1. Welcome, this is Terry Ewell. In Study #17 Weissenborn does not give staccato markings at the end of slurred pairs. This is different than Study #6 where staccato marks are given with each pair of slurred notes.
2. Therefore the eighth notes should be rather connected and they should be separated only briefly with the tongue between the slurs.
3. You will notice in line 4 that I have indicated two breaths quite early in the phrase. This is in order to keep air in the lungs to complete the phrase and also to avoid big gaps when breathing is needed in line 5. Similar breathing choices are made later in the study as well.
4. I have mentioned before that the quickest way to breathe is by dropping the jaw not raising the head. I encourage you to practice this study breathing that way.
5. The alternate F# fingerings in line 7 are to help move to Bb3.
6. There will be many examples in the Fifty Studies where those two notes (F# and Bb) are slurred. Leaping the thumb over the E key (pancake key) will interrupt the slurs.
7. Practice the motion from the little finger F# to the thumb Bb until you have mastered it.
8. I sat down, removed the little bandage, felt the pain had suddenly stopped, and discovered that the finger was—miraculously, it seemed to me—healed.—Igor Stravinsky
(Igor Stravinsky and Robert Craft, Dialogues and a Diary (Garden City: Doubleday & Co., Inc., 1962), p. 9.)
9. We saw in the last video that J. S. Bach’s encounters with God are shown in his music and his study of the Bible. Igor Stravinsky’s encounters with God were in different contexts.
10. Stravinsky gained great fame with his compositions of pagan rituals and Russian folk tales in the 1910s. Later in the mid-1920s, however, his spiritual life was transformed. Stravinsky stated that two items led to his faith in God: 1) a convincing answer to a private prayer and 2) the healing of his finger immediately before a performance of his Piano Sonata. These two experiences had such a profound effect on his life that he dedicated his next major orchestral work, Symphony of Psalms, to the glory of God.
11. If you are interested in reading more about composer’s encounters with God I recommend the book The Spiritual Lives of Great Composers by Patrick Kavanaugh. There are many musicians, well known and obscure, that have chosen to follow the teachings of Jesus.
Patrick Kavanaugh, The Spiritual Lives of Great Composers (Nashville, Sparrow Press, 1992).