Balazs - Trudging
Arpad Balazs is a Hungarian composer born in 1937 who studied composition in Budapest and Rome.
For more information about his compositions try:
The original title of the piece 'trotten' translates as 'trotting.'
Pupil Match & Suitability
This is a great teaching piece, since it is easy to learn.
It could be used as a focus on rhythmic playing, and for building up skill in chord playing in the RH.
Building up finger strength and working on wrist freedom are also important aspects.
Style & Tempo
A more contemporary style often based in the dorian mode but with some chromatic shifts.
It is not a virtuosic piece and too fast a tempo will not give it the character the composer intended. "Ma non lento" certainly, but pesante.
Note that the original title has been changed in translation from 'trotting' to 'trudging,' so there is some leeway for interpretation here.
Phrasing & Articulation
The score makes it clear what is needed.
Throughout, the quaver lengths should be long.
There is a deliberate sense of monotony which requires a static, almost hypnotic momentum. Any attempt to shape the phrasing is likely to change the character from that intended, however successful you might feel that is.
Tone & Texture
The tone between hands can be level.
Note the sforzandi in bar8 amd the dim poco a poco from bar17.
This is ideal to practise simple LH/RH co-ordination.
Providing fingers are firm and a simple wrist staccato trechnique is used, then this should not prove difficult to play.
Try out the simple exercises suggested.
There are quite a few possibilities here.
The key point to emphasize - and this is true for any fingering situation - is that the fingering should best suit the hand and musical context. Therefore there is often not a single best fingering.
Sorting out the fingering should be thought through in the first lesson as inconsistencies here will provoke problems.
Insist on clarity of chord playing technique from the start, too. This is not a hard piece, but can sound very uneven if the correct kind of chord technique is not set up.
Getting your students to know what is in time and what is not in time is crucial.
Get students used to how to use a metronome. Many can play with a metronome but are not listening to it and to themselves.
Work on this skill over time in the lesson before expecting them to try this out successfully at home.
Keeping the tempo steady is likely to be a main issue here.
Be prepared to spend time working at awareness in performance, since this could be the main problem when it comes to the performance itself.
However, if other problems are apparent these need fixing first.
Balazs Trudging Grade 1 Level
An excellent performance will have a keen rhythmic clarity to the articulation of chords and a consistent flow of easy co-ordination between the hands. It will also be well shaped.
A good performance may not display quite the same degree of control over chord playing but will have a good rhythmic flow and dynamics.
A sound performance will have a careful tempo but may be a bit sloppy in its detail and might not convey the confidence that a better performance shows. Even so, there should be consistency of pulse throughout.