Miniature Concerto for Piano.
The Miniature Concerto is a work in three movements for two pianos, four hands. Piano two opens Movement I, Allegro con spiritoso, with staccato chords, followed by piano one with a perky theme. In ABA form, A and B sections end with two- or three-measure "mini-cadenzas." Rhythm is not complex--quarter notes and scale patterns of eighth notes. Piano one is easier, lying largely within a two-octave range. Piano two has technical challenges and a few awkward moves.
Movement II, Adagio expressivo, is piano one's solo, while piano two accompanies with moving lines. Melody is lovely and lyrical; however, the first eight measures were difficult to phrase convincingly, as marked. The first sixteen measures end with an arpeggiated cadence in piano two. After returning to the first eight measures, piano two has some melody, and the movement closes with piano one recalling the opening, as piano two accompanies. In this sweetly expressive movement, some dynamic markings are questionable, such as "mf" in the middle of phrases (printing error?).
Movement III, a rondo-like Scherzando in 6/8, is more musically and technically equal between parts. (But again piano two has a few tricky moves, including double thirds.) About four thematic ideas appear, and a short coda builds to the final chords. Light texture, staccato and two-note slurs, make for sprightly character.
Depending on players, one might adjust pedaling--delete during some quick passages, or add a bit in movement II for richer sound. The work, labeled early intermediate, requires at least that level for piano two; piano one makes fewer demands of range and movement. The Concerto--in F major, with quite traditional harmonies and a few sixth and seventh chords--contains some fresh sounds and should appeal to young players.
Reviewed by Carmen Shaw, NCTM, Oshkosh, Wisconsin.
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|Publication:||American Music Teacher|
|Date:||Dec 1, 2004|
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