My First Book of Tchaikovsky: Favorite Pieces in Easy Piano Arrangements

My First Book of Tchaikovsky: Favorite Pieces in Easy Piano Arrangements

by David Dutkanicz
     
 

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This collection of effortless arrangements allows beginning pianists to experience the pleasure of playing favorite Tchaikovsky compositions. Offering an inspiring mix of tempos and moods, the twenty-one simplified compositions include themes from The Nutcracker, Romeo and Juliet, Swan Lake, Sleeping Beauty, and other popular works. My First Book of

Overview

This collection of effortless arrangements allows beginning pianists to experience the pleasure of playing favorite Tchaikovsky compositions. Offering an inspiring mix of tempos and moods, the twenty-one simplified compositions include themes from The Nutcracker, Romeo and Juliet, Swan Lake, Sleeping Beauty, and other popular works. My First Book of Tchaikovsky is a wonderful introduction to the nineteenth-century master — and a unique way for novices to expand their repertoires! Additional Tchaikovsky treasures include 1812 Overture, Symphonies Nos. 5 and 6, March Slav, and Hurdy-Gurdy.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780486171609
Publisher:
Dover Publications
Publication date:
03/21/2013
Series:
Dover Music for Piano
Sold by:
Barnes & Noble
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
48
File size:
6 MB
Age Range:
4 Years

Read an Excerpt

My First Book of Tchaikovsky

Favorite Pieces in Easy Piano Arrangements


By DAVID DUTKANICZ

Dover Publications, Inc.

Copyright © 2008 Dover Publications, Inc.
All rights reserved.
ISBN: 978-0-486-17160-9



CHAPTER 1

Sleeping Beauty Waltz

This beautiful waltz is from Tchaikovsky's famous ballet Sleeping Beauty. You've no doubt heard it before on many different occasions. Keep the tempo steady, and be expressive as you sharply slow the tempo at the rallantando (rall.).


Mazurka


from Children's Album

The mazurka is a Polish dance. Shape the phrases louder and softer as the melody rises up and down. Use the dynamics to contrast the different moods of the piece.


1812 Overture


Opening Chorale

This simple yet powerful chorale opens Tchaikovsky's famous 1812 Overture. The text reads: "O Lord, save Thy people." Tchaikovsky wrote this overture to commemorate Russia's victory over Napoleon's invasion in the year 1812.


Piano Concerto


(Theme)

Tchaikovsky finished his first piano concerto in February, 1875. The famous melody is based on a peasant melody the composer heard at a market near Kiev. Use the ritardando (rit.) at the end to softly bring the melody to an end.


Piano Concerto


(2nd Movement Theme)

The second movement of the piano concerto is a gentle melody used to contrast the energy of the previous movement. The molto ritardando calls for a great reduction in tempo, and the a tempo brings it back to the original pulse. Fast and slow can be used to contrast sections just as effectively as loud and soft.


Hurdy-Gurdy


from Children's Album

The hurdy-gurdy is an old instrument similar to a cross between an accordion and a violin. It was a popular instrument in the village, and often used in dances. Keep the tempo upbeat and imagine a happy dance scene.


The Sick Doll


from Children's Album

This sad melody from Tchaikovsky's Children's Album uses broken chords, also known as arpeggios. When playing, don't think of the notes as being separate from one another, but rather as links in a chain. This will help you play more musically and evenly.


Waltz of the Flowers


from The Nutcracker

This charming waltz is one of the most played from The Nutcracker. Pay attention to how Tchaikovsky adds thirds in the right hand (starting on page 20) to sweeten the melody in the left hand. Also, feel free to slow the tempo as you wish at the rubato—just be sure to return to your original pace at the a tempo.


Romeo and Juliet


(Theme)

Shakespeare has long served to inspire composers, such as Mendelssohn and Verdi. Tchaikovsky wrote an orchestral piece based on the tragic story of Romeo and Juliet. You'll find that he uses accidentals to portray the emotion of the work, such as the D[??] in the right hand at the end.


March Slav

Tchaikovsky composed March Slav to benefit the opening of a veteran's hospital. This melody is taken from a Serbian folksong. You'll notice how the "Oriental" sounding D# represents the various cultural influences that passed through the Balkans.


Swan Lake


(Theme)

Swan Lake is a popular ballet that tells the story of Prince Siegfried and his love, Princess Odette. As with many musical tragedies, composers use contrast to show the different sides of the story. Here, the opening theme is tragic and in minor, contrasted by a lighter melody in major on page 27.


Symphony No. 5


(Theme)

This charming theme is taken from the opening of the second movement of the symphony. It was originally written to be played by the French horn. Pay close attention that the triplets are played evenly.


Symphony No. 6


(Theme)

Tchaikovsky wrote a total of six symphonies. The last one is nicknamed Pathétique. Don't rush the tempo, and let the melody gently flow


Nutcracker Overture

This overture opens the festive ballet. It is the story of a magical Christmas Eve, where a young girl named Clare witnesses her Christmas gifts and decorations come to life. It was first performed in St. Petersburg in 1892 and is now a staple of the holiday season.


The New Doll


from Children's Album

Tchaikovsky wrote 24 little piano pieces that he collected into a Children's Album. These works paint a portrait of a child's life and were intended to be played by beginners. The New Doll is a happy piece intended to put a smile on a performer's and listener's face.


French Song


from Children's Album

At the time that Tchaikovsky was an active composer, it was very popular to sample cultures of other countries. This held especially true in music, where foreign tunes were frequently adapted to local tastes. Here is an example of a French melody adapted by the composer.


Eugene Onegin Waltz

This catchy waltz is taken from the opera Eugene Onegin. Be careful not to rush the trickier passages. Practice them slowly and bring them up to speed little by little.


1812 Overture


(Allegro)

This famous passage from the 1812 Overture is synonymous with fireworks and the Fourth of July. Tchaikovsky wrote the work for a huge orchestra—and even wrote a part for real cannons to fire! Keep the tempo festive, and light up the keyboard.


Nutcracker March

You have no doubt heard this march a number of times, especially during the holiday season. Be mindful of the triplets, and keep the mood light. Also, in the last four measures, play the melody smoothly as if with one hand.


Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy


from The Nutcracker

Before you begin to practice this piece, take a moment to look over the accidentals. They may seem a little frightening at first, but you'll notice that they are usually neighbors of other notes used for a mysterious effect. And of course, pay close attention to the clefs.


Dance of the Swans


from Swan Lake

This wonderful melody from Swan Lake is an excellent exercise in octave movement. The theme is played three times: each time, it is exactly the same only an octave higher. You can use the same fingerings, just be mindful of the changing dynamics.


(Continues...)

Excerpted from My First Book of Tchaikovsky by DAVID DUTKANICZ. Copyright © 2008 Dover Publications, Inc.. Excerpted by permission of Dover Publications, Inc..
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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