The motion of the wind across a string causes periodic vortices downstream, and this alternating vortex causes the string to vibrate. Lord Rayleigh first solved the mystery of the aeolian harp in a paper published in the Philosophical Magazine in A stiff rod will perform; a non-telescoping automobile radio antenna can be a dramatic exhibitor. And of course the effect can happen in other media; in the anchor line of a ship in a river, for example.
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There is a total of 27 etudes comprising two separate collections of twelve, numbered Opus 10 and Opus 25 and a set of three without an opus number. The etude in A flat major Opus 25 no. Structure Most of the etudes demand a certain level of technical ability and control to expound evocative melodies and sometimes whimsical harmonic structures.
Peculiar fingering which requires the use of weaker fingers in concert to create melodic lines and galloping tempos are among a host of other attributes which give the etudes their unique place in solo piano performance. Technique The technical challenge for this piece is to be able to play the passive harmonisation of the middle voices whilst the left hand periodically introduces polyrhythms. The beautiful melody is played by the fifth finger of the right hand which falls on the first note of each sextuplet with occasional counter-melodies provided by the inner voices.
The key modulates from its home key of A flat major to a brief but beautiful A major section and culminates with an intense climax in the home key. Seemingly bias but most definitely not, I have found all three published interpretations by Lang Lang to be the best for the following reasons: 1.
Sustained legato playing whilst maintaining excellent phrasing for the melodic line. Creative rubato style which breaks up the monotony of the sextuplets semiquavers throughout the entire piece. Excellent fingering technique enabling passive playing of the middle voices whilst beautifully controlling and presenting a clear and succinct melody.
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Chopin Etude in A flat major, Opus 25 no. 1 (Aeolian Harp)