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26 July 2019

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Allegro Moderato - Schubert - Grade 8 ABRSM Piano B3 - MusicOnline UK Teaching Notes

Sonata in E - D. 459 -1st movement - Allegro Moderato

Franz Schubert

Grade 8 Piano 
ABRSM 2019/2020 B3 / AMEB  Series 17  B4

Teaching Notes

One of the first things to notice is the tempo marking - Allegro Moderato. There are many performances available on YouTube for example which seem to miss the second word in this direction. There needs to be enough space to explore Schubert's beautiful melodies which is not possible at a "break-neck" speed.

He is also very specific and detailed in his notation of dynamics and articulation. Every marking is there for a purpose so take time to understand why each is there.

The following are some details that might easily be missed:
Bars 2, 4, 6 etc - Observe the crotchet rest in the LH.

Bars 7 - Lift the last note of each triplet group.

In general, it would be correct to pedal much of this movement, but be careful to not blur harmonies, for example bar 6 would need a change of pedal every beat.

The section starting at bar 21 uses many "four note slurs" which need separation one from another, so if you are using pedal here, make sure it releases on the last note of each slurred group.

When the alberti bass semiquavers start at bar 33, always keep them as light as possible, never obscuring the RH melody.

For the big cadence in bars 43 & 47, although the general dynamic is quite loud, be sure to lean more on the first chord and slightly lighten the second chord.

In the development section (bar 54 onwards), keep the repeated notes as soft as possible. If the melody is marked pp then this accompaniment should be ppp.

At bar 62, although there are block ff chords, try to bring out the melody by leaning on the 1st, 3rd and 4th beats.

Another "hidden" melody to bring out is the rising middle parts in bars 72-77, alternating between LH and RH.

Much of what has been mentioned above applies to the recapitulation from bar 80, the music being basically a repeat of the opening "exposition" but in different keys.

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