Moritz Moskowski (1854 – 1925) – Etincelles

Moskowski wrote many pieces for the piano including two sets of technical studies and many short pieces.  Other pieces heard sometimes today are Spanish Dances, Opus 12,Caprice Espagnol, Opus 37 and now and again one or more of his etudes which like “sparkles” are fast, light, and fun.

Etincelles Opus 36, No. 6, or “Sparkles” in American, is marked allegro scherzando.  In Italian scherzo means joke.  In this piece the connotation might be humorous or bright.  In his sonatas, Haydn sometimes replaced a minuet or two with a scherzo or two.  And scherzi (plural) are generally in triple meter, meaning three beat patterns, like a minuet or waltz.  And scherzi are generally playful, shorter works.  However some composers wrote scherzi that were not playful shorter works.  Take Chopin’s four scherzi; they are considerably expanded works; and really not funny at all.  With the exception of No. 3, that is!

“Sparkles” (as I like to call it) has remained alive on the concert stage through the years for the shear fun of both playing the work and for the listening to it.  It requires finger dexterity and lightness of touch and agility.  And you shouldn’t be too tired!

As I mentioned, this short piece is marked allegro scherzando.  Allegro is fast, and scherzando is playful.  Please enjoy!