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A Guide to the Trinity College Piano Syllabus

This series features video demonstrations of a selection of pieces from Trinity College London’s 2018 - 2020 piano examination syllabus, with examples from each grade from Initial to 8. You will find plenty of tips for practice, as well as suggestions for piano teachers, and guidance on matters relating to... Read >>


Graham Fitch Performing Examinations

Fanfarinette and La Triomphante (from Suite in A minor)

Trinity College - Grade 8

Jean-Philippe Rameau was an important composer and theorist of the High Baroque. He wrote three books of very fine pieces for harpsichord - Fanfarinette and La Triomphante come from the Suite in A minor (third book), and are examples of character pieces with descriptive or fanciful titles typical of the... Read >>


Graham Fitch Learning pieces Rameau

No. 2 from Kinderstücke (Op. 72)

Trinity College - Grade 7

Mendelssohn wrote his set of six Children’s Pieces, op. 72 for his young relatives during his summer holiday to England in 1842. No. 2, an andante sostenuto in the key of E flat, close in spirit to the composer’s many Songs without Words, features a lyrical melody in the right... Read >>


Allegro molto (3rd movement from Sonata in C major, Hob. XVI:50)

Trinity College - Grade 7

This is the last movement of the so-called “English” Sonata in C, inspired by the powerful and resonant Broadwood pianos Haydn encountered on a visit to London in the 1790s. The music is full of humour and lightness of spirit, requiring a sense of comic timing, clarity of texture and... Read >>


Graham Fitch Learning pieces Haydn

Partita No. 1 in B-flat Major (BWV 825)

This set of resources provides walkthroughs for movements from Bach's Partita No. 1 in B-flat Major (BWV 825) featured in the ABRSM examination syllabus. Menuets I and II (ABRSM Grade 6) make a beautiful contrasting pair of dances whereas the Gigue (ABRSM Grade 7) is unusual among Bach’s Gigues -... Read >>


Graham Fitch Learning pieces Bach

Allegro Assai (1st movement from Sonata in A major, Wq 55 no. 4)

Trinity College - Grade 8

CPE Bach’s Sonata in A is full of invention and makes a great alternative to the standard Haydn or Mozart repertoire. Full of contrasts in dynamics and texture, it demands a lot of technical control and precision. In this walkthrough, I look at how CPE Bach embellishes some of the... Read >>


Graham Fitch Learning pieces CPE Bach

Minuet in D major, K. 355

Trinity College - Grade 7

Mozart’s Minuet in D, K. 355 features chromaticism that is surprising even to our ears (imagine what it must have sounded like to the listener of the day!). The piece is conceived as an ensemble piece for string trio, and we need to have this sound in our ear as... Read >>


Graham Fitch Learning pieces WA Mozart

Intermezzo in B minor (Op. 119 No. 1)

Trinity College - Grade 8

In 1893, Brahms wrote his last work for the piano, a set of four piano pieces, op. 119. The Intermezzo in B minor is the first piece of the set. As a composition it is full of riches, arousing keen interest in composers and scholars (including Arnold Schoenberg) as they... Read >>


Graham Fitch Learning pieces Brahms

Prelude in C-sharp Minor

(Op. 3 No. 2)

A series of three videos exploring Rachmaninov’s famous Prelude in C-sharp Minor (Op. 3 No. 2) at the piano, with extensive practice tips to solve the technical issues, pedalling suggestions and thoughts on performance – including how to achieve a big sound effortlessly without banging or harshness.... Read >>


Waltz in E Minor (Op. Posth.)

Chopin’s brilliant Waltz in E minor is justly popular with pianists entering the advanced level. This From the Ground Up edition helps students to lay a solid musical and technical foundation for learning the piece efficiently and quickly, with particular attention given to using rhythmic practice to solve technical challenges.... Read >>


Ken Johansen Learning pieces Chopin

Nocturne in E-flat

Op. 9, no. 2

Frédéric Chopin’s Nocturne in E-flat Op. 9 No. 2, has long been a favourite of both pianists and audiences with it's richly-ornamented melody, supported by exquisite harmonies in the left hand. This From the Ground Up walk-through provides a detailed guide to learning this piece efficiently and with understanding and... Read >>


Ken Johansen Learning pieces Chopin

Playing Double Notes at the Advanced Level

Some of the most difficult pieces in the piano literature involve double notes. This series explores how to develop the technical skills needed to play them at the advanced level. It provides detailed advice on how to practise scales, exercises and studies, along with some suggestions for studies you might... Read >>


Graham Fitch Technique Double notes

Intermezzo in A Minor (Op. 76 No. 7)

ABRSM Grade 8 – C2

Brahms’s sets of miniatures are among the best-loved shorter works for the piano. The Intermezzo in A minor, op. 76 no. 7, is currently on the ABRSM Grade VIII syllabus, and will pose several challenges for those who wish to master it. This walkthrough and Annotated Study Edition has a... Read >>


Graham Fitch Learning pieces Brahms

The Girl with the Flaxen Hair

La fille aux cheveux de lin (The Girl with the Flaxen Hair) is among Debussy’s best-loved works for the piano. Despite its apparent simplicity, it is deceptively difficult to bring off. This walkthrough with accompanying annotated study edition gives practical solutions to the numerous problems the pedalling in the work... Read >>


Graham Fitch Learning pieces Debussy

Nocturne in C-sharp Minor

Chopin wrote the Nocturne in C-sharp minor, op. posth. in 1830, but it was only published in 1870. He dedicated the work to his sister, Ludwika “as an exercise before beginning the study of my second Concerto". This series of articles provides a comprehensive walkthrough and detailed practice worksheets for... Read >>


Graham Fitch Learning pieces Chopin