Bach composed his 15 three-part inventions (he called them sinfonias) at the same time as their 15 two-part counterparts in 1722, for his son Wilhelm Friedemann's 'Klavier Buchlein'. In 1723 they reappeared, slightly revised, with a preface as to their instructional purpose in cantabile playing and studies in counterpoint. As studies in miniature form and motivic invention they are super little pieces - two pages is just enough, and no need for awkward page turns! The three-part sinfonias go well beyond piano pedagogy and instruction in composition, however; they are a dream to listen to when sung also. The Swingle Singers include this very exam piece on their Bach Hits Back album and I would urge any pupil considering preparing this piece to try and access it - it exemplifies cantabile voicing beautifully before emulating it at the keyboard. Fugal procedure is used frequently throughout the sinfonias, and while this one hasn't the triple fugue effect of, say, the number 9 in F Minor, the opening gesture goes straight into imitation between the hands. One interesting point : apparently an ink blot on the original score of 1723 at bar 50 has led many editors to interpret the final quaver to be an F instead of an E flat. The Swingle Singers sing an E flat, not the F that occurs in this edition. It definitely fits the minor tonality, but unfortunately we can't ask the big man himself and the examiner will expect what's written here!
For practice, I would separate the piece into sections (to bars 16, 36 and 48 in turn), put in fingerings so that they are practised consistently and then ensure to listen for the main motif coming in wherever it appears. I would also mark in where notes are taken with alternative hands on the stave. The pedal notes from bars 24-29 and 58-62 should be clearly sounded. Listening to the sung version will help with dynamic interpretation and I would mark some gentle crescendos in these bars also. The ending should be a gentle reminder of the opening in my view.
This is Beethoven's arrival in the 2015-16 piano syllabus and is full of his characteristic 'dramatic' moves. He was reportedly very proud of this four movement work - a grand solo sonata - which is like a farewell to the 18th century in many ways and looks forward to his later 'orchestral' piano works. Interestingly, it's the second-to-last Minuet and Trio movement in his sonatas. After Opus 31 no 3 in 1802, he calls his third movements Scherzi. The opening theme is graceful and highly specific in articulation detail, and contrasted with such energy from bar 9. The dynamic gradation at bars 15/16 and similar should be brought out well; the final bars of the Minuet are tricky and I found slow and deliberate separate hand work with a metronome quite useful here! The relative minor contrast for the Trio has a somewhat menacing left hand, scurrying underneath some very dramatic chords which change frequently - pupils will need to take care to check voicing in these and they will also have more impact with descending arm weight coming from higher above the keyboard, whereas the left hand fingers are much closer.
According to the website www.bachcantatas.com, Kreb's name and music also contributed to one of the most delicious inside jokes in film music history. To echo the onscreen motion of a giant crab in the film Mysterious Island, Bernard Herrmann orchestrated a cancrizan (crab-like) fugue composed by the man himself.
I also wonder whether it is by accident or design that the C List includes a piece by Villa-Lobos entitled 'Carangueijo' - but more of that at a later date...
One can imagine this piece shared amongst Baroque continuo players while transferring it to the keyboard: the crisp, clean harpsichord treble with ornamentation requiring deft fingerwork; the opportunity for the oboe imitation to introduce a motif or play echoes in contrasting dynamics; the left-hand bowing movements of the cello to reproduce... It's a playful piece with opportunities to allow sequences to grow (bars 13 to 15 and 33 to 35 for example). Keep the left-hand quavers non-legato at least and allow the treble line to 'sing' in classical style. There is also a recording of this played on an organ on www.contrebombarde.com/concerthall. Happy listening!