Scarlatti - Minuetto in C K73 L217
Domenico Scarlatti (1685 - 1757) was renowned for his many keyboard sonatas and the virtuosity of his writing.
This minuetto comes from his C minor sonata K73/L217.
Pupil Match & Suitability
A fairly easy pieces at a grade 2 level.
Good for evenness of tone and gentleness of phrasing with some sensitivity towards harmonic context too.
Style & Tempo
"Baroque style" means relatively little on its own. Whilst this belongs to the period known as the Baroque, the style itself refers to what kind of piece this is.
As it is a minuet, it is essentially a piece of dance music, and here with a fairly stately three in a bar feel to it.
Phrasing & Articulation
Any phrase marks in your particular edition will be most likely editorial ones.
It is not necessary to become fussy with the articulation. A mainly legato LH works well - however the important aspect is to feel the long - short - long of the crotchet/quaver LH momentum gently pulsating away in the background.
Tone & Texture
The tone should be singing but quite light. A heavy legato tone would be out of place - this is a gentle piece, essentially.
The two part texture comes through quite easily, but be certain not to let fingers over-hold anywhere.
A clear and even finger technique is needed.
Overlapping notes should be discouraged and work on simple finger exercises done as practice if you find students are being lazy with their fingers.
The RH fingering is straightforward.
The only important point to note about the LH fingering is to ensure that a thumb is used at the beginning of bars 9 and on the second beat of bar 19 and the third beat of bar 26.
None is necessary, although if you want to add a something sensitive at the two C major cadence points then you could try a simple mordent.
Alway a good idea to teach the mood of the piece from the outset.
Do demonstrate and play the piece to your student so that they get a good idea of what to listen for when they come to learning and playing it.
Encourage a firm sound. Don't let it become thin and inexpressive.
Always encourage confident, musical playing in every lesson, no matter how small the section being worked upon.
Encourage your students to play with the minimum of looking down at their hands and back up to the printed page. This only serves as a distraction and the habit can get in the way of fluency in a serious way.
Reward careful practice well and always encourage slow practice but slow, rhythmic and fluent working.
Judging the tone on an unfamiliar piano is always a challenge. So if your student is going to play this piece in performance, be sure to have had sufficient practice playing on different instruments.
Encourage your students to listen and self-assess their own playing so that they can gradually become more accustomed to being in charge of their own performance and not simply allow it run away with itself due to nerves, or to set off at the incorrect tempo.
An excellent performance will be poised and even though the piece is very short, it will have a range of nuances and musical inflexions. The mood will be elegant and the musical feeling sensitive.
A good performance will have shape and a sense of the dance, although it may not have all the subtleties needed for a really special and poised performance. It may well be a little inconsistent at times.
A sound performance will be rhythmic and fluent, but may not show a great deal of musical potential. The tone may well be bumpy and uneven in places. However the accuracy will be good.