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23 May 2019

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ABRSM Piano 2019/20 Grade 5 C1 - MusicOnline UK Teaching Notes


Witold Lutoslawski

Grade 5 Piano ABRSM 2019/2020 C1

Teaching Notes

The best place to start learning this piece is the final vivace. This brilliant finish will need extra practice, so if you start learning this first you can confident of secure finish, rather than leaving the hardest part to the end, thus giving it the least practice.

As you work through the piece, pay careful attention to the exact dynamics and articulation. Often the dynamics are sudden changes for just one bar (bars 16-18) and other times involve a very quick crescendo (bar 24). Making good contrasts will give this piece character and earn you credit in the exam. Regarding the articulation, apart from the fact that very often a staccato in one hand is against a longer note in the other hand, make sure the tenuto notes are long, but NOT legato.Also notice that a lot of these tenuto notes have accents on them, a characteristic of this piece where the emphasis is frequently on the 2nd beat rather than the first.

In the meno mosso section, note the staccato dots under a slur in the RH. These should be "semi-staccato", separated, but note too short. The LH could afford a legato line here, but for a perfect legato, you'll need a different fingering to the one in the book (see video above). Also this section could benefit from an extra ritardando (not printed ) up to the pause. Then notice the little comma after the pause before the Tempo I. There should be a brief moment of silence here, a breath if you like.

Overall, the strictness and accuracy of the details mentioned above should convey that discipline and attention to detail expected by the inspiration for this piece, a stern old style schoolmaster who demands nothing but perfection. 

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