The Concertino, O Cuco e o Burro was composed by Mahle in 1979 and dedicated to his daughter Leonora Mahle. She played the premier when she was 8 years old with the children’s orchestra of the Escola de Musica de Piracicaba while Ernst Mahle conducted.
The piece “was extracted from one of Mahle’s German Folk songs piano books” and assembles a dialogue between the cuckoo bird and the donkey. According to the composer “the concertino is intended for a piano student ages 7 to 8 years old.”
Orchestration: strings, soprano recorder, flute, oboe clarinet, bassoon, horn, trumpet and percussion.
This concertino provides a great opportunity for the late beginner student (2nd to 3rd year piano student), the equivalent to level 3 of Magrath’s Leveling of Literature, to play with orchestra. The piece challenges the students’ ability to balance the sound of the piano with the orchestra, in turn creating a dialogue between the two. The work helps develop the listening skills of the pianist, since the part with the orchestra is so interconnected. It also explores a range of three octaves for the piano solo. There are constant contrasts in articulations and dynamics.
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