Love it when I catch myself making the same mistakes that I bag at my students about! It keeps me grounded, and human, and laughing.
Sight-reading my way through the “B”s I played through my collection of Burgmüller today – Opus 100, 105, 109 – I turned the page and started playing op. 105 no. 12.
I didn’t actually LOOK at the key signature and my brain registered it as 6/8 based on the 2nd and 3rd eighth notes being beamed together in the first complete bar. I was playing along in a nice 6/8 lilt, thinking about the delightful rest on the 2nd beat (come to think of it, uncharacterstic for Burgmüller), when I got to the 4th line and just couldn’t put the thing together. Finally, I looked back and restarted correctly, but by then the charm of the piece was gone. It does, however, have an impressive sounding ending – one of those passages that sounds harder than it is.
Opus 105 is a collection of early advanced studies (not listed in the RCM syllabus, but nos. 2-12 are on the Conservatory Canada alternate study list for grade 9). In a perfect world (in a world not ruled at that level by any looming exams) these would be great teaching pieces. All the technical skills needed for advanced music are covered – scales, arpeggios, rapidly repeated notes, fast octaves, voicing, and more. If they are less musical than etudes by other composers (like Chopin), they will at least pave the way for the good, technically demanding repertoire. As with much music, this is available at IMSLP.org.
- Bach, Bartok, Brahms, Bortkewicz, Burgmuller, Busoni, Buxtehude (ladonasmusicstudio.com)