« The neverending characters of phrasing»
Etude for the right hand: to quickly put two fingers on the same note.
The following Etude contains to the same degree the two working subjects offered by music: performance and phrasing; the latter can only be taught by example. Either nature has been more or less prodigal towards the student, his feeling must be regulated by taste, because by always expressing it as he feels it, he would often fall into overstatement. In all the arts, until experience has matured skill, there is always a fear that we will not show enough of what we know, and especially what we feel. Among the neverending characters of phrasing, the student will learn to identify two main types, which will be used as a guide for the application of his musical feeling. In one, the expression is generally widespread throughout the piece; one can say in a way that it is followed as the theme of which it is part. In the other, the phrase is varied like the piece itself, which, instead of being conceived with a single subject, is divided into songs and lines. In the first character, the expression must spread like a general colour; and for it to have an effect in this way, it must be mastered, otherwise it would become tiring for the exercised ears. In the second character, it will be carried with all its vivacity on the song, or the passage which will be able to receive it, in order to make it prominent: thus we can say that the effect of the expression lies in the unity for the first kind of music, and in the contrasts for the second; the Etude below belongs to the first category. As for its mechanical part, the notes being all tied by two, one must carefully avoid hurrying the first over the second but on the contrary, this first note must produce almost the same effect as if it were dotted throughout the piece: the bass must be played legato and not too strong. (H. de Montgeroult)
(Edna Stern – 2017)