From the preface:
The aim of the publication of these four-handed piano compositions is to fill a void within the sphere of sight-reading
(and almost sight-reading) at the beginner and intermediate level. These three volumes together contain 36 Nordic folk songs from Denmark, Norway, Sweden, Finland and the
Faroe Islands. The selection is based first and foremost on their being well suited to the instrumental expressive
possibilities of the piano, and being good representatives of the rich and atmospheric Nordic musical heritage.
When one practises sight-reading on one’s own it is tempting to stop as one goes along, because the desire to play
the correct notes is often given priority at the expense of the rhythm and expression.
Music without an organic pulse will leave the player with an unsatisfactory feeling of stress and failure, and the
stream of thought will not form part of a natural flow. Good sight-reading training is therefore ensemble playing,
where the teacher supports the pulse and rhythm.
In many other publications of four-handed duets the secundo part is written in two bass clefs, and the primo part in two
treble clefs. Reading this untrained combination of clefs, along with the stressful fact that the music has never been
seen nor heard before, can confuse the pupil.
In volumes 1 and 2 the secundo part, which is intended for the pupil, is therefore notated in a treble clef and bass
clef, as piano music for two hands is usually notated. In volume 3 the degree of difficulty is more varied, but in most
of the pieces improvisation is an interposed element in the primo part, being therefore a good challenge for the pupil.
In the improvisatory sections a chord or a scale is notated. These can form the tonal starting point, but here too the
pupil is encouraged to experiment with, for example, the shift between major and minor thirds, and between the high and
low sixth and seventh notes of the scale. These variations are typical for Nordic folk music traditions. Other approaches
to improvisation can also be recommended, for example, rhythmic, atmospheric or evocative improvisation.
In some of the pieces in volume 3 the secundo parts are significantly harder to read than the primo parts, and in
many cases too difficult for the pupil.
Hanne Mulvad, born 1953, pianist and music teacher. Hanne Mulvad studied with Tove Lønskov and Georg Vasarhelyi, and made her debut 1980 at the Royal Academy of Music, Aarhus. Additional studies include masterclasses in Salzburg with Hans Leygraf, in Paris and Nice with Pierre Sancan and Monique
Haas, and in Dartington with Vlado Perlemuter and Graham Green.
Hanne Mulvad has performed at home and abroad in concerts, radio and TV productions, and as a soloist,
including several concerts with Aalborg Symphony Orchestra.
Since 1985 Hanne Mulvad has worked as a teacher and accompanist at The Royal Danish Academy of
Music in Copenhagen and as a free lance pianist in the Danish symphony orchestras. Also employed at Copenhagen University, The Royal Danish School of Educational Studies, Rhythmic Music Conservatory and several music schools.