherzo " 48

Third Movement — " Menuetto " 52

Fourth Movement — " Presto con Fuoco " 54

" Sonata Pathetique " in C Minor, Op. 13:

First Movement — " Grave " and " Molto Allegro e

con Brio " 57

Second Movement — " Adagio " 60

Third Movement — " Rondo " 62

Bendel: Spinnradchen 65

Borowski: Mazurka, Op. 2, in C Minor 67

Brahms: Variations and Fugue on a Handel Theme, Op. 24 71

Brahms- Philipp: Hungarian Dance, No. 7 76

^ iii


iv Index by Composers



Automne, Op. 35, No. 2 80

Pierette, Op. 41 82

Scarf Dance (Scene de Ballet) 84

Serenade, Op. 29 86


Berceuse, Op. 57 89

P|iiHp in G Flat, Op. 10, No. 5 91

Nocturne in F Sharp Major, Op. 15, No. 2 93

Nocturne in G, Op. 37, No. 2 96

Pplonaise in C Sharp Minor, Op. 26 98

Prelude in A Flat, No. 17 loi

Prelude, Op. 28, No. 15 103

- Val se in A Minor, Op. 34 104

. Val se in C Sharp Minor, Op. 64, No. 2 106

,^lse in D Flat, Op. 64, No. i 108


Deux Arabesques, No. i 112

Deux Arabesques, No. 2 115

La Plus que Lente- Valse 116

D^LiBES: Pizzicati from " Sylvia " 119

Durand: First Waltz, Op. 83 121

Dvorak: Humoresque, Op. loi. No. 7 123

Elgar: Salut d' Amour, Op. 12 126


Second Mazurka, Op. 54 128

Second Valse, Op. 56 130

Valse Chromatique, Op. 88 133

Gottschalk: Last Hope 136


Berceuse, Op. 38, No. i 140

Butterfly, Op. 43 141

In Mine Own Country, Op. 43, No. 3 143

Birdling, Op. 43, No. 4 144

" Once upon a Time " and " Puck," Op. 71, Nos. i and 3 145

Norwegian Bridal Procession, Op. 19, No. 2 148

Wedding Day at Troldhaugen, Op. 65, No. 6 150

Index by Composers v


GuTmann: La Sympathie, Op. 39 154


Chaconne in G (Lecons III) 156

Harmonious Blacksmith 158

Heller: Tarantella in A Flat, Op. 85, No. 3 160

HensELT: Repos d'Amour, Op. 2, No. 4 163

Jensen: The Mill, Op. 17, No. 3 166

Lack: Valse Arabesque, Op. 82 168

LavallEE: Le Papillon, Op. 18 171

Leschetizky: Second Nocturne, Op. 12 173

Lladow: The Music Box 175


Regata Veneziana 177

Waldesrauschen 1 79

MacD dwell:

A Scottish Tone Picture, Op. 31, No. 2 182

" MDCXX," Op. 55, No. 3 184

Of B'rer Rabbit, Op. 61, No. 2 186

To a Wild Rose, Op. 51, No. i 188

To the Sea, Op. 55. No. i 189


Spinning Song (Songs Without Words, No. 34) 192

Spring Song (Songs Without Words, No. 30) 194

Moszkowski: Esquisse Venitienne, Op. 73, No. i 198

Etincelles, Op. 36, No. 6 200

Serenata, Op. 15, No. i 201

Mozart-Schulhoff: Menuet (Symphony in E Flat) 204

Paderewski : '

