Bennett - Thursday
Interpreting the Music
Teaching & Learning the Piece
• All white notes
• Quiet and gentle
• 2-note chords featured
• Holding ties
• Some repositioning but relaxed
Sir Richard Rodney Bennett has composed a very wide range of music in many styles and genres. As well as piano, choral and orchestral works he has composed film and TV scores – including the music for an episode of Doctor Who in 1964.
The title of this piece, Thursday, is abstract but the tempo marking is dolce - so the student can imagine what a sweet or gentle Thursday might mean for them. The interesting choice of key adds to the relaxed feeling: whilst clearly centred on G, there is no F sharp, so in terms of music theory it is in the Mixolydian mode. In practice, the student can bear in mind that there are no black notes to worry about!
There are some technical challenges to overcome on the way to a really good performance: in particular, many pairs of thirds include a repeated note which makes legato playing more difficult.
The composer makes it clear with his slur lines that he wants them to be joined. Some students may not yet be ready to do this feat of coordination and careful listening.
Where there are rests, keep the fingers close to the keys and reposition them neatly and calmly. There are a couple of larger moves (further than a note or two) which may need extra practice: LH in bar 5 and bars 12-13. Another point to watch is the need to hold notes down in the last two bars. The RH fingering must be followed so that 4 can hold the D.