by Jenny Bay
Today's piece: Album Leaf, Op. 31, No. 11, from 12 Children's Pieces, by Reinhold Gliere (who, by the way, taught Prokofiev at the Moscow Conservatory)
Level: Late intermediate
Teaches: Artistry, including beautiful phrasing, graded dynamics, sound production, playing with expression, rubato - you name it, this piece is very Romantic with a slightly modern twist!
Listen: I wish I could find a recording, but I can't!
Find the music: I found it in this great Repertoire book by Lynn Freeman Olson. I have also seen it online here and here.
So I found this great little piece while playing through some music I have. It is perfect for the late intermediate student to work on artistry. It is the subtle nuance, the slight change of color and sound, and the careful phrasing that will make this short little Romantic piece, or break it. If you can help your student to achieve a truly beautiful performance of this piece, the audience will be on the edge of their seats, enchanted by the beautiful harmonies and use of dynamics. I think the thing I love about this piece are the beautiful dissonant harmonies that resolve so subtly and beautifully. It makes me want to watch some old classic romance, like An Affair to Remember. sigh....