Melodic, Op. 16, No. 2 206

Minuet, Op. 14, No. i 208

PiEczonka: Polish Chivalry 211

Rachmaninoff: Prelude in C Sharp Minor, Op. 3, No. 2 . . 213

Raff: La Fileuse, Op. 157, No. 2 215

Ravina: Etude de Style 217

Rheinberger: La Chasse, Op. 5, No. i 219

vi Index by Composers



Melodic in F, Op. 3, No. i 222

Romance in E Flat, Op. 44, No. i 225

Trot du Cavalerie 227

Scarlatti : Burlesca 229

Scarlatti-Tausig: Pastorale e Capriccio 231

Scharwenka: Polish Dance, Op. 3, No. i 232


Impromptu in A Flat, Op. 90, No. 4 234

Impromptu in A Flat, Op. 182 236

ScnuBERT-LiszT: Ave Maria 238


Arabesque, Op. 18 241

Aufschwung, Op. 12 244

In der Nacht, Op. 12, No. 5 246

Nachtstiick, Op. 23, No. 4 249

Novelette in F, Op. 2 1 , No. i 25 1

Papillons, Op. 2 253

Bird as Prophet, Op. 82 260

Slumber Song, Op. 124, No. 16 258

SchuTT: Valse Mignonne, Op. 16, No. 2 263

Sibelius: Romance, Op. 24, No. 9 265

Sinding: Rustle of Spring (Friihlingsrauschen), Op. 32, No. 3 267

ThalbERG: Deux Airs Russes 270


Chant Sans Paroles in F, Op. 2, No. 3 273

June (Barcarolle), Op. 37, No 6 276

-Iroi ka (November), Op. 37, No. 11 279

A Foreword

N undertaking a revision of the work
of a living author one is at once
confronted with the deHcacy of the
task. That this work may be made
more adaptable to existing condi-
tions is the only possible apology
for a new edition. In preparing
this, professional courtesy requires the nicest distinc-
tions in order that the intents and rights of the author
shall be respected.

Without wishing to detract in the least from the
original text, a difference in the colloquial idioms and
technical terms of Britain and America necessitated
some changes in the verbiage. Indeed, after several
visits to "Merrie England," it has been no easy task
for the editor to sacrifice some of those words which,
on their native soil, lend such piquancy to the common
talk and conventional phrase. Wherever it has been
necessary to substitute for these synonyms more fa-
miliar in America, an earnest effort has been made to
do so without destroying the intimate style of the
author, which adds so much to the interest of his book.
In some instances it has been thought best to in-
corporate in the text suggestions as to methods which
have brought good results in teaching experience.


8 A Foreword

Sometimes a way of overcoming technical difficulties
different from that given in the original text has been
furnished. This has been done not to detract in any
way from the worth of Mr. Wilkinson's valuable work,
nor to cast a shadow of doubt on the wisdom of his ad-
vice. Rather, the desire has been to place before the
earnest student two solutions of the difficulty, from
which he may choose the one best adapted to his
particular case. When these interpolations have
touched upon any point likely to be controverted,
they have been placed in parentheses, so that the re-
sponsibility for the statements made might rest on the
"guilty" party.

Editions of music differ as to the printing out in
full of certain sections or abbreviating the pages by
the use of repeated passages between double bars with
dots. This may sometimes cause some slight confu-
sion as to numbers of measures ; but, with little trouble,
a careful student will be able to adjust this discrepancy.
In this matter the aim has been to make the text con-
form to the standard American editions, which prob-
ably will be the ones mostly used by our readers.

Where a rest of several measures has been indicated
by an abbreviation in a single measure, this has been
counted only as one. A measure divided by a double
bar, parts of it belonging to two different themes and
sometimes appearing on separate pages, has usually
had its two parts counted as one. Repeated passages
have been counted only once, giving credit, of course,
for all measures in double endings.

A few of the selections in Mr. Wilkinson's book have
been replaced by others. This has been for two reasons :

A Foreword 9

In America some of them are not easily available in
convenient form, and others would not appeal largely
to the American student of the type most apt to avail
himself of the use of the book. Compositions not
originally in Mr. Wilkinson's work are marked with an
asterisk (*).

This labor cannot end fittingly without an expres-
sion of appreciation for the great service which Mr.
Wilkinson has rendered the musical public, and espe-
cially those temporarily removed from the guidance of
a master, in compiling this book, a work which is replete
with the fruits of deep learning, wide experience, and
diligent search. To me its preparation for the Ameri-
can public has been full of the joy of service. It has
had in it much of the pleasure of the clasping of hands
with another fellow-worker "across the pond." May
its going into the world help to raise the standard of
musical culture and to bind closer the friendly feeling
which has long existed among the musical fraternities
represented by the author and myself.

Edward Ellsworth Hipsher-

Stray Thoughts

"Musicians: The nightingales of earth and heaven,
the historians of the human heart." — Neighbors.

"A musician is also a poet." — Beethoven.

"Music is not simply the work of the fingers, but of
the hand, the head, and the heart."— Tapper.

"Melody is the charm of music; and it is that which
is most difficult to produce." — Haydn.

"To be a true artist, you must be a true man." —

"In a broad sense, every piece of music is a study,
and the simplest is sometimes the most difficult." —


"Fame usually comes to those who are thinking
about something else." — Holmes.

