The original French title of the set from 1849 is 25 Etudes pour former au sentiment du rhythme et á l’expression (25 Etudes to form a sense of rhythm and expression). The titles, such as “Scampering,” were added in later editions; the pieces are without title in the original edition.
Practice and Performance Tips
• Because of the nature of the music, best to begin practice slowly and hands together measures 1–14, rather than separately.
• Practice hands separately in measures 15–19 and 28–34.
• Aim for smoothness and evenness in the sound as the music is passed back and forth from hand to hand.
• The scampering here is of the most graceful variety. Make sure your Allegretto isn’t too fast.
• The composer breaks the pattern in measure 15; the texture changes to sixteenths in the right hand and the rhythmic motion slows in measure 20.
• This break allows the return of the opening material to sound fresh, but it is a deceptive recapitulation. Heller only gives us the first three measures of the idea before abandoning it and moving into a free variation to the end.
• Heller has completely composed every detail of articulation and dynamic for the pianist. Observe them carefully!