In this month’s Practice Clinic, Graham Fitch answered questions on works by de Falla and Dohnányi. Topics discussed included achieving lightness, using rotation in arpeggios and double notes.

de Falla and Dohnányi

Practice clinic questions

Manuel de Falla Seranata Andaluza  (in Pianist Magazine Issue 124, bars 1-16) – I am having trouble keeping it light enough. Also, I have a very small hand and the left hand arpeggios are not very fluid. Could you suggest some practice strategies to address these issues?

Using rotations in two octave arpeggios – How does one play a two octave arpeggio using the single and double rotation without stretching of the fingers? I find this technique a little awkward; especially when negotiating the next octave.

Use of double sharps vs natural signs – Why is F double sharp used in the Moonlight Sonata (third movement, bar 8)?

Dohnányi Rhapsody No. 3 in C major, Op. 11 – I have just started this work and am struggling with the opening section, particularly how to nail the first few bars and to play the second theme lightly and with character. Also, from bar 35 I find my right hand seizing up with the double notes and I just can’t coordinate.

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Further information on how our practice clinics work is available here or please click here to find out more about the Online Academy.