Room 31óÉtudes

The French word Étude means "study" so an Étude for piano is one that explores a particular technique. Études were very big in the 19th century. Frederic Chopin wrote many of them and they are still played by pianists today because they are some of the most challenging works ever written.

Claude Debussy also wrote Études that focused on specific things such as his Étude that features the interval of a sixth. Not sure what it sounds like. Think of the first two notes of the song "My Bonnie Lies Over the Ocean." Thatís a major sixth. Here is what Claude did with it. Listen!

Another of the Études Debussy wrote was one which explored the idea of repeated notes. Listen!

Another group of Études was composed by Russian-born Alexander Scriabin, who was a bit crazy. He professed that he wanted to compose a piece which would cause the collapse of the physical universe. Here is an excerpt from one of his most famous studies for the piano. Listen!

Debussy Études played by Mitsuko Uchida. Label=Philips; Catalog number=475 7559
Scriabin Étude played by Vladimir Horowitz; Label=Deutsche Grammophon Catalog number=0007074

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