The Piano Sonata in D major K.311 is in three movements. The Allegro opens with a theme that is orchestral in conception. After a modulation to the dominant, there is a secondary theme that sounds much more like a keyboard solo with its Alberti bass figures and scale-like melody. Mozart slowly increases the rhythmic intensity of the development section until a sudden stop near the middle, where piano and forte dynamics alternate. The order of events in the recapitulation is unusual.
This course is designed to drastically transform your piano technique forever for the better. With the aid of videos and exercise book, you will be able to not only learn at your pace but also practice efficiently to improve your piano playing in a short period of time
My technique exercise book (pdf copy): “Technique Transformation Piano Exercise Book” (USD$25 value)
Section 1: Demonstration videos on various techniques with reference to Gyorgy Sandor’s “On Piano Playing” (USD$150 value);
Section 2: Demonstration videos on ALL exercises from technique book (30 exercises) (USD$250 value).
For those who are preparing for their piano performance diploma exams (ABRSM/TCL- dipABRSM/ATCL/LTCL/LRSM), here are some excellent examples for your reference on programme notes writing:
I know a lot of you are preparing for the Toccata in E minor BWV 914, and so here is one of analysis you can find online.
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Editor: Malcolm Boyd
Editor: John Butt
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Author: Christoph Wolff
Publisher: W.W. Norton & Company
Author: Siglind Bruhn
Publisher: Edition Gorz
Author: Willard A. Palmer
Publisher: Alfred Music
Publisher: Henle Verlag
Sound (CD etc)
Title: Well-Tempered Clavier
Pianist: Andras Schiff
Pianist: Glenn Gould
Pianist: Roselyn Tureck
Title: Bach, J.S.: Keyboard Works
Pianist: Angela Hewitt
For those who are preparing for their piano performance diploma exams (ABRSM/TCL- dipABRSM/ATCL/LTCL/LRSM), here are some references on programme notes writing:
Title: Chopin: The Reluctant Romantic
Author: Jim Samson
(background/analysis (not structural) of works like Ballade and Scherzos)
Title: Chopin, the four ballades
Author: Jim Samson
Title: Chopin’s Letters
Author: Publisher: Dover Books on Music
Title: Chopin: The Man and His Music
Publisher: Dover Books on Music
Author: James Huneker
Title: In Search of Chopin
Publisher: Dover Books on Music
Author: Alfred Cortot
Chopin: The Piano Concertos
Publisher: Cambridge Music Handbooks
Title: The Chopin Companion : Profiles of the Man and the Musician
Publisher: Norton Library, N668
You can also find editions by the same publishers above for Mazurkas, Preludes and Etudes. Alternatively, you can find them for free on imslp.org.
Here are 5 tips to help you prepare for your piano diploma exam:
1. Read the Official Syllabus
Read the syllabus carefully: everything is written out very clearly in the syllabus provided by the music exam board you’re taking exam with, from the repertoire list, to time limit, writing format and word count. Go to the relevant link for your piano diploma:
2. Choose a Well-balanced Program
It is advised to choose a program that includes pieces of not only from different musical periods but also varieties in musical styles and technical command. So think tempo contrast, different genres and structures (sonata/character piece/technical piece/fugue).
3. Show Your Strength and Hide Your Weakness
The recital program is for you to SHINE, to show your performance ability and musical understanding, rather than displaying your shortcomings in commanding a piece or two. Know your strength – usually your teacher (if you have one) would know quite well what that would be. Explore your ability and learn to perform pieces of higher level of difficulties is commendable, but knowing your limit is worth noting especially for exam purpose.
4. Combine Interest and Mastery in Your Exam Pieces
Choosing pieces you would like to learn is very important – but so is choosing pieces you CAN perform them technically and musically to the level of the diploma exam required. Do not choose pieces just because they are popular or technically demanding, but at the same time do not choose some music simply because they are obscure thinking the examiners have never heard and do not know how to mark them (think “new music”) – if that ever happens I suppose you as the candidate would not understand how to play it either! And don’t forget you have to talk about them if you’re taking any diploma exams with the ABRSM!
5. Understand the Difficulty when Preparing for a Diploma Exam
Preparing for a performance exam at a diploma level (whether ATCL/dipABRSM or higher) is a huge step up from grade 8 level – you have to not only learn how to play the piece but also really present the pieces at the performance level that a diploma requires. It’s a PERFORMANCE not just an exam.
Give time to prepare for it. Listen to a lot of performances, read a lot about the music, the history and the composer (you can find a lot of information online or at your local library). Find a great teacher to help you: even if it’s not regular lessons, take some lessons from a teacher or two to get advice and suggestions on your performance would really help you improve and be prepared for the exam.
Good luck to all of you who are preparing for your upcoming piano diploma. Enjoy the process and have fun with it!