5 pieces you'll love practicing this summer

by Audrey Oulion | August 5, 2021
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One of the hardest tasks of the amateur musician is to keep a practice discipline. However simple that may seem, the choice of the pieces you practice plays a great role in your motivation. This month, we suggest you to practice some pieces that might fit the summer mood particularly well.

Keep close to your instrument with a selection of works that will make you combine intensity and entertainment. From the sweetness of summer dawns to the harshness of the sunlight’s stream, discover five works that may become the soundtrack of your upcoming weeks!

1. Edvard Grieg, Morning Mood

If you want to feel the dawn’s sunbeam on your skin, this piece is for you. It is an excerpt of Norwegian composer Edvard Grieg’s Peer Gynt, a piece of incidental music based on a play. So, what does this “morning mood” refer to in the play? Peer Gynt, the play’s hero, is left without a penny in the Moroccan desert after many adventures. The script features: "Dawn. Acacias and palm trees. Peer is sitting in his tree using a wrenched-off branch to defend himself against a group of monkeys." This soft melody will certainly make you feel the sand and the smell of the ocean too!

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2. Hector Berlioz, Villanelle

As many composers, Berlioz was fond of poetry and had many poets among his friends. Théophile Gautier was one of them and wrote a collection called “Nuits d’été” (Summer nights). In this song called Villanelle, the poet invites his loved one to come with him pick flowers and enjoy the warm season outside. Berlioz’ melody follows perfectly the gay and carefree atmosphere of the poem; it will certainly bring pictures of meadows and scented forests to your mind!

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3. Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov, The Flight of the Bumblebee

If you like challenges, here is a good one! The Flight of the Bumblebee is a background music to Rimsky-Korsakov’s opera The Tale of Tsar Saltan. In this part, a magician just changed the tsar’s son into an insect so that he can visit quickly his father. There are two very interesting features in this piece. First, a fast chromatic line describing the bumblebee’s twirls in the air. Second, an implied melodic line with fourths that can make you think of the Russian crown’s pride. A very pleasant piece, full of fantasy and solemnity.

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4. Vittorio Monti, Csardas

Summer holidays are paradoxical: either we rest a lot or we move a lot. Monti’s Csardas could amusingly illustrate this way of life. It alternates fast and joyful gypsy dances and feverish, melancholic melodies. These two atmospheres being put together result in a very nice piece, perfectly fit for the season!

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5. The Last Rose of Summer

As summer ends, roses vanish. The one that stays in the end may feel melancholic, alone in the warmth of September. This is what Irish poet Thomas Moore splendidly says in his 1805 text The Last Rose Of Summer. The poem was published with the melody of an Irish traditional, collected by musician Edward Buntig. The soft and dreamlike melody reflects both the warmth of the summer air and the sorrow of the one who stays as all the others disappear. It has become extremely popular since then, being used and transformed by musicians from Beethoven to Britten.

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From the careless Villanelle to the nervous Csardas, you will certainly find your own way of enjoying summer in music. We hope you’ve liked this selection, don’t hesitate to give your feedback on social media at @metronautapp!