"Simplicity, truth, and nature are the great funda-
mental principles of the beautiful in all artistic crea-
tion." — Mendelssohn.

"Music is not a means of physical pleasure. It is
one of the most subtle products of the human mind." —


"Truth lasts longest." — Mozart.

"The most precious reward you can receive for your
labor is the work done so well that you may feel proud
of it." — Tapper.

How to Play Well-known
Piano Solos

Le Coucou, Op. 34, No. 2


ROM the last syllable of the com-
poser's name you may guess he is a
Russian ; but here is nothing particu-
larly Slavonic. Indeed, why should
there be, since the bird's note is
heard over all Europe?

A joyous piece of music this, and,
therefore, attractive. How we all look forward each
spring to the cuckoo's call! Whether it be a Russian
bird or no, the welcome is widespread ; and it is always
a favorite theme for musician, poet, and painter. So
here Arensky has sketched out in a few touches of color
this grateful feeling.

Usually the bird's call forms a minor third, but here
it is a major third. The style is pastoral and requires
careful handling. Small, even to insignificance, it is
yet not unworthy of a place in the repertoire of the great
pianist whose name appears on the front page ; and when
I heard it I gladly thought this should be brought to
my readers' notice.


14 Well-knowTi Piano Solos

As in the bird's call, the "cuck" is always short, and
the "oo" long, so lift the pedal just when it is started.
Otherwise, two notes will sound together, a feat which
neither man nor bird can perform. The long tied half-
note must be struck again by the thumb, in measure 5,
and duly prolonged. At the double bar the skips of a
tenth may be facilitated for small hands, as thirds.

At the top of page 5 the chords are in rather unusual
position. Notice D, B present in each; and make a
slight halt before the f, to give it more zest.

Now this will be a capital piece to play from memory.
You will notice the calls are always F sharp, D; only,
an octave higher on page 5; and, for a beginner, this
should lessen the strain on the memory. Some there
are who simply play it a few times through and then
fortunately "get it off" by memory; but the majority
of young people cannot, so they say. Probably the lack
of acquaintance with the common chords and cadences
hinders them. Still I will never believe that, given the
determined will, one piece may not be memorized; so
delete the word "cannot" from the dictionary. The
chief point is not to be self-conscious. Then gain con-
fidence in one piece. It is not what you can remember,
but what you are likely to forget which needs concern
you. The first comes easily enough from your appreci-
ation of melody. There always are certain positions
and exigencies which, if not "cornered" and mentally
labeled, will bring about disaster. Perhaps it is the
position of a chord, wide or narrow, which brings a feel-
ing of doubt or insecurity. Or perhaps your fingering
is at fault, owing to negligence at the outset; for good
fingering always suggests the next note.

Arensky — Le Coucou, Op. 34, No. 2 15

These very stumbling-blocks may, indeed, become
helpful ; and if each is overcome and safely passed on the
journey — ^just as the Red Indian will blaze a trail with
his ax (? — Ed.) to be followed with ease — confidence is
gained. Then, if only you play the piece through once
from memory, why not twice? Or, to narrow it down,
if you can remember the first measure, why not two
measures; then why not sixteen?

A free and easy mental attitude is absolutely neces-
sary or the sequence of notes will not occur to the brain ;
and mental awkwardness is quite as important to avoid
as corporal restraint and stiffness.

Bourree in A Minor

From the English Suites

FEW days since, at an orchestral
concert, when Miss Fanny Davies
played the Schumann concerto, it
was dehghtful to hear the opening
strain of this Bourr^ as a second
encore to her solos. An old favor-
ite this, evidently of both of us.
When played so freshly, old Bach's music seemed to
renew its youth under her sensitive fingers. The cold
and apparently thin two-part writing can be made to
pulse with heart-beats; and, as though to emphasize
this thinness, the second Bourr^, in the major key,
is written in three- and, later on, in four-part harmony.
One wonders how Bach became conversant with
these old foreign dance rhythms; but we learn that
itinerant musicians carried them over civilized Europe
until they became almost acclimatized and popular.
The Bourr^ came from Spain, like the Sarabande,
which frequently precedes it in the suite. By the way,
what a lovely instance of a Sarabande in this suite.

The feature of the Bourr^ is the strong rhythm of
four-part measure beginning on a weak up-beat, un-
like the Gavotte, which begins on the third beat.


