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02 October 2018

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MusicOnline UK Teaching Notes - ABRSM Piano 2019/20 Grade 7 - A3

Sonata in G K.283 - II. Andante

W. A. Mozart.

Grade 7 Piano ABRSM 2019/2020 A3.

Teaching Notes

The first thing to notice is the articulation markings. Mozart is very specific. Right from the very first bar you will notice that he uses staccato and staccatissimo markings. 

However, keeping in context with the style of the piece, these - staccatissimo markings should be played like a normal staccato and those “marked” staccato, although separated, should be a little longer. 

Be careful also in bars 5 and 6, that you make each note marked, separated. It could be quite easy to slur these notes in pairs.

The same is true for bar 14. Make sure that you make a little lift after each group of 4 demisemiquavers before the final staccatissimo quaver.

The examiner will also be listening out for your length of notes. Going back to the first bar, notice the rest in the LH. Make sure you release the crotchet after the first beat. Also in bar 2, you need to hold the lower dotted crotchet it’s full length.

Next notice how Mozart is very specific with his dynamic markings. Sometimes they change where you might not be expecting it. A typical case in point is in bars 22 and 23. It would be tempting here, to play the semiquavers G sharp forte and the end of the preceding run. However you need to make the last note of each run piano.

Next I want to talk about, feminine endings. These are a feature of Mozart’s music where you need to lighten the 2nd note of a slurred group. Take for example the 2nd half of bar 9. Here you need to lean a little on the first note and lighten the second note in each slurred pair. This makes the dissonance on the beat, that resolves off the beat, that much more poignant.

Finally, a little note on trills. In the ABRSM copy, there is printed a realisation of the trill in bar 6, where the upper note of the trill is tied from the previous note. The same principle should be applied throughout this movement, with the exception of bar 21, where the upper note is played again at the beginning of the trill. If you are able, a faster trill than that suggested would be better. In this video performance a triplet demisemiquaver is used. Practice slowly with 6 triplet demisemiquavers against each LH quaver, not forgetting the turn at the end and then gradually speed up the tempo, maybe with a metronome until you can play it relaxed with no tension in your hand.

If you are playing this piece for your exam, please let me know in the comments below.

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