Granados, Heller & a Venetian Gondola Song!

Our next three videos for the 2023 & 2024 ABRSM piano examination syllabus are now available on the Online Academy. These videos feature works from the Grade 6 list, including a challenging, but charming prelude by Heller, the sentimental Vals poético by Granados and one of Mendelssohn’s wistful Venetian Gondola Songs.

New Videos

Grade 6 A1: S. Heller – Prelude in C# minor (No. 10 from 24 Preludes, Op. 81)

Stephen Heller is best known for his piano studies. Even though this charming piece is a prelude, it serves as an excellent study in leggiero playing. In this video excerpt, Graham Fitch offers some suggestions for how to approach learning the opening passage and achieving the desired touch:

Prelude by Heller

Grade 6 B2: Granados – Vals poético (No. 6 from Valses poéticos)

Enrique Granados wrote this romantic waltz when he was a student at the Madrid Conservatory, indicating that it should be played sentimentally, with freedom (quasi ad libitum). In this video excerpt, Graham Fitch gives an overview of the piece which requires a vivid imagination, flexibility in the singing lines and colour to convey the spirit of the music:

Grade 6 B3: Mendelssohn – Venetianisches Gondellied (No. 6 from Lieder ohne Worte, Op. 19b)

Mendelssohn wrote 48 Songs without Words – short, lyrical pieces most of which are suitable for intermediate players. Wistful in character, the main feature is the underlying rocking motion (supplied by the left hand) over which the right hand spins a melody (often in two voices). In this video excerpt, Graham Fitch demonstrates practice methods for achieving the correct balance between the different voices:

Mendelssohn's Venetian Gondola Song

Click here for links to view the full videos on the Online Academy!

Other Videos

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).

Videos for over 70 pieces have been recorded already and are currently in the various stages of the editing process. Several further shoots are planned and we will be releasing the videos in frequent installments over the coming months. 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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