IMPROVE YOUR PIANO SOUND in Kabalevsky’s Magical “Lullaby”

Working at SOUND QUALITY on the PIANO should an important part of your PIANO TECHNIQUE

by Lars Nelissen // updated: March 17, 2023

Improve your piano sound in Kabalevsky's "Cradle Song"

Click and Read the Video Script

In this video we're going to do

from Dimitri Kabalevsky "Lullaby".

This lullaby is like a dream.

It's a very dreamy atmosphere.

It's like a little story in a dream.

That's how it should be played and performed.

And it's a nice piece to work on,

to have this esoteric sound quality

and a 'Cantabile' melody.

Also we learn the independence of left and right,

the switching of the melody

between, first the right hand,

and then it comes back in the left hand.

The notes are not very complex.

In previous videos

I did a few other pieces of Kabalevsky;

Etude in a-minor

from the children's album

and A little story.

Dimitri Kabalevsky,

he wrote not only children's pieces.

He wrote beautiful piano sonatas.

Vladimir Horowitz recorded

a few of them. Brilliant pieces

and they certainly are

no less genius than the Prokofiev Sonatas.

I would certainly check them out

and I would certainly not dismiss this album.

Each of those pieces

have some elements in them to learn,

for not only beginners, but also intermediate.

Those are really very rewarding pieces.

In the link in the description

I have a PDF to the pieces.

Make sure to download them.

In those PDFs I write my fingerings,

I write pedalling,

and I write the arm movements.

So make sure to download them,

then you can follow along with my remarks

for educational purposes.

So let's listen a little bit.

The character and the way the piece is written,

it could be a little prelude of Shostakovich.

It's a little bit in that style. Dreamy...

dreamy atmosphere

in this left...

So I would really work to make this

little movements here, little arm movements

to make it nice supple and smooth.

And take the weight out of the keys.

Concentrated fingers.

See and I have this beautiful circle.

and then Mezzo Piano, that is for the melody.

Moderato cantabile,

it's a moderate tempo with a singing tone,

particularly in the melody,

this cantabile.

It's a nice melody!

Search for the sound, deep, this one.

it's a Portato Mark here. And

see... and the arm movement is:

go up and down, and up, and then up,

one movement.

See I will write the movement in the score,

so when you download it

you can nicely see the arm movements and the fingerings,

and the pedaling

of course. The pedal is one pedal at the beginning,

and 1/2 pedal here, half

So per bar, and some bars,

where the harmony doesn't change,

and the melody doesn't require it, we use 1/2 pedal

and other bars we use a whole pedal.

When the harmony changes

it needs a whole pedal for sure, so...

and here 'Più Forte'

Deeper, 'Più Forte' a little bit deeper. With a weight.


And here the melody takes over in the left hand.



And here is the pedal per quarter

note, where we have this...

So the pedal follows here the left hand.

Più Forte! 'Poco ritenuto' and 'Piano' again.

Piano and then Mezzo Forte

ending with a Diminuendo.

It's a beautiful piece to work on. The smooth,

smoothness of broken 7th chords.

To have this beautiful smooth sound,

and in the same time having a 'Cantabile' melody,

which changes in the different hands.

So let's play that whole piece from the beginning:

Make sure to watch also the other videos with

Kabalevsky pieces that I recorded.

Maybe I will record a few more in the future.

It's a really beautiful album for beginners,

all study pieces which is real music,

and all have elements to learn some new stuff.

So check the description. There

I put also the links to

the other videos that I have of Kabalevsky.

Or watch on my channel.

If you like this video

give me a thumbs up

to let other people know that this is a good video

and they will watch it and have benefit from it as well.

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Let's improve your piano sound in Kabalevsky's Lullaby (Cradle Song) from Children Pieces opus 27.

One of the main elements in piano playing is to develop complete control over the quality of your piano sound. There are several principles and techniques involved. Working on sound quality at the piano is an essential part of working at piano technique. Working with the right mindset (set goal) and a good strategy at the piano secures a good result after some practice.

This video is part of a series of tutorials learning Kabalevsky 30 Children Pieces opus 27. These pieces by Kabalevsky are very good for learning modern piano techniques. They are written in the style of the Russian piano school and are designed to develop piano finger technique, piano chord technique, and learn a singing tone at the piano in melodic playing, and create special piano sounds. I RECOMMEND THESE TO ALL BEGINNERS!


My Story

Piano learning Lars Nelissen van Gasselt Piano Fantasy

As a young teenager, I started to learn the piano and fell in love with this instrument. Although I was a late starter, I knew that I wanted to play professional. So I worked hard and became a student of Rubinstein's pupil Avi Schönfeld at the conservatory. Only playing the piano for about four years when starting my professional piano studies, I needed a system to catch in my lost years. I was in luck, Avi Schönfeld, who we easily may call a genius in understanding piano playing, gave me that system that I needed so much. Here I am to share with you...

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