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Diploma Repertoire

The Pianodao Music Library brings together all of the piano repertoire which has been reviewed, shared or otherwise featured on Pianodao. As such it is a varied, extensive, inclusive, and ever expanding body of carefully curated music.

The music in the Diploma category is suitable for those players who are preparing for public recitals, advanced certificates (such as the ARSM) and first diplomas (such as the DipABRSM, ATCL and ALCM).

Please note: in addition to the titles specifically reviewed and linked below, the Pianodao Music Library includes all pieces set in the current ARSM and DipABRSM syllabus.

Andrew is happy to help you improve your playing of any of this music, and is experienced in preparing students for these diplomas. You can access his support by booking a consultation in person, or by using his online Video Feedback Service.

In most cases, the sheet music can be purchased online from Musicroom, who deliver to customers worldwide. For your convenience links are provided in reviews, and Pianodao Tea Room community members are entitled to a 20% discount on all their sheet music purchases – especially welcome for specialist titles in this category!

Studio Choice

STUDIO CHOICE showcases the publications which my regular students have enjoyed and which I most frequently recommend. This includes Library Essentials, offering a core programme of music, and a regularly updated list of fresh, Current Favourites.

Library Essentials

J.S. Bach: The Six Partitas

The Six Partitas BWV 825-30 of Johann Sebastian Bach (1685-1750) have long been regarded as one of the most important milestones of the Baroque keyboard repertoire…

Schubert: The Late Sonatas

Bärenreiter’s lush new edition brings us these works with unparalleled clarity, and I can’t imagine any Schubert-lover wanting to be without it!

The Greatest Schumann?

The complete piano works of Robert Schumann as edited by his widow Clara Schumann, and with additional fingerings by the legendary pianist Wilhelm Kempff…

Debussy: Préludes pour piano

There are many good editions of the Debussy Préludes of 1910 and 1913, but these versions must be considered the front runners, unlikely to be surpassed…

Current Favourites

Trinity College: A Recital Anthology

Once in every while a music book arrives on my review desk which is simply too wonderful for words, and yes! this is one of those! Surprisingly so, perhaps, given that on paper this looks like a rather plain anthology of well-worn diploma repertoire. So you’re possibly wondering what lifts it above the exam jargon and makes it truly special. Let’s find out…

The Melody at Night, With You

Keith Jarrett has long been one of my piano heroes, and his album The Melody at Night, With You one of my all-time favourite recordings. I am absolutely delighted that, 20 years after its release, Schott Music have brought out a complete sheet music transcription of the ten album tracks, by Friedrich Grossnick.

Discovering the piano music of Leoš Janáček

From the emotive nostalgia of On an Overgrown Path, via the outpouring of 1. X. 1905 and the reflection of In the Mists to the highly personal utterances of his late piano pieces, Janáček’s contribution to the piano repertoire is surely one of the most personal, as well as one of our greatest treasures…

Maria Szymanowska: 20 Etudes & Preludes

PWM’s new edition of the Twenty Etudes and Preludes makes a superb addition to the library of any serious classical pianist, and can be welcomed with unalloyed enthusiasm…

The Restoration of Samuel Coleridge-Taylor

The piano music of Samuel Coleridge-Taylor (1875-1912) is surely one of the great treasures of the solo repertoire, too long overlooked but now rightly being rediscovered and brought back into the spotlight.

Explore the Library

I have reviewed an abundance of wonderful music suitable for this level, crossing styles, genres, and the history of the keyboard. There’s truly something here for every player, so dig deep and enjoy exploring the full archive, which is presented here with the most recent additions first…

Chopin • Etudes Op.10

With the recent arrival of Roy Howat’s stunning new edition of the Etudes Op.10, Edition Peters’ ‘Complete Chopin: New Critical Edition’ is continuing to develop into a leading choice for any Chopin player…

Ravel • Valses Nobles et Sentimentales

Durand’s new edition of Ravel’s “Valses nobles et sentimentales” perfectly hits the spot, offering a hugely approachable and academically informed introduction to this masterpiece which can be very highly recommended.