Bach — Fantasia Chromatica 17

To play it fluently, as in all Bach's music, demands a
thorough Bach training in this exclusive style. Great
independence of each finger and hand must be attained.
So much contrary motion is a stumbling-block to young
players; but, until the left hand part, which is equally
as tuneful and interesting as that of the right hand, is
conquered, the two hands will never flow together.
Therefore separate hand practice is indispensable.

There are several puzzling measures which you may
ring with a pencil — 5, 7, 15, 17, 28, 30 — each of which
has its own special difiiculty. But, indeed, many other
measures afford a pitfall, notably the ascending figure
in the conclusion of the first Bourrfe.

The second Bourr^e is more placid, owing to the
parallel motion. Much contrast to the preceding
comes from the frequent staccato quarter-notes, ten
of them, and also from the above-mentioned fuller

The two Bourr&s are alternated after the manner of
a minuet and trio. From this pleasing relief, afforded
one to the other, arose the modem song-form.

In the Peters edition the opening quarter-note is
marked with a sharp-pointed staccato, not a dot. If
this is well brought out, it adds much spirit and zest
to the dance rhythm.

Fantasia Chromatica

Well pleased am I to receive an intimation that a
few notes on Bach's Chromatic Fantasia would be
welcome. After some short lapse of time since play-

i8 Well-known Piano Solos

ing this splendid work, the old familiar strains come
back with quite ravishing effect. Bach holds the
unique position in art of perpetual youth. His music
never grows old or worn; and, it is said, if all com-
posers were blotted out of the world save one, Bach's
music could least be spared ; and that, if a prisoner with
musical bias were confined with only three books, they
would, by choice, be the Bible, Shakespeare, and Bach's

To all earnest students his music has a magical at-
traction, and I never have found a pupil wearying or
feeling it distasteful. Even the less musical find on
application a certain indescribable attraction. Mar-
vellous it seems that, in those far off years, when formal
construction and counterpoint ruled the day, such an
inspiration could have come to the composer. Yet
in this fantasia we find Bach soaring into romantic
regions, with the flight of an eagle, prophetically feeling
sure that in years to come it would be intelligible and
acceptable. How daring are these passages!

A fantasia is generally understood to be of a very
free design and not necessarily tied down by any rules
of construction; and yet we find here no backbone
lacking, but a perfect structure built up with the
greatest unity.

Had Bach possessed the modem piano with resonant
tone and pedal, that aid to sonority which is the feature
of piano playing today, he probably would endorse the
editions, we almost may call them arrangements, by
masters such as Busoni, who turn the fantasia into a
wonderful piece of "bravura" display. They go so
far as to add an octave below the bass in those grandiose

Bach — Fantasia Chromatica 19

series of chords, thus giving on a concert grand a superb,
rich effect. Further than this, several of the runs are
set for both hands in unison; but the edition I have
before me is the old Peters, and the superimposed
additions are carefully marked with light and shade and
varied tempo.

The trills, in accord with Joachim, who was the ac-
knowledged exponent of Bach, should always cease on
the dot, no turn being permissible. The rapid broken
scale passages are often set divided between the two
hands, thus attaining a greater brilliance than is other-
wise possible. This was Bach's manner and probable
invention. One particular passage, where the hands
rapidly cross and recross, generally causes astonish-
ment to the onlooker and a keen sense of "gusto" to
the performer.

The two opening roulades are the ascending and de-
scending melodic minor scale of D, and the difficulty
is to get absolute equality or, rather, equal length for
each note. There should be no break perceptible, no
suggestion of two hands being employed. At measure
7 the pedal may be used — indeed, wherever there is a
chord, but never on a scale.

It is diflScult to conceive how Bach could write such
a piece without the pedal; for, of course, in his day the
instrument was very imperfect, and the pedal, if in ex-
istence, of little value in sustaining the tone. Espe-
cially at 27 does the pedal tell on the deep, powerful
bass note. How witty is the composer's treatment of
fingering in 19.

