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One of my piano students broke two fingers of his right hand, so we will be working with his left hand only for a few weeks while he recovers. He is an intermediate player, and I am looking for some good pieces for him to work on. I have considered Scriabin's Prelude in C-sharp minor, Op. 9, No. 1, but I think the stretches may be difficult for him as he has small hands. Any suggestions?

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5 Answers

I have been meaning to play Brahms's Study for the Left Hand after Schubert's Impromptu (Op.90 No2, easily available via a google search) for a while now. The majority of the piece is triplet scales in the left hand, with some weirdness thrown in for flavor. It is worth noting that about halfway through the piece, there are a few stretches that could be tricky depending on the size of your student's hands. At any rate, it's worth checking out.

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How about Solfeggietto by C.P.E. Bach? I remember learning it (with both hands, granted) when I was about 13.

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Oh, man, I forgot about that one! I'm gonna have to dust it off again! –  Babu May 9 '11 at 19:02
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Hopefully your student is recovered, but for future readers:

Have you checked out the book by Theodore Edel: Piano Music For One Hand?

It is a large catalogue of mainly left hand music, with notes on style, difficulty, etc.

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Brahms also has a very good left-hand-alone arrangement of Bach's famous Chaconne for solo violin.

(You could also get the originals of Bach's solo cello and solo violin pieces and play them one-handed on the piano.)

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There's an excellent anthology of left hand music by Raymond Lewenthal, which includes extensive commentary on technique and one of my favorite pieces, the Blumenfeld etude for left hand alone (probably too hard for your student, it's a virtuoso show piece.)

There's a left hand only transcription of CPE Bach's solfeggieto in that book.

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