Suite Simpliste, Complete

Year of composition
Difficult (Grades 7+)
26 minutes
Modern classical music
Solo instrument (Piano)
Instrumental parts
Not available

Created in the style of a Baroque dance suite, the Suite Simpliste (or Simplistic Suite) is a fun-to-play, musically complex piece for the advanced pianist. From the rhythmic Prélude to the lilting Menuet, the stately Pavane to the rippling Courante, the Suite provides opportunity for the pianist to display many aspects of character. (Note: the individual movements are also available.)

The Prélude should be played uniformly and rubato used sparingly. Its counterpoint should contrast the comparably simple Courante, so be sure to emphasize this when playing. Use the sustain pedal as little as possible throughout the movement.

The Courante, however, should flow smoothly; use the sustain pedal often to achieve this. Pay special attention to the switching of hands (remember, m.s. = left hand, m.d. = right hand) as this augments the fluidity of the piece, and also makes it more fun to play. Keep the changes in tempo to a minimum.

The following movement, the Pavane, contrasts starkly with the Courante. Not only is the movement much slower, but it should also be played with great amounts of rubato. Make sure to bring out the melody over the large chords being played beneath. Give the movement lots of breath and feeling.

The Menuet is characterized by hand crossing. Pay close attention so the melody is emphasized over the accompanying chords. Feel free to perform this piece as a waltz, where the tempo fluctuates between the second and third beat of each measure, especially during the middle section of the piece.

The final movement is a majestic four-part Fugue. Make sure to bring out the correct voice while de-emphasizing the others; this can be especially difficult when all four voices are playing simultaneously. Even though the Fugue is complex and somewhat robotic, still give it ample feeling. Also, maintain the fluidity of the opening theme by crossing hands. Use the sustaining pedal as needed throughout.

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