Erik Satie: Valse-Ballet Op 62

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The writing style for this piece veers towards Classical rather than the more abstract forward-thinking style of Vexations (1893) and Sports et divertissements (1914).

On Sale: 14/10/2022

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Erik Satie: Valse-Ballet Op 62

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Think of Erik Satie, and it’s his accessible Gymnopédies that are at the top of the piano-playing list. But there are other more challenging yet accessible works, such as the sentimental Je te veux (featured inside issue 84), the tricky Le Piccadilly (issue 106) and this graceful Valse-Ballet which was composed in 1885.

Playing tips: Like most waltzes, the LH takes care of the three-beat rhythmic pulse. Secure the LH first by practising it slowly, on its own. Then study the RH carefully: think in long sweeping phrases, always playing ‘over’ the bar line. The hardest moments are the forte jumps at bars 8, 16 and throughout. Take these bars out of context and practise the jumps slowly, making sure that all notes are secure.

A practising tip for the jumps: As soon as you have played one chord, move as quickly as possible to the next (don’t lift the hands too far from the keys, as you’ll lose valuable time), then place the fingers over the notes of the second chord for a split second before you depress the notes. Use this practice technique for all the jumps; they are such a strong trademark of the piece, so they need to sound dazzlingly brilliant.

Pedal tips: See suggested pedalling on the score.

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