Hong Kong Festival 2017 - Grade 4 Piano
Allegro Finale - Haydn
1/ Giocoso is the only indication here and this 'joyful' feel is best achieved through good Classical phrasing, not hurried, though brisk, and certainly poised. Crotchet = 104 will give the music a poised feel.
2/ The phrasing should have time to speak and not be simply metronomic. Aim for this kind of feel in the phrasing:
(pdf with rhythmic phrasing)
3/ The tone and touch should be light, even when playing forte.
4/ Observe all the phrasing detail, such as the slurred then detached semiquaver pairs (bar 25).
5/ LH ALberti bass should be played as quietly as possible (bars 26 - 31).
6/ Note that the final chord is a crotchet length and not a quaver.
Butterfly - Rhode
1/ Notice that although the marking is moderato, the suggested metronome speed is set at one-in-a-bar. The suggested one, dotted minim = 60, will be fine for pianists who find it hard to play any quicker, but dotted minim = 69 works very well, especially if there is some flexibility. Don't be metronomic!
2/ Achieve the musical contrasts between mf and p passages by making the louder passages more outgoing and the quiter passages more introspective.
3/ Take a little time in bar 20 in the 3 quavers pick up to bar 22. It adds a moment of poise and refinement in the phrasing. Also pace the ritardando between bars 32 - 35, and do not be in a hurry. Similarly in bars 52 - 55 the crescendo and ritardando should not be sudden.
4/ LH chord playing should always be gentle and the tone quiet, especially on the 2nd beat. Avoid any accentuation here.
Little Minx - Kenneth Leighton
1/ Careful work is needed at a slow tempo to be certain of the note patterns and the rhythmic changes of metre, as the end, especially.
2/ Crotchet = 120 works well. Very much quicker and the music will lose its capriciosso feel.
3/ The quieter legato moments (bar 16 - 29) need a little more flexibility to tease out the more expressive lyrical character of the musical material. Take time before going into bar 16 and observe the sudden changes of mood and tempi between bars 30 and 34.
4/ Note that there is no rallentando at the end. Be certain to judge the final diminuendo from ff (bar44) to the end so that you don't end up too quiet too soon.
5/ Note the detail and difference in legato/staccato touch between the hands. This level of detail helps to really characterize the piece.