ABRSM Grade 2

 

A1

This piano piece is no. 10 from The First Twleve Lessons, op. 125, first published in 1830.

Blake Wesley

 

A2

 

RCM (2015) Level 3.

 

This Musette is taken from the second book of pieces Bach compiled for his second wife Anna Magdalena - Notenbüchlein für Anna Magdalena Bach (1725). I say Bach compiled ...many of the pieces are notated in Anna Magdalena's hand with others, written out by J. S. , their sons and other friends. 

Perhaps this particular Musette was a popular song of the day?

 

A3

 

RCM (2015) Level 3.

 

This lively Gigue is the final movement of Partita in G (first published in 1728). A Partita is another word for a Suite - a collection of short movements. This particular Partita has 6 movements: Prelude, Dolce, Rondeau, two Minuets and to conclude, this Gigue.

You may like to try the other movements, I've attached the score, you will be transported to the musical world of early 18th-century Europe.

 

A4

Published in 1801 by his own publishing house, Clementi's An Introduction to the Art of playing the Pianoforte, was one of the first tutor books aimed at pianists as opposed to harpsichord players. It was hugely popular, the final 11th edition being published in 1821, and very well respected, Chopin used it in his teaching. It was also notable for including pieces by a wide range of notable composers (Handel, Mozart, Corelli, Couperin, Scarlatti, Haydn, Pleyel, Dussek, Rameau, Beethoven, C. P. E. Bach, J. S. Bach, Paradies & Cramer). 

 

A5

 

RCM (2015) Level 4.

Two-part writing throughout here: melody and bass. Worthwhile thinking through and perhaps marking in fingering to avoid running out of fingers!

 

A6

 

This Allegro was on the Trinity Grade 3 syllabus (2015-17).

Allegro means fast, but one person's idea of fast may not be the same as another's. Though I play it quite quickly here, a tempo of around 124bpm could work very well.

 

No need to play the LH octaves at bb. 13-16, the upper note as a single line works just fine.

Taken as a whole this is a wonderful Sonata and an ideal introduction to the form. Written in the 1760s, it is made up of 4 movements: Allegro, Minuet, Andante and Allegro. Each movement is short: the Minuet being 16 bars and the Andante just 9, and constructed in binary form, with each section being repeated. The score is below.

 

B1

This piece is RCM (2015) Level 3.

This Arabesque is no. 2 in Burgmüller's now famous collection of 25 Études progressive, op. 100, so after this they get more tricky!

 

 

B2

 

This piece is RCM (2015) Level 1.

Waltz in no. 13 of 24 Easy Pieces, op. 39 (first published in 1967).

Things to think about:

  • steady LH staccato chords to accompany a legato melodic line in the RH.

  • shaping the phrases, especially the two, 4-bar phrases at b.1 and again at b. 17.

 

B3

Blake Wesley

 

Lazy Bear is from Piano Sketches, Book 1 (published by OUP).

The melody is exclusively in the LH and goes very low on the keyboard, especially in the middle section. It's not easy to hear very low notes clearly, so we need to project the melody, listening carefully as we play. I find low notes need more time to be heard ...perhaps it's just my ears, so I do play it slowly, sticking closely to the recommended tempo of ♩ = 60.

 

B5

 

 

Night Journey is no. 65 from The First Steps of the Young Pianist, op. 82 (1877).  Gurlitt wrote an impressive amount of piano music aimed at student pianists. This op. 82 collection of 100 pieces was originally published in 2 volumes. Volume 2 is attached below though be aware the numbering of the pieces is confused, scroll to the end to find our piece - Night Journey.

Thank you Garreth Brooke for allowing us to have access to your beautiful, clear edition of this piece.

 

C1

 

This piece is LCM Grade 1 (2018-2020) & RIAM Grade 2 (2019).

Dusty Blue is from Paint Box: Very First Concert Pieces for Piano (2012) available from June's website.

I recommend listening to June herself discuss this piece.

 

This is a great introduction to the 12-bar Blues, here in the key of G.

 

C2

 

 

A song from the USA in 1918, here arranged by Nikki Iles. It's a wonderfully sunny song. In essence, it's straightforward, both harmonically and melodically, but do take a moment to listen to Oscar Peterson's solo piano version. 4 minutes of wonderful re-harmonisation, shifts of tonality, elaboration and complete keyboard mastery!

 

 

 

You may enjoy playing the song with the backing track (bass, guitar & drums) and if you feel the first two bars just right, the band will join you at bar 3!

 

 

C3

 

 

Petite valse is from Lazy Days, a collection of 12 short solo piano pieces (Chester, 2011).

A lyrical legato melody accompanied by semi-staccato chords. Notice how the hands swap roles in bar 17.

 

C4

 

A Memory of Paris is taken from Accents Around the World (Willis).

 

C6

 

Lazy Days is no.7 from Up-Grade! Piano Grades 1-2 (Faber).

 

All 9 Pieces

 

Scales & Arpeggios