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14 October 2018

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MusicOnline UK Teaching Notes - ABRSM Piano 2019/20 Grade 6 - B1

Moderato (No. 4 from Sechs Klavierstücke, Op. 12)

Max Bruch

Grade 6 ABRSM Piano 2019/2020 B1

Teaching Notes.

This piece will need very careful attention to articulation. For example, in bar 2 (and others similar), notice how there is a slur from the 1st to the 2nd semiquaver, but NOT on the others. This means that the final 4 semiquavers in this bar should be separated slightly. Not staccato as such, like the LH, but also, not completely legato. Generally the LH is staccato throughout, but sometimes a longer note is required. Notice that the staccato dots have disappeared from the LH in bars 22-24.

The slurred chords also provide a challenge. In some instances, the fact that the RH doubles one of the notes in the chord, will help (e.g. bar 8). In others, a careful fingering will be required to achieve a legato effect. For example, the chord on the 2nd quaver should be fingered 2,3,4 to enable a slur onto the next quaver chord.

Be careful also when there are dotted crotchets in the bass (bars 8 & 40) Make sure these are held to overlap the above harmonies.

There are quite a lot of tempo changes within this piece, and not just the ones that are marked. If you listen carefully to this performance video again you will notice the frequent use of rubato. Regarding the ones actually written in the part - the "a tempo" markings (bars 15 & 39) should start exactly on the semiquaver before the 2nd beat. Also, the stringendo in bar 30 indicates a quickening of pace, before the calando  (dying away) of bar 32.

Finally, always be careful to let the tune sing out, not letting the LH chords obscure the melody. As it says in the start - molto cantabile

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