Piano Technique: playing parallel octaves in LEGATO (Video and score attached)

It just so happens that Mozart’s Variation 3 of his Sonata in A Major, K. 331, presents the challenge of playing parallel octaves in LEGATO (smooth and connected) And to make the task even more complex, the composer uses the A minor tonality, with F# and G# inserted into the passage fleshing out the MELODIC form. It can become a slippery slope in any case, no matter what key is assigned to a passage like this.

Taking these snatches from the piano literature serves a double purpose. It builds technique as it expands repertoire.

In the attached video I demonstrate ways to practice legato octaves in a step-wise manner, emphasizing the need for a good, facile fingering. In addition, a supple wrist and roll of the arm also helps a student navigate the tricky musical terrain.

Behind tempo practice is always recommended, with a deep physical, and ear-attentive connection to notes and phrases. In this case the octaves have to play out in curves, like the preceding line, which meanders along as a singular spun melody. One can consider the octaves to be a variant of this opening phrase.

Posted in Journal of a Piano Teacher from New York to California, Mozart Sonata in A Major K. 331, parallel octaves in legato at the piano, pianist, piano, piano lessons, piano technique, playing parallel octaves, playing piano, Shirley Kirsten, Shirley Smith Kirsten, third variation Mozart Sonata in A Major K. 331 | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment | Edit

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