Music Theory

Frederic Handel’s Largo – piano exercise

The following five-finger exercises must be played slowly and distinctly. Raise the fingers from the knuckle joints, and keep both hands and wrist perfectly quiet:

finger exercise for piano technique
piano techniques : five finger exercises

“Largo” by Frederic Handel

This beautiful piece is by the celebrated George Frederic Handel, one of the greatest masters that ever lived. He was born in Germany on the 23rd of February, 1685, and died at London, on the 14th of April, 1759. He deserves indeed to be called a monarch between musicians, who has produced many great and justly celebrated works. The best known among them is the Oratorio “The Messiah.

“The Largo is so called because the term Largo indicates the time in which the piece ought to be played, which is slow, while the style of playing should be broad and stately. This piece of music is one of the best known of Handel’s many instrumental compositions.
Frederic Handel's piano piece
Largo is a piano piece by Frederic Handel

Consideration on this Handel’s piece

Observe the following points in the above piece: the whole must be played very legato. All the tone must be tied closely together. Note the first note in the treble, measure three. There are two fingers to be placed alternately upon one key, striking it however only once.

The second finger must, therefore, be put on the key while the first still holds it down. Dolce means sweet, sf stands for sforzando and means that the note under which it stands should be played with decision and strength.

The sign, which stand before the first chord of the 11th measure, means that the tones must be played one after another. Let the melody stand out prominently, yet not too loud, and play the whole stately, with much earnestness and gravity. In measure 13th emphasize the D in the bass.