Following on from our big instalment of video lessons for the 2023 & 2024 ABRSM examination syllabus published last month, we’ve now added videos for a further seven works. These videos provide detailed lessons for works from the intermediate and advanced grades, including several popular works from the repertoire by Mozart, Schumann and Beethoven.
In this blog post we provide video previews for a selection of these new lessons, starting with Mozart’s variations on ‘Ah vous dirai-je, maman’ (or Twinkle Twinkle, Little Star). This is followed by Schumann’s beautiful Einsame Blumen, an Impromptu by Schubert and the slow movement from Beethoven’s ‘Pathetique’ Sonata!
ABRSM Grade 5 A10: Mozart – Theme, Var. 1 & Var. 5 (from 12 Variations on “Ah vous dirai-je, maman”, K. 265)
The French melody Mozart used for his 1785 set of twelve variations, ‘Ah, vous dirai-je, maman’ first appeared in 1761, and has been used for many children’s songs since. In this excerpt, Graham Fitch shows how to shape both the left and right hand lines in the theme of this piece:
ABRSM Grade 6 B13: Schumann – Einsame Blumen (No 3 from Waldscenen, Op. 82)
Waldszenen (Forest Scenes), Op. 82, is a set of nine short pieces written by Robert Schumann in 1849. Einsame Blumen (Lonely Flowers) is a piece of extreme delicacy and beauty, requiring the performer to paint a picture in sound from the imagination. In this excerpt, Graham Fitch creates stories and gives advice on how having an imaginative story about this piece can help make the phrases sound more expressive:
ABRSM Grade 8 B9: Schubert – Impromptu in A-Flat Major (No. 2 from Four Impromptus, Op. 142, D. 935)
Schubert wrote two sets of Impromptus, each comprising four pieces. The term “impromptu” conveys a sense of improvisation or spontaneity, yet the formal structure (ABA) is very clear here. The A-flat Impromptu is based on a very simple, pure melody that reminds us of a gentle dance – a minuet, or maybe even a sarabande. In this excerpt, Graham Fitch explores the B section (trio) and gives ways to practise and voice the main theme:
Grade 8 B12: Beethoven – Adagio cantabile (2nd mvt from Sonata in C minor ‘Pathétique’, Op. 13)
The famous second movement of Beethoven’s ‘Pathétique’ Sonata begins in the manner of a string quartet, the first violin entering only in the second phrase. In this excerpt, Graham Fitch discusses pedalling and legato playing. He explains the various ways in which legato can be created, including finger substitution, finger legato and using the pedal:
Click here for links to view the full videos on the Online Academy!
The videos featured in this blog post are only a small selection from our recent updates – click here to view the full index of available videos, including links to several from previous and other syllabuses (further information on our project for the previous 2021 & 2022 syllabus is available here).
We’ve now published video lessons for almost 50 pieces from the latest ABRSM syllabus with many more already recorded and currently in the various stages of the editing process. Please click here to sign-up to our mailing list for updates and notifications on this project and our resources for piano examinations.
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