Gurlitt: Cradle Song Op 117 No 17
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He won success as a performer and teacher in Copenhagen, Rome and Leipzig before returning to his birthplace of Altona to end his career as a bandmaster. His First Lessons Op 117 comprise 34 pieces in total.
Playing tips: A calm tenderness is needed throughout. Count the pulse silently for about three bars before you begin. It is most important to keep in time, making sure not to slow down or speed up. The LH is the gentle accompaniment and the RH the pretty melody. Always make a slight emphasis on the first beat of the bar. Note how the dynamics do not rise above mezzo forte. Aside from the crescendo and diminuendo in bar 3, and the diminuendo at bar 12, the mood is one of utter tranquility. Pedalling is not required (try to make a fine legato without it!).
This piece is a perfect sight-reading exercise for the more advanced player.