Well, the forms have been filled in, the cheque written out, and the envelope posted off to ABRSM. So now I'm properly committed to doing my DipABRSM in Piano Performance. I've gone for the December sitting.
I thought that I would copy Barry-Clarri, and put together a thread of my experiences of doing the whole thing (as I mentioned in the the topic description, can I ever do anything original?).
I thought I'd give you summary of what it's entailed so far, where I am now, and what there still to do.
Hopefully the whole thread will prove useful to others wanting to pursue their dip...
Done So Far:
- listened to most of the diploma repertoire, and downloaded a lot of it.
- of this, I came up with a short-list of pieces I really warmed to:
Bach - Toccata No.5 in E Minor
Beethoven - Sonatas: F minor (op.2 no.1), C Minor (op.10 no.1), F (op.10 no.2), C Minor (op.13 "Pathetique"), C# minor (op.27 no.2 "Moonlight")
Brahms - Ballade in G Minor op.118 no.3, Romance in F, op.118 no.5
Chopin - Nocturne in E, op.62 no.2
Gershwin - "The Man I Love" & "I Got Rhythm"
Mozart - Sonata in B-flat, K.570
Ravel - Sonatine
Rachmaninov - Preludes in E-flat Op.23 no.6, C minor op.23 no.7, G# minor op.32 no.12
Schumann - Des Abends & Aufschwung
Stravinsky - Tango
Bonds - Troubled Water (not on the syllabus)
[Some surprises in there: none of the Scriabin in the syllabus grabbed me (sorry, MT, in absentia), neither did any of the Schubert (sorry, Sol), and nor did any of the Bach, apart from the Toccata listed above]
I've got the sheet music to all of this, so I played through all of it (to the best of my ability).
I decided that I wanted to build my programme around a big, classical sonata. I preferred the all the Beethoven to the Mozart, so easy decision there. So which Beethoven? Lots of indecision here: Pathetique or op.10 no.1? I like op.10 no.1 less, but it's less well-known that the Pathetique, so possibly less risky? Decided on the end on the Pathetique - I really like the piece, and will be spending a lot of time on it - rather learn something I really like.
I'd then fallen for the Ravel Sonatine, so that became an easy addition. And then finally went for the Margaret Bonds - Troubled Water, which is already in my repertoire.
- For the programme notes, and the viva, I've read very widely on Beethoven and Ravel, and have done specific research on the pieces. Margaret Bonds is proving very elusive. For example, I can't find any information about who the piece is dedicated to (Toy Harpur), and information on the first performance is also pretty scant.
Where Am I Now?
- So the programme is decided: Beethoven's Pathetique, Ravel's Sonatine, and Troubled Water by Margaret Bonds. I think the programme looks pretty varied (despite no Baroque - quite happy to field that question in the viva) - there's 100 years between the Pathetique and the Sonatine, and further 65 odd years between the Sonatine and Troubled Water. Decent mix of keys, moods, styles, piano technique required, etc etc.
- All pieces have been performed in public at least once, and at least once from memory (with varying degrees of success). The aim is to perform each one at least another three times in public, all from memory (all performing will be from memory from now on).
Still To Do / Upcoming
- Blackheath Festival: performing both the Margaret Bonds and Ravel there. Will be good to get some critical written feedback on the pieces.
- Find other performance opportunities for the whole programme (which will be mostly Forum events (sorry, everyone, more of the same!), and festivals
- Get the pieces properly polished - just a function of continuously sticking at practice, and taking performance opportunities
- Sort out programme notes properly
What I also intend to do is to use the thread as a sort of diary, and will detail the highs and the lows.
Apologies for the long post, and for copying Barry's great idea.