Faber Music’s growing series of high-quality Piano Anthologies have been establishing a reputation for offering generous and well-presented collections compiled for intermediate to advanced players.
I have previously reviewed:
Hot on their heels, Faber bring us their Easy Piano Anthology, a new book in the series that is aimed at less advanced players, including an enticing selection of arrangements suitable for the elementary to early intermediate player (around Grades 1-4).
Let’s take a look at this new collection…
Those who have looked on with envy while