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BBC Award for a Life With Chopin

Chopin’s piano music does have a prominent place in the classical music repertoire. Janina Fialkowska’s Chopin Recital II recording on ATMA Classique confirmed the fact when it recently won the prestigious BBC Music Magazine Award for Best Instrumental Recording of 2012. Read more >>

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Author Topic: Difficulty of certain Grade 8 RCM pieces  (Read 3404 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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