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14 June 2019

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ABRSM Piano 2019/20 Grade 8 A2 - MusicOnline UK Teaching Notes

Sonata in D - Kp 214

Domenico Scarlatti

Grade 8 Piano ABRSM 2019/2020 A2

Teaching Notes

One of the first things you may notice with this piece, is that (at least in the ABRSM edition), there are no dynamic markings. However, the examiner will be looking out for your creativity by adding some dynamics to your performance. The music itself, suggests quite obviously at times, where these should be. Bars 4 and 5 for example are an exact repeat of bars 2 and 3 and so an "echo effect" here would be stylish. Be careful however, that the phrases in this piece often start on the third quaver of the beat and so your changes in dynamics should reflect this. If you need inspiration, listen to the above performance and pencil in your copy any dynamic changes you hear. These are open to interpretation, so also feel free to experiment, noting that changes from this period of music tend to be "stepped" or "terraced", i.e. sudden not gradual.

The next thing to consider is the articulation. Very few "slur markings" are to be found. Indeed, even the ones shown in the ABRSM edition are editorial suggestions only and the performance above on occasions varies from these. In general a note that is a discord on the beat that then resolves in the 3rd quaver of that beat, should be slurred onto that 3rd quaver. For example, those slurs marked in bars 6-9. However, later on there are similarly printed slurs that are not  resolved discords (e.g. bars 37-40) and you will notice that the above performance omits these slurs in general. In order to give a forward momentum and dance like feel, you will notice, that apart from those discords just mentioned - there is a slur of the first two quavers of the beat with the 3rd quaver separated from its adjacent notes. Again, this is not gospel - the above video is just one interpretation and your inner creativity may feel it differently.

Regarding the ornaments, at speed the suggested triplet works well, but make sure that this is  on  the beat, not before and also that they flow without hesitation onto the next note. Some slow metronome practice in the sections where both hands play ornaments together (e.g. bars 6-9), may be beneficial.

Finally, you may have noticed in the above performance, some re-assignment of the hands to what is written in the ABRSM edition. The slurred resolution of discords mentioned earlier are written one note in each hand. This works fine for the first one in bar 6, but becomes slightly clumsy and awkward for the next two in bar 7 where it is suggested to slide your thumb from one note to the next. Far easier and equally acceptable would be to take both these notes in the RH in each case.

Aternative fingering to ABRSM edition

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