Pianist plays 7 levels of ‘Twinkle Twinkle Little Star’ with increasing virtuosity

27 November 2020, 10:30 | Updated: 4 December 2020, 15:07

Pianist plays 7 levels of 'Twinkle Twinkle'
Pianist plays 7 levels of 'Twinkle Twinkle'. Picture: YouTube/Cateen

By Maddy Shaw Roberts

‘Twinkle twinkle little star’ becomes ‘Blinding galactic explosion’ in just seven steps. Prepare to enjoy some *truly* wonderful pianism.

A musician has shared his seven variations on ‘Twinkle Twinkle Little Star’, each variation increasing in virtuosity.

Hayato Sumino, known professionally as Cateen, is a 25-year-old Japanese classical pianist. Cateen started playing the piano aged three and has since garnered multiple awards, including a Gold Prize at the Chopin International Piano Competition in Asia in 2017.

Which sort of makes sense of why this video is so stupidly impressive.

Cateen starts at Level 0, and already he’s a step ahead of us, beginning his musical journey with the nursery rhyme’s humble melody and a simple walking bass line, and throwing in a few elegant turns in the right hand for good measure.

At Level 1, the no-frills melody starts to gain some Mozartian flourishes. All very pleasing. Moving into Level 2, the lullaby gets some lovely scrunchy harmonies underneath.

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Level 3 is a jaunty, ragtime keyboard work. Moving up to Levels 4 and 5, ‘Twinkle twinkle’ is given a hefty lick of paint as it gains virtuosic flourishes, Liszt-esque bravura passages and brilliant arpeggios.

Level 6 is basically a Chopin Etude, with full, unbridled use of the keyboard’s 88 keys, and chromatic runs for days as the melody moves into the left hand for the first time.

If your heart has got this far and hasn’t packed in yet, Level 7 is a feast of masterful pianism, dizzying speeds and a rich tapestry of colours and dynamics worthy of a Carnegie Hall standing ovation.

Can we go lie down now?

See more of Cateen’s videos on Facebook and Instagram.