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New ABRSM Syllabus


Shropshire Lad
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I've just seen the new syllabus and wandered what the views of the members were? The Thalben-Ball Elegy is in the grade 7 syllabus and I thought the piece is on the easy side for that grading (presumably they are referring to the b flat elegy)?

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Some interesting choices... though i'm pleased to see that they have changed list c of Grade8 quite extensivly, and the music now on that list is of a good quality, and not modernity for the sake of it (though this was never the case with the whitlock previously there) Also a good selection of recently written music (Rawsthorne Fanfare for Francis - Recommended, if hard for grade 5) and more recently popularised music (Demessieux 12 chorale preludes)

 

Karg-Elert now thank we all our God at grade 8? Seems a bit of a simple piece for that level. Surely not comparable to the Bairstow?

 

 

No Howells though? And does anyone else think there is a lack of Bach in levels up to and including grade 6/7? Will this discourage people from tackling his works?

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No syllabus will ever please everyone but, from a quick perusal yesterday, the new lists of pieces seem infinitely better than what they are replacing. The old lists, to my mind, are frankly dire but that is my personal opinion and others may like them.

 

The Thalben Ball and the Karg Elert need a great deal of skill and musicianship to bring them off well; I've heard both played badly on many occasions. I think it is also an excellent test of candidates, preparing them for life in the real world, if they sometimes have to play pieces in exams which, at least initially, they don't necessarily like. I can think of several pieces I have played in exams which initially I didn't particularly like but gradually grew to like very much indeed.

 

The people setting the syllabus don't always get it totally right. I recallsome years ago now Reger's Dankpsalm breing set simulataneously for Grade 8 and FRCO.

 

Malcolm

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Karg-Elert now thank we all our God at grade 8? Seems a bit of a simple piece for that level. Surely not comparable to the Bairstow?

I've heard plenty of poor performances of the Karg-Elert which audiences/congregations still seem to enjoy. I think (hope!) examiners will be discerning and not be fobbed off by splashy chords and runs. Plenty of examiners are organists (I believe) and will instinctively weight their expectations in a work such as this.

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  • 2 weeks later...
The people setting the syllabus don't always get it totally right. I recallsome years ago now Reger's Dankpsalm breing set simulataneously for Grade 8 and FRCO.

 

That must have been the year I took it c1985, haven't played the Reger since, and not sure I would have done had it been on the FRCO syllabus when I got round to it.

 

There's a rather informative podcast on the new syllabus, just released on the AB website with AMT and others and some demos. Some interesting thoughts about books that will cover more than one grade, though I would obviously have to disagree with her statement about transcriptions!

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