Etudes

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Piano technique is created in the practicing of exercises.  Piano technique is celebrated in the performance of etudes.  The performance of the etudes must transcend the technical requirements.  The technique must be there, but it should remain in the background. It is not a goal unto itself.

The best etudes to study are those which have a strong musical content, rather than those which are merely empty technical displays.  Then the focus can be on such musical values as phrasing, tone color, projection, nuance, contrast, and shading.

These works by Stephen Heller provide an excellent opportunity for achieving musical artistry through the study of etudes.  They are an outstanding introduction to the style of the Romantic Era.