Repertoire Project: Khachaturian – Etude (from Pictures of Childhood)

This is the first in my ‘…in bits…’ series; a collection of videos designed to be partly tutorial in style, with a full video recording followed by multiple recordings of hands separate, slow tempo, voice separate, or anything else which I think would be useful in learning each individual piece of music.

Khachaturian’s Etude is a complex piece; it appears fast and unrelenting, and yet it is delicate and needs a surprising amount of space to breathe.  The difference in articulation between the tenuto right hand and the staccato left is technically demanding, especially for the intermediate pianist that this piece is aimed at, there needs to be careful listening skills and awareness of physical keyboard touch taking place to ensure each voice remains faithful to its line when putting hands together.

This etude is a personal favourite of mine; not just because it is great fun to play (seriously, it really is!), but because it is is so peculiarly gentle inside its world of deceptive freneticism.

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