César Cui: Open-hearted sincerity Op 20 No 1

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Of French-Lithuanian descent, César Cui was one of Russia’s ‘Mighty Handful’ of composers along with Mussorgsky, Rimsky-Korsakov, Borodin and Balakirev.

On Sale: 14/10/2022

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César Cui: Open-hearted sincerity Op 20 No 1

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This restrained, yet pretty Romantic work, is the opening piece from Cui’s set of 12 Miniatures Op 20 which he composed in 1882. The title of this particular piece took a lot of research and investigating (it is commonly referred to as Expansion naïve, which makes little sense). Thankfully, a trusted Russian colleague came to the rescue.

Playing tips: Notice the down/up motifs in the LH, with the quaver rests separating them: think of these motifs as being like sudden intakes of breath over which the RH melody sings its tune. That melody, too, takes up the two-note motif. Linger on some of the top RH notes, for extra poignancy, allowing for some rubato here and there. Adhering to the dynamics will help shape the phrases. The LH takes over the melody briefly at bar 8, so make sure that the listener can hear it. At bars 15-16 allow for a beautifully-judged long ritardando. Ditto at the ending.

Pedal tips: See markings on the score.

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