The diminished seventh chord pervades the move-
ment; and, as it resolves readily on to another a semi-

20 Well-known Piano Solos

tone above or below, the fantasia is distinctly chromatic.
The last six measures, on a tonic pedal bass, are formed
from a series of sinking chromatic chords; and the
subject of the fugue is also tinged with these semi-

Gigue in G

French Suite

How much more frequently than formerly do we
hear, "Play us a bit of Bach." Whether to open a
program in chronological order or interposed midway,
old Bach's antique measures always hold the attention
and afford relief. Beauty of form and marv^ellous in-
genuity of construction take the place of emotional

This gigue has such a jolly, rollicking subject that
the least musical hearer is at once in accord with the
theme. Like that in F major from the English suites,
it is full of animal spirits. There is no contrasting
theme, variety being obtained by the inversion of the
subject at the double bar.

Many fairly good pianists who have, unfortunately
for themselves, neglected the continuous study of
Bach, find the correct playing of part-writing most
difficult. Not only is it a technical task, but also the
ability to follow aurally the flow of the independent
parts is gained only by the study of his two- and three-
part inventions specially written for this purpose. If
any such delinquent essays studying this gigue and will

Bach — Gigue in G 21

profit by the following practical instructions, he may
eventually play it.

First and foremost, separate hand study, and espe-
cially of that hand which contains two parts, must
imprint on the memory the movement of each voice
part. Sometimes the possessor of a well-trained hand
finds it hard to play a duet within the five fingers, prop-
erly and cleanly, especially when suspensions have to
be resolved. It is really the art of listening which is
then defective; and, to gain this critical ability, the
two-part inventions should be well studied before the
more difficult task of listening to three-part music is

At measure 18 is a good example of the part-playing
difficulty above alluded to. It should always be under-
stood that a note held down on the piano is sounding
without diminution of tone, as it would on an organ.
Therefore, in this measure, for instance, right hand,
there must be two notes down simultaneously, except
where the sixteenth rests appear. Perhaps if you will
play these two measures experimentally, "up and
down" as one melody, it will help you to hear the differ-
ence. But the best way is to play these two right-hand
measures with two hands until you hear both the upper
note ascend and the under notes remain stationary,
in what is called obhque motion.

Particularly difficult is the passage beginning at 11,
after the double bar. In Czerny's fingering each in-
version of the triad is fitted with such fingering as you
would use if struck as a chord. Notice also the three-
fold sequence; and, if possible, use the same fingering
for each of the three motives.

22 Well-known Piano Solos

Let me repeat that the essential of success is the
abihty to play well each separate hand's part until the
themes remain in the memory; and this ability comes
only from assiduous practice. This gigue concludes
one of the happiest suites of the old Leipzig Cantor;
and, once conquered, I make bold to say will be one of
the last selections to remain in your repertoire.

*Loure in G


From Third Violoncello Suite


This bright piece is so full of abounding vitality that
the student and audience are made to forget it is a clas-
sic of the strictest polyphonic type. While the chief
melody stays all the time at the top (in the soprano),
yet there are so many counter-themes and such an
abundance of beautiful little passages of part-writing
that, to those students who would be bored by a
fugue, it serves as a fine stepping-stone to something
"higher up."

This time we are to study a piece of "Absolute
Music," in which the "emotional" or "romantic"
clement gives first place to "beauty of fonn and
melody." The phrases are to be as beautifully rounded
as the features of a Greek statue. Consequently, the
execution must be characterized by the greatest pos-
sible neatness and finish.

Bach— Loure in G 23

In the first period, staccato is a distinctive feature
When the notes are single, as the first two for the nght
hand, do them by a fight snap of the finger, to which-
ever hand they may faU. When the notes corne m
combination, as on the second beat o^ ^he ^r \fuU
measure, let the hand bound lightly on the keys from
a very loose wrist, aUowing as much of the weight of
the W or arm to fall on the keys as wiU assist m
bringing out the desired amount ot tone, though this
will come primarily from the grasp of the finger fjje
moment it comes in contact with the key. The tr^,
in 2. is best converted into a five-note turn-I^ sharp,
G, F sharp. E. F sharp-which must divide the full
count into five exactly even parts and must lead
smoothly to the following E.

The large chords will be " drawn out full not by a
stroke, but by a grasp of the hand. The pedal may be
used with each of these to aid in the development of
their sonorous property. It is necessary to the ex-
tended chords at the beginning of measures i and 7,
where all hands of ordinary size must "arpeggio the
chords for the left hand, and, of course, the bass tone
must be sustained after the little finger has gone on its

1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18

Online LibraryCharles W WilkinsonWell-known piano solos, how to play them → online text (page 1 of 18)