Schumann’s Three Romances

There are many considerations when selecting which edition to use in the preparation of a performance of core repertoire such as the Schumann Romances. To my mind, this new edition from Wiener Urtext Edition ticks all the right boxes, and in doing so is somewhat a revelation…

Sibelius: Three Sonatinas Op.67

Advanced pianists with a penchant for Sibelius’s music can welcome this new Breitkopf urtext edition of the Three Sonatinas Op.67 with unalloyed happiness.

Liszt’s Late Pieces 1880-1885

While Franz Liszt (1811-1886) was perhaps the most significant of the pianist-composers of the nineteenth century, the significance of his late piano pieces has been the subject of much debate. Bärenreiter have delivered a scholarly edition of this astonishing music which is long overdue, and they have done so with typical panache…

Joachim Raff: Heralds of Spring

Joachim Raff’s “Frühlingsboten” Op.55 is a fabulous selection of pieces in the high Romantic style, and a natural successor to Schumann’s collections of Fantasiestücke or even his Kreisleriana. Here’s my review of the new Breitkopf Edition….

Couperin’s Troisième Livre

This new edition undoubtedly once again sets a new benchmark in terms of Couperin scholarship, joining the first two Livres as an essential library edition for all enthusiasts of the French baroque. It is equally the ideal performing edition for those approaching this music today, whether on the harpsichord or piano…

Women Composers: A Graded Anthology

With the arrival of a third book to complete Melanie Spanswick’s groundbreaking ‘Women Composers: A Graded Anthology’ series, I am republishing my earlier review, fully expanded and updated to include a comprehensive overview of the whole series…

Boogie Woogie Piano Solos

If you have long hankered after a collection of boogie woogie transcriptions that faithfully and brilliantly convey the style of this joyous music, this book really is the last word, and you need look no further…

Discovering Schönberg’s Piano Works

Schönberg’s piano works are as difficult (on many levels) as they have always been, but they reward effort and are of more than simply historical importance. Many musicians find themselves absorbed by the radical sound world that Schönberg opens up in these pieces, and it is no wonder that their influence changed music for ever…

Fauré: The 5 Impromptus

Following on from the great sets of Schubert and Chopin, Fauré’s five Impromptus present a third significant group of such pieces, and though less well-known they certainly deserve to be played more widely. This exemplary new edition from Bärenreiter makes them an even more tempting prospect, and can be recommended without reservation…

Kashperova: In the Midst of Nature

If you haven’t previously encountered the music of Russian composer Leokadiya Kashperova (1872-1940), be kind to yourself: until recently, her name was known only as Stravinsky’s piano teacher, her own rich musical output entirely forgotten. Happily the situation is changing…

Egon Wellesz: Sechs Klavierstücke op.26

These pieces are truly gripping, and provide a superb introduction to a dissonant but deeply expressive school of composition which many still shy away from. Suitable for players working towards UK Grade 7-8, they introduce a musical language can surely be as beguiling as it is unexpected…

Celebrating Saint-Saëns

Though best known for his orchestral works, including Carnival of the Animals, Danse macabre, the ‘Organ’ Symphony, and his concertos, Saint-Saëns also composed a significant body of virtuoso solo piano music. A centenary year reappraisal and review:

The Beethoven Sonatas: Where to Start?

Henle’s recently published “Five Easy Piano Sonatas” and “Five Famous Piano Sonatas” volumes offer a near perfect introduction to this greatest body of solo piano music….

Martin Stadtfeld’s Händel Variations

Advanced players looking for something both fresh and familiar may well find that this collection will bring many hours of discovery, while there’s much here which I believe will delight audiences wherever it is performed. Martin Stadtfeld’s Händel Variations is by any standard an outstanding achievement.

