ABRSM Grade 3

 

A1

arrow&v

 

This Allegro is the first movement of a Sonatina in F, one of the 12 Sonatinas (op.12) that were published in 1776. They are all short, two movement pieces, written by James Hook for his piano pupils. It has many of the hallmarks of the Classical style: Alberti bass LH accompaniment; elegant, hum-able melody, much use of tonic (I) and dominant (V) harmony and an A B A (rounded binary) structure.

 

A2

 

This is the second, lively movement of Sonata in D minor by the Portuguese musician Carlos de Seixas. He was a keyboard virtuoso, succeeded his father as cathedral organist (Coimbra) at 14, just two days before his father died and was appointed organist and harpsichordist to the Royal court in Lisbon in 1720 (aged 16?). He subsequently met Scarlatti who thought very highly of him. Seixas was knighted for his services to music in 1738.

 

A3

 

The original dance movement by the German composer Michael Praetorius, here arranged for piano, is from his collection of dance music titled Terpsichore, published in 1612.

Terpsichore (Greek for 'delight in dancing') is one of the 9 Muses in Greek mythology - the goddess of dance and chorus. The muses are symbols of inspiration and artistic creation.

 

A6

This Minuet is RCM (2015) Level 5.

It was written whilst the Mozarts were living in Salzburg, before the European tour. Mozart would have been 6 years old.

 

B1

 

Shadows is from a collection of 10 short piano pieces, River and Rainbow, published in 1922. Much of Walter Carroll's piano music is programmatic: giving us an image and perhaps a story too. In addition to the title, each of Walter Carroll's piano pieces for students has a couplet. For Shadows:

Only the night air and the dream;

Only the far, sweet-smelling wave.

So before we've played a note on the piano we have an image in our mind's eye, a feeling to convey.

 

B2

 

Allegretto grazioso is from Kleine Blumen, op. 205, published in 1894.

 

B3

 

This Prelude is from Serenade in C. Reinecke wrote 5 Serenades (op. 183) each made up of several movements.

 

Serenade in C (op.183, no.1): Prelude, Song, Minuet, Gavotte

Reinecke was friends with both Mendelssohn and Schumann and eventually became Director of the Leipzig Conservatory (founded by Mendelssohn in 1843) and a conductor of the Gewandhaus Orchestra, again like Mendelssohn before him. The Conservatory and Gewandhaus have always enjoyed close links.

B6

This transcription of Leonard Cohen's famous song from 1984 is published in A Dozen a Day Songbook, Book 2.

 
 

B6

Old French Song is from the group of 24 pieces, Album for the Young, op. 39.

 

C1

 

Dance is from For Children, Vol. 2 (based on Slovakian folk tunes). How many times do we hear the melody played?

I highly recommend listening to Bartók himself playing a selection of these wonderful miniatures. And we hear Bartók introduce the music ...well, I presume that's what he's doing!

 

C2

 

This is the first piece from a collection called Diversions, published in 1965.

The British composer Richard Rodney Bennett was prolific, writing music for TV and Film, instrumental, orchestral and choral music. He was an accomplished jazz pianist (I have happy memories of him accompany Marion Montgomery in Cheltenham in the 1980s).

 

 

C3

Nikki Iles is a prominent jazz educator in Britain.

C5

 

 

This arrangement, by Alun Bullard is from 'The Graded Piano Player, Grades 2-3'.

 
 

C6

Face in the Crowd is no.25 from 'Microjazz Piano Collection 2' (Bossey & Hawkes).

 

 

Scales & Arpeggios

 

There is an ERROR in the video. The chromatic scales need only be played hands separately - phew! 

Scales, crotchet (quarter note) = 80

parallel motion, 2 octaves, hands together and separately

A, E, B, B♭, E♭ majors

B, G, C minors (harmonic or melodic)

contrary-motion, 2 octaves

A major, A harmonic minor

chromatic, 2 octaves, hands separately

beginning on A♭, beginning on C

Arpeggios, crotchet (quarter note) = 69

2 octaves, hands together

A major, G minor

2 octaves, hands separately

E, B, B♭, E♭ majors

B, C minors