Grade 5

Haydn - Minuet and Trio (2nd mvt from Sonata in D, Hob. XVI:4)

In the Classical Period a minuet was a stylised dance in triple time, elegant in character. It was customary to follow a minuet with a trio, after which the minuet was repeated (creating an overall ABA structure); we find minuets and trios in symphonies as well as in other multi-movement forms, such as sonatas.

This piece requires a strong rhythmic backbone as well as some articulation and delicacy with the ornamentation. Do we play the right hand in bar 7, for example, legato or detached? Perhaps the first beat might be detached, and a slur added between the second and third beats, or each beat played short - the choice is ours. Experiment with a mixture of legato, staccato, and slurs in the left hand of the trio to discover the articulation you feel best brings out the dance quality in the music.

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Resources & links

  • This piece is available for digital download individually from the ABRSM shop here or in print as part of the Piano Exam Pieces 2023 & 2024 Grade 5 publication here.
  • Click here to view open domain editions for this work.

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