Herbert Howells: Piano Works

Herbert Howells’ piano music surely deserves a far wider audience, and I hope that this publication will prove to be a significant step towards establishing these pieces as favourites with players and audiences alike. Here’s the Pianodao review…

Variations on a Waltz: The Diabelli Project

Delivered towards the end of the recent Beethoven anniversary year, Mario Aschauer’s landmark new scholarly performing edition of the Beethoven Diabelli Variations is an essential score for serious students of the work, published by Bärenreiter, BA 9657. Perhaps even more interestingly however, Bärenreiter have also brought us their edition BA 9656, which includes Aschauer’s new Beethoven edition in its fuller historical context alongside the 50 Variations on a Waltz composed by his contemporaries. Let’s take a closer look at this ambitious and exciting publication…

Piano Music of Amy Beach

American composer Amy Beach’s significant contribution to the solo piano repertoire is finally beginning to receive the recognition and popularity it deserves. This collection offers ten intermediate to advanced solo pieces selected from across Beach’s long career by Gail Smith. Let’s take a look…

Frédéric Chopin: Trois Nouvelles Études

For those of us who thought the Chopin National Edition would offer the final word on Chopin’s works in our lifetime, Edition Peters’ Complete Chopin New Critical Edition is an eye-opener, and a truly stunning one at that. Read the Pianodao review here!

Kurt Schwertsik: Collected Piano Works

When Austrian composer Kurt Schwertsik’s Albumblätter: collected piano works landed on my desk in 2018, I was intrigued, but like too many books it ended up buried in my review backlog. Fast forward to Summer 2020, and the newly released recording of this music by pianist Aya Klebahn caught my attention on Apple Music. This time, I was quickly hooked…

Discovering Chopin

For pianists at any level who are keen to explore and discover the music of Chopin (and who isn’t?), Poland’s PWM Edition offer the definitive range of sheet music publications, from easier anthologies through to the world’s finest complete editions…

The Most Beautiful Paderewski

Paderewski’s hugely appealing contribution to the solo piano repertoire fully deserves its place at the centre of the classical literature. Don’t miss it!

Piano Music of Africa and the African Diaspora

Oxford University Press published Piano Music of Africa and the Afrian Diaspora in five volumes, compiled and edited by William H. Chapman Nyaho, between 2007-8. Between them, the books offer 60 pieces by 36 composers of African descent, organised by difficulty level…

Evgeny Kissin: Four Pieces Op.1

It is cause for great joy that so many of our current concert virtuosi have proven themselves adept composers whose original work has value in its own right. With these four superbly accomplished pieces, Kissin now joins those ranks, comfortably taking his place alongside the likes of Thomas Adès, Fazil Say, Stephen Hough and Marc-André Hamelin. Read the full review and listen to the music here:

Beethoven’s Piano Sonatas: Wiener Urtext

Celebrating this 250th anniversary of the birth of Beethoven, Wiener Urtext have recently released a fully updated and revised urtext edition of his 32 Piano Sonatas. How does this edition compare to the stunning Jonathan Del Mar edition which I reviewed recently? Well, there are some surprises in store…

Breitkopf’s Brahms Edition

Celebrating their 300th Anniversary in 2019, august publishing house Breitkopf & Härtel reissued a number of the legendary editions of their heritage, alongside their typically exciting new publications. Here’s a look at their newly reissued Complete Piano Works of Johannes Brahms, drawn from the Urtext of the Brahms Complete Edition. Also, a brilliant new edition of Adolf Busch’s little-known Sonata in C minor Op.25…

Ravel: Jeux d’eau

“…the wellspring of all the pianistic innovations which have been thought to be found in my work.” So said composer Maurice Ravel (1875-1937) of his breakthrough composition Jeux d’Eau, completed on November 11th, 1901 and dedicated to his teacher Gabriel Fauré. As such, the work is surely a milestone not only in Ravel’s compositional development, but also in that of the classical piano repertoire. In this post I will consider the genesis and significance of Jeux d’Eau before taking a look at Nicolas Southon’s brand new urtext edition of the piece, with fingering and notes on the interpretation by concert…

