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Six pièces for piano (George Onslow)


Andantino – Andantino quasi Allegretto – Allegro con moto – Allegretto molto espressivo – Allegretto cantabile – Andantino molto cantabile

Published in 1864 – without opus number – by Flaxland, who sold them for “for the benefit of the poor”, Onslow’s Six Pièceswere composed over the period 1830-1840. They consist of a series of miniatures of great restraint and great inwardness. Each one of these six pieces reiterates a style of writing that is both specific and unified. The first piece, in the key of E flat major, consists of a four-part counterpoint focused on the middle of the piano and flecked with many chromaticisms. It has a very clear formal structure, which is binary in nature (such as would be found in Classical minuets or scherzi). The two subsequent pieces (the one in A major, the other in A flat major) introduce melodies of a broad simplicity from the right hand (intervals moving by step, weak ambits, rhythmic regularity), accompanied by sequences of semiquavers in the left hand (chromatic ornaments for the first, ascending arpeggios for the second). The concept of an accompanied melodic line is repeated in the fifth piece, whose rich ornamentation is reminiscent of that evocatively Romantic genre, the nocturne. The very suggestive fourth piece, in E flat major, reconnects with the contrapuntal texture of the first. The piano ambit broadens in it, taking charge of the lower register, as can be found in a strongly expressive way in the dramatic passages of the sixth piece, which is in the key of E major. The darkest piece in the whole collection, this final miniature was to reappear in Onslow’s work in the Romance of his Quintet, Op. 78.

    Person - 1
  • ONSLOW, George (1784-1853)
  • Themes - 2
  • Piano – Du piano classique au piano romantique
  • Piano – Paris sous la monarchie de Juillet : capitale du piano