Piano Song - Val Del Recuerdo Part 2

Every piano song has a small segment that defines its persona. In Val Del Requerdo I think it would be the ringing of the the ornaments, the first of which appears in the sixth bar of the second line of the song.

An ornament appears as a note on the music sheet in a much smaller font very close the note next to it, with a small slur line connecting them. The ornament is played exceedingly faster than the normal rhythm of the phrase resulting in a sudden ringing sound.

The first ornament that appears in this piano song is the climax that leads us to the next stage of the piece - a level that demands a higher proficiency in piano technique. As of now, the right hand has to play double note chords of mostly octave notes.

Open the fingers on your right hand wide. Place them on the keyboard. The first octave is an “A”. Can your thumb and pinkie press on the two “A”s together firmly?

If they can, then you have the hand position correct. Next is to loosen the hand and wrist a bit by not overstretching. The hand has to form a dome shape with fingers curved. You will not be able to play if the fingers are stretched out straight.

The secret to pulling off a smooth phrase of octaves on the piano is to lead your hand with the arm. If the octave is in the treble clef and ascending, move your right arm to the right. The arm is the engine that will bring the wrist and the hand up the scale of the piano. There should not be too much strain on the hand and wrist because they are not the ones doing the heavy lifting, the arm is.

I should emphasize this point because I too have a tendency to play octaves using mostly the force from my hand. This only causes the hand to exhaust itself and the octaves’ intended dazzling effects get loss.

The one thing that makes this song a little easier to play is the absense of keys signature near the clef signs. Without them we can focus our attention on the notes alone. No danger of overlooking to hit a black key anywhere.

Until the fifth bar of the fifth line that is. Here is where the octaves of “G#” and “F#” make an appearance in the treble clef. They are to be played in succession, while the left hand is asked to play a “G#” in the same bar.

For me this is the most challenging bar of the song. It requires intense concentration to coordinate both hands to play the octaves with accidentals, while keeping the flow of the musical phrase going on without hesitation.

Successful execution of this segment of the song is an excuse for some wild celebration. You have mastered all the octave plays left in the song. The same phrase is repeated in the finale ending the piano song with a roll of the fingers in the last bar.

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