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Author Topic: Difficulty of certain Grade 8 RCM pieces  (Read 3596 times)
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« on: June 25, 2012, 09:16:30 PM »

Hello, first post here. Just made an account.

I had my Grade 8 RCM exam this morning and I felt like it went ok. I was a lot more nervous than I expected myself to be and I probably lost 5-10 marks because of it, but I'm pretty confident I passed as well. Anyway, I am trying to gauge where I am at a little bit and I know there's some difference in the difficulty of different Grade 8 pieces, so I was wondering if anyone knew whether the songs I played are some of the easiest, moderate, or more difficult in the Grade 8 RCM 'Celebrations' book or even in the syllabus altogether if anyone knows.

I played the following:
List A: Invention No. 13 in A min. - Bach
List B: Sonatina in A Major, op. 59, no. 1 - Kahlau
List C: An Important Event, op. 15, no. 6 - Schumann
List D: Etude Allegro - Nakada
Stude A: Etude, op. 27, no. 24 - Kabalevsky
Study B: Dance of the Marionettes - Tarenghi

Overall, what would you say would be the most challenging songs to learn and play in the Grade 8 syllabus (or preferably 'celebrations' book) because I was planning on learning 2-3 songs over the summer before starting on Grade 9 in the fall.

Thanks for any and all answers!
Now that I have an account on here, I'll likely post somewhat regularly. I've been lurking for a few months now.
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« Reply #1 on: June 27, 2012, 07:44:14 PM »

I'm liking all the spotlight RCM is getting these days!!! I did my grade 8 a while ago... it doesn't seem that long ago, but I think it was probably close to 7-8 years.

I remember the Heller study in chords was kind of beastly.  The epic D minor one.  The Gypsies was one that I played and it was pretty hellish too (octave passages in grade 8?!)

For List A, The D major little prelude is apparently one of the more difficult ones; there's a sonata in List B (I think A major) with double third passages...

For list C, the 5/4 piece in G minor (lost hapiness... sad tale, ugh something with a title like that).  Or the Grieg poetic tone picture.

List D try out Crimson, it was fun as hell.  O Moon is cool (there are a lot more pieces like this in the upper grades).

I mostly listed the more difficult ones; but maybe just try out a bunch and see for yourself (difficulty is very subjective.  Some people have more difficulty with big, slow chords than they do with fast fast scale passages).

send me a pm if you want, I have the teacher's guide for this stuff, it ranks them all.  I'm just in a rush right now though!!
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Interested in discussing:

-Prokofiev Toccata
-Scriabin Sonata 2
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« Reply #2 on: June 28, 2012, 02:57:13 AM »

I did my Gr 8 a very long time ago, so not sure if these are in the book much less in the syllabus but Chopin Mazurka In A Minor Op 67 No 4 is very nice.  Also Bolero by A. Casella is fun (very different with a nice spanish feel).  If you like Bach two-part inventions, No 6 in E and No 8 in F were Grade 8.  I did the same sonatina as you about 30 years ago!  Did you give any thought to maybe learning one easier Grade 9 piece?
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