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12 January 2019

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ABRSM Piano 2019/20 Grade 8 - C6 - MusicOnline UK Teaching Notes

Lullaby (for Edna Trident Hornbryce)

Raymond Yiu

Grade 8 Piano ABRSM 2019/2020 C6

Teaching Notes
To really understand this piece we need to know that the subtitle, "for Edna Trident Hornbryce" is an anagram of Richard Rodney Bennett in whose memory (he died in 2012), this piece is written. Although melancholy, there is a gentle lullaby, waltz type feel to it and at times a "one in a bar" feel is necessary. However, the style allows for a lot of ebb and flow with the tempo using rubato wherever it feels appropriate. One example in this video performance is the dramatic changes in tempo from bars 54-57 following the dynamic shaping of the tune.

Voicing of the melody is paramount for a good mark, and this is often helped by the composer's dynamic markings. Keep the chords always very subservient to the cantabile melody. You will notice there is frequent use of subito (mezzo)piano creating a dramatic effect (e.g. bars 10, 27, 49 and 53).

Also be aware of the tenuto markings on the semiquavers of 29, 30 and 47. be careful these notes don't come before the beat and give them a little extra weight so that they sing out a little stronger as the melody.

Regarding pedalling, generally one pedal per bar will be necessary. The composer, in fact states that the pedalling written in bar 10 should be used from there on to sustain the lower dotted minims where necessary.
To save "tangling" in the cross hands section (bars 63-67), keep the RH lower and nearer to yourself, with the LH higher and further up the keys.

Finally, observe the molto rit maybe even pausing slightly on the last note before release to let the "pin-drop" atmosphere you have created linger just a moment longer.

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