Within the boundless sea of solo piano repertoire sits a small niche of one-hand works, the majority dedicated to the left hand. The growth of left-hand repertoire mirrored the rise of the nineteenth century virtuoso. Keyboard literature tends to favor virtuosity in the right hand. As compositions demanded more from the right hand, the number of injuries to it increased. Left-hand works may therefore serve a pedagogical purpose and provide relief for pianists seeking to accommodate for injury. In comparison there is a relative dearth of solo works for the right hand alone. The attention granted this hand in the standard repertoire has overshadowed interest in right-hand only works, and it is only in recent history that such pieces have been generated in greater volume. To compensate for this lack of material, players may consider adapting left-hand works for the other hand.
Saint-Saëns’s Op. 135, Six etudes for the left hand, is one such work. Commissioned in 1912 by virtuoso Caroline de Serres after she had temporarily immobilized her right hand, these pieces are a set of neo-Baroque dance suites that exhibit Saint-Saëns’s conservative style with Romantic flair. While designed for left hand, the challenges encountered in adapting certain pieces of the set for the right reveal their pedagogical value for both hands. This paper will explore idiomatic figurations for either hand and discuss technical areas such as fingering, voicing, and “pianistic” figuration, specifically pointing to instances of arpeggiation, tremolo, and monophonic textures that may lend themselves more easily to right-hand adaptation.
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|Commitee:||Richey, Craig, Lindau, Elizabeth|
|School:||California State University, Long Beach|
|Department:||Bob Cole Conservatory of Music|
|School Location:||United States -- California|
|Source:||MAI 81/4(E), Masters Abstracts International|
|Keywords:||Left hand etudes, One-hand, Op. 135, Piano, Saint-Saëns|
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