A. Peskanov / I. Mints "Music of our World", Piano Duets, Book 1 (Student Book incl.)
NOTES TO THE TEACHERS
Ninushka is the diminutive form of the Russian name, Nina. When Alexander's youngest daughter was born, he often called her "Ninushka". This simple melody is written in 4/4, in the key of C Major. The rhythm in the primo part is comprised of quarter and half notes. The eighth note secondo accompaniment is very fluid and is reminiscent of a lullaby. The colorful harmonization and improvisatory style of the accompaniment, make this a delightful piece for both student and teacher.
This piece is unique since the student plays the secondo part and the teacher plays in the upper register. The student portrays "The Clock", while the teacher creates the atmosphere of a quaint little clock shop. This music is filled with short motifs, and utilizes contrasting articulation. The teacher's part should always let the melody of "The Clock" be more prominent and rhythmic. A "surprise" trill concludes the piece to signify the sound of an alarm!
Alexander Peskanov has always been fascinated by Celtic music and folk art, and came across the phrase Poigini Greine, which means "Little Kisses of the Sun" - a poetic way of saying freckles! This piece tells the story of a little girl who happily plays in the sunshine, as her cheeks are tenderly kissed by the sun. Sun Kisses is written in 3/4 and is a joyful piece, filled with light and simplistic rhythm. The melody of the A section is performed by the teacher, while the student supports with longer notes. The roles then switch in the middle section, and now the primo has the melodic line. This is an excellent opportunity for the student to listen to balance, and to be able to assume the role of either soloist or accompanist.
This is a Ukrainian spring song and dance. Vesnianka is an original melody based on a traditional genre in Ukraine. Many Ukrainian songs are written in minor keys, not always as sad songs, but often reflecting human emotion and references to nature and its beauty. Vesnianka is written in 2/4, in the key of F Minor. The introduction is a little dialogue between the primo and secondo parts, as they share the melody. The main theme enters with the primo performing the melody and the secondo adding a lively, syncopated accompaniment.
This work is very rhythmic, and begins with the sounds of drums sending a message, calling people in the village to gather. As everyone begins to get together, they are singing and dancing, and the infectious dotted quarter note rhythm infuses energy and spice. An interesting feature of this arrangement is that the student is able to use body percussion and vocal effects to add to the performance.