In times of pain and suffering, sometimes we just need to play a piece in a minor key. It’s been awhile since I have arranged a piece by Schubert, and the theme from the Andantino movement of his Piano Sonata No. 20 so beautifully imparts the emotion apropos to this moment.
Here is Mitsuko Uchida playing the Andantino. My arrangements encompass the first theme, which plays from the beginning until just over 3 minutes.
The original was written in F# minor (3 sharps) so I have transposed it to E minor (1 sharp) and simplified the treble rhythm, and the bass notes. To print the late beginner/early intermediate arrangement from my website please click below. (This late beginner arrangement will be available on my website for only 1 year, so print now!):
Schubert’s Sonata No. 20, Andantino theme, for late beginner
Print my arrangement for late intermediate piano in the original key (F# minor):
Print my arrangement for intermediate piano transposed to E min (fewer sharps):
Just as with some years, some pieces ask questions, and others answer them. For me, playing a beautiful, minor piece helps to bring me back to feelings of love and gratitude even as I hold onto the questioning, sadness and empathy.
In other news, I have just finished reading Jeremy Denk’s memoir called Every Good Boy Does Fine in which he reflects upon the wisdom he has gathered from teachers:
“I lifted my arm confidently to play a passage. A flurry of wrong notes rang out. I had a moment of panic…and was beginning a litany of self-blame when I heard a voice in my head, with [my teacher Sebők’s] quaint Hungarian accent: ‘The problem with you, is that you’re a perfectionist.’ I played more freely…. [My other teacher] Leland had been right to remind me that there was no end to the details one could strive for. But Sebők was also right—the desire for perfection could be a deadly weakness. Living comfortably in that paradox…is part of being a musician.”
In case you didn’t know, my other passion besides music is books! I publish reviews of novels mostly featuring older adult characters, as well as non-fiction titles by and of interest to older adults at RipeReads.net. If you’re interested, you can read the full review there.
I hope the summer brings a sense of hope and renewal, wherever you are. As always, playing your piano can be a healing refuge. With love and music, Gaili
P.S. If you are new to this blog, welcome! I post free sheet music every month, arranged for beginning to intermediate piano students, plus practice tips and worksheets (see the sidebar for previous posts ➡️). I have written piano instruction books for adults over 50 (UpperHandsPiano.com), younger adults and teens (PianoPowered.com), Songs of the Seasons piano sheet music books for seasonal classical and popular favorites, and my latest piano/guitar/vocals books called The Music Remedy – sheet music collections to restore and revitalize the spirit. Check out my books on the websites above, or click below to view them on Amazon.com.