As part of the Online Academy’s series on Trinity College London’s current syllabus, I am happy to announce that three more video walkthroughs have been added – with plenty more to come. This week we are presenting one new piece from each of grades 5, 6, 7, and 8, beginning with the Moderato from Diabelli’s rather charming Sonatina in F, op. 168 no. 1 (Grade 5).

Grade 5 (alternative) – Diabelli: Moderato (from Sonatina in F, op 168 no 1)

Anton Diabelli (1781-1858) was an Austrian music publisher, editor and composer. Today he is most familiar as the composer of the waltz on which Beethoven wrote his set of 33 Diabelli Variations, but he also wrote a number of sets of sonatinas that are certainly worth playing, and which make very good teaching pieces. The first movement of the  F major sonatina is a model of sonata form in miniature, and an ideal piece for the intermediate player to learn about form and structure. In this video walkthrough, I demonstrate the art of finger pedalling in the left hand Alberti patterns to create resonance by hand (instead of by foot, which would cloud the texture too much). I also show how to use deconstruction techniques in a tricky left hand passage to improve control and coordination.

To watch the full video walkthrough, click here

Grade 6 – Max Reger: Versöhnung (Reconciliation)

Max Reger’s Versöhnung (Reconciliation) demands from the player a vivid imagination, and the ability to tell a story in sound. This delightful late Romantic piece describes a character asking someone to be their friend again after a disagreement – pleading, commiserating and even dancing to win back their affection. In the video walkthrough, I show how to project a melody line while at the same time voicing the texture to bring out the expressive harmonic features. The excerpt below shows how to voice chords to bring out the harmonic colour.

To watch the full video walkthrough, click here

Grade 7 (alternative) – Eugénie Rocherolle: La Chapelle

This evocative piece by American pianist and composer Eugénie Rocherolle is somewhere between Romantic and musical theatre in style, making full use of the pedal to build up sonorities from sustained bass notes and rolling harmonies. It is music from the heart, calling for the ability to play freely with rubato and plenty of feeling. I highly recommend this piece, it makes a very effective recital piece and will be popular with players and listeners alike. In this excerpt I demonstrate how to apply the principle of practising in different rhythms creatively to build speed and control in the arpeggiated chord sequence – sometimes practising without the pedal in order to hear each note very clearly.

To watch the full video walkthrough, click here

Grade 8 – Brahms: Intermezzo in B minor, op 119 no 1

In 1893, Brahms wrote his last work for the piano, a set of four piano pieces, op. 119. The Intermezzo in B minor is the first piece of the set. As a composition it is full of riches, arousing keen interest in composers and scholars (including Arnold Schoenberg) as they have attempted to analyse it bar by bar. It requires from the performer the ability to play expressively at a very slow tempo, warmth of tone and control of texture and pedalling. This piece will appeal to the mature player.

To watch the full video walkthrough, click here

If you are interested in the videos we’ve already published, please click on one of the following links to view the available content (requires sign-in) or click here to view subscription options and sign-up for an Online Academy account:

There are plenty more video demonstrations for other works in the syllabus and a guide to the advanced level which we will be adding on an ongoing basis.

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