A1 Sonatina in G by Handel is a lively exercise in dual-themed counterpoint. The descending suspensions call for warm presentation, and there's opportunity for some rise and fall between bars 14 and 15 before a grand finish. I wouldn't make the dynamic contrasts too explosive - they are editorial suggestions anyway. The embellishment at the end is just right.
I like the arrangement of the A2 Mozart 'Eine Kleine Nachtmusik' Romanze . Listening to the string version will reap dividends here - I always think Mozart piano pieces benefit from being approached orchestrally. Singing the themes will enhance the lyrical nature of performance. The main difficulty I can see here is in the last few bars, where the left hand tie must be held well against the delicate quaver pairs. Listening carefully to ensure that the staccato chords are well produced, and practising them by gradually introducing intervals, will also be a focus.
A3 German Dance by Beethoven has a lovely imitative texture and calls for neat articulation between the hands. I feel the Minuet is a 'one-in-a-bar' exercise, so that the first beat accents are well driven without being too forced. Staccatissimo wedges abound - we can have fun with these. The Trio is a lovely delicate contrast and I think the figures in bar 26 and 28 call for a decrescendo each. How to make the minuet a delight to listen to on repeat will be a talking point here.
However I do like B1 Tom Bowling, with opportunities for rubato and use of pedal. Voicing is being tested here big time, too. Separate hand practice in 'choir mode' is a must, listening to different parts, and I would practice bars like 3, 7, 15 without thumbs at first then introduce them lightly. There's a great false relation in bar 12 and a cheeky variation on the melody in bar 14 that are worthy of special attention. The last few bars are tricky - perhaps this is not one for younger, smaller hands? Sea songs are very much rooted in British history; I think the reference to the Proms might be lost on younger students today! The piece just calls to be admired for its expressive qualities.
B2 is my favourite in this section. The folk dance Polish Song has a lovely feeling of one-in-a-bar too. Anchoring little fingers and thumbs for the dotted crotchet bars merits special attention. Articulation demands make a good challenge and call for lots of separate hand work. Getting the balance right from bar 24 to the end is important too, when the melody switches to the bass. Lovely piece for this grade, I think.
Similarly, C2 The Day is Ended by Rakov is a lovely reflective piece in the Russian style, with opportunities for creating warmth, with use of pedal and cross-hand artistry. There's a thoughtful moment at the end of bar 12 that should be savoured before moving on. Care should be taken with the tied notes and the final chord will 'sink into the armchair' gently.
I can think of a few pupils with attitude, so C3 is a very apt choice. What kinds of Attitude can we detect in this piece? It starts with a swagger, goes on to be cheeky, then rather carefree and finishes with a relaxed 'so what?'. This will suit the pupils who have a good sense for jazz swing. Great fun.
So if none of the additional volumes are to hand for this grade, there are still good choices. The Sarah Watts Razzamajazz Rep book will serve Grades 2 and 3. If you really can't resist Saint-Saens' Elephant, there are lovely pieces in Encore Bk2 (ABRSM) that will bridge between Grade 3 and Grade 4 too. Sometimes it's good to have favourites!