Prelude: Winter – Performance Notes

Slow, soft and mysterious, this piece can be played with some rubato. For instance, don't worry about leaving a gap in the middle of bar 3 where the left hand leaps down almost the whole length of the piano. Getting it gentle and deliberate is better than snatching at it to keep it in time. This is in fact the hardest bit in the whole piece: once you've got that mastered, you'll be able to manage the other leaps which are all much easier and constitute the only real technical challenge here.

While rubato is here good, watch that some of the interesting rhythms don't get obscured. For instance, in bar 4 the second right hand chord comes before the third beat, which means the climax, which coincides with the third beat, is carried by the left hand alone. Or in bar 28 (which doesn't need to be in strict time), watch that the delay between the first chord and the first top G♯ is markedly shorter than the gap between the second chord and second top G♯.

If you're really struggling to get it gentle enough, the entire piece could be played with the soft pedal.

Performance Notes

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The Thaw

Read more performance notes:

1. Prelude: Winter
2. The Thaw
3. Fleeting Clouds
4. Snowdrops
5. Festival

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