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Tonnerre sur les plaines (Thunder on the Plains) by Jennifer Linn


"Tonnerre sur les plaines", from Jennifer Linn's Les Petite Images, is an enchanting composition that creates the impression of a spring thunderstorm. You might imagine crashing thunder when you hear the dramatic blocked fifths and later a rain shower evolving from a few droplets into a torrential outpouring of sound. The piece ends with a calm resolution to F major, evoking peace and tranquillity. Could this be a magnificent rainbow at the end? This piece is full of interpretive possibilities that you will enjoy exploring with all ages--what a great early study in impressionistic style!

"Tonnerre sur les plaines" at a Glance

Level: Late Elementary

Key: D minor (ending in F Major)

Tempo: Quarter = 84

Form: ABA

Hand-size limitations: Largest interval is a blocked fifth.

Technical Challenges:

-LH legato thirds without pedal (m. 5-6)

-use of precise pedal markings and use of u.c. (left pedal) m. 34-35.

-control of glissando with "tres retenu" (m. 27)

Performance of this piece is quite attainable for most students, and it is especially easy to memorize. The impressionistic style gives plenty of freedom and space to prepare for the next musical idea--particularly good for unreliable or nervous student performers. However, for a first-rate performance, much musical maturity is needed to capture the expressive nuances this composition is capable of producing.

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