Clavier Companion - July/August 2017 - 45
played very softly with the metronome also at the
Example 1: Five-finger pattern exercise by Enrique Granados.
The patterns were preparatory to scale study, which
he also believed should be learned hands separately at
first. These, in turn, were essential to playing a perfect
legato, a priority of the great composer. In addition to
the five-finger patterns, Granados devoted a section to
developing the fourth and fifth fingers, progressing from
simple to more complex patterns. Example 2 is to be
played in all keys and loudly. These were also to be done
in sixteenth notes like the five-finger patterns above.
"Coloquio en la Reja" from Granados's Goyescas: "I heard
him [Granados] play it many times and tried to reproduce
the effects he achieved. After many failures, I discovered
that his ravishing results at the keyboard were all a matter
of the pedal."4
Pedaling was a branch of piano technique that was left
to instinct, not regularly examined, and often included
only basic up and down movements. As Alicia de Larrocha
expressed, "The pedaling of the Catalán school itself was
not so unusual, but that Granados and his followers were
the first to put so much emphasis on the pedal, its sound
potential, and its pedagogical aspects."5
In Theoretical-Practical Method for the use of The
Pedals (1905), Granados offers a systematic approach
to the proper use and understanding of the pedals. He
begins by dividing notation into real and imaginary values
to coordinate the application and release of the pedal.
Example 3: Real and imaginary note values coordinated
with the pedal, by Enrique Granados.
Example 2: Five-finger exercise for the fourth and
fifth fingers, by Enrique Granados.
Granados's work as a pedagogue was all encompassing,
and he presented lectures on various aspects of music.
In a 1913 lecture, Granados spoke about the relationship
of rhythm to other movements of nature: "There are
numerous examples of rhythm in nature; the uniform
pattern of a swan swimming also displays a case of rhythm
with two movements. The flight of birds with its uniformity.
The movements of oars on a rowing boat. The series of
columns in a line and the oscillations of a pendulum."2
In his lecture on expressive technique he indicates:
"The building blocks of correct expression are energy,
gentleness, grace, fluency. etc... To achieve energy we will
need the effects of rhythm, staccato (withdrawal staccato
which is short, taking away the hand quickly, and hammer
staccato which requires force, applied quickly). To achieve
gentleness, we will use legato and gradations of sound, and
to achieve grace and fluency we will use combinations of
piano, staccato, and legato."3 Granados also supplemented
his lectures with drawings and visual images.
The most significant feature of Granados's artistry
as a pianist and teacher is the emphasis he placed on
pedaling. As Ernest Schelling (1876-1939), the American
pianist and conductor, observed while trying to play
Granados labeled groups of notes as real, imaginary, or
mixed. Mixed groups are those that are made up of notes
of different rhythmic values. Real note values are simply
notated with the conventional pedal signs [*] below the
first note indicating that the foot is to be lifted; followed by
the Ped. marking, indicating the pedal is to be depressed.
Imaginary groups are assigned subdivided values below
the staff. This visual representation by Granados was
intended to develop a precise timing of the application
and release of the pedal. This eventually leads to a correct
understanding of syncopated pedaling and quick pedal
motions in various tempi.
In the following example, the foot is lifted on the first
note of the group and the pedal is depressed on the
Example 4: Pedaling exercise, by Enrique Granados
Even in the most basic examples, Granados also
coordinates the movement of the foot with the
metronome in order to obtain a timed release. This
results in applying the pedal before a note, with a