Beethoven’s Variations for Piano

In the 250th centenary year, Beethoven’s Piano Sonatas will be difficult to hide from (should any wish to!) but the Variations for Piano offer a welcome and immensely rewarding alternative for performance and exploration by pianists everywhere. Henle Urtext are to be thanked for providing this updated, authoritative and practical performing edition…

Weber: The Piano Sonatas

This newly published Edition Schott version must, we hope, go a long way to returning these masterpieces to the forefront of the Romantic piano repertoire where they belong:

Joachim Raff’s Piano Sonatas

Had history told a different story, these Sonatas could comfortably and confidently sit astride the peak fo the Romantic piano repertoire…

Henle’s revised Chopin Scherzi

Those studying these extraordinary masterpieces will be delighted with Norbert Müllemann’s outstanding new edition for Henle, combining as it does superb scholarship with industry-leading engraving and presentation.

LCM: In Concert 2

London College of Music’s suite of LCM Diplomas have just been revised for 2019, with certification beginning this Spring, and with a crossover during which candidates can continue to use the 2011 syllabus until the end of 2019. Alongside the Diploma syllabus revision, a new anthology of solo piano repertoire has been published, called In Concert 2. This book is the sequel to last year’s In Concert, which I enthusiastically reviewed here. In this review I will first consider the syllabus changes, link to the full syllabus for those interested, and then offer a more detailed review of In Concert 2.

Albéniz: Cantos de España

The piano music of Isaac Albéniz (1860-1909), it seems to me, occupies a uniquely odd position in the classical piano repertoire…

The ‘Deliberately Forgotten’ Composer

Zaderatsky seems beyond doubt to have been one of the more considerable musical geniuses of the first half of the Twentieth Century, and it is heartening that now at last the extent of his talent is coming to our attention…

Debussy: Images & Pour le piano

As many will know, pianists and classical music lovers are this year marking the centenary of Debussy’s death in 1918. In a previous post I addressed the frequently asked question, “where to start?” exploring his piano works, suggesting Bärenreiter Edition’s Easy Pieces and Dances collection and their excellent urtext edition of the Preludes livre 1 as great entry points. In this post I will look at a couple of Bärenreiter’s other Debussy editions – the two volumes of Images, but first Pour le piano. These are virtuoso concert works which qualify for the diploma and professional tag in terms of difficulty.

Discovering the Piano Music of Nikolai Kapustin

If you are a player of Grade 8 or above, the Sonatina is a brilliant starting point, and the Sonata No.6 a challenge which I suspect will absorb the time of the most fearless players, but reward their efforts in spades. These are truly fabulous pieces!

Which Mikrokosmos?

In this review I will be looking at classic edition from Boosey & Hawkes, and comparing the more recent Urtext editions from Henle Verlag and Wiener Urtext Edition.

Christopher Norton’s ‘Jazz Piano Sonata’

It’s great to be presented with a more substantial work from this ever-popular contemporary composer: the Jazz Piano Sonata follows the traditional three-movement form, and is a significant concert work for the advanced pianist.

LCM ‘In Concert’ anthology

London College of Music Exams may be less well known to readers than the ABRSM and Trinity College London boards which I have written about previously, but that may be about to change Certainly LCM offer a very wide range of different assessments for piano players. According to my colleague David Barton: “I estimate that LCM offer nearly 20 different options for pianists at 15 different levels, right from the earliest stages of learning, through to the Fellowship of the London College of Music (FLCM). The range of options now available is fantastic; I feel enormously lucky to be teaching…

Jan Freidlin: Four Stories

The ability to write an effective miniature for solo piano – one which is personal but idiomatic, original but accessible – remains one of the true challenges for any composer, and one that many of the “big names” in contemporary music have seemingly avoided. No so for composer Jan Freidlin, who succeeds not just once but four times in quick succession in his latest publication rom Edition Dohr, Four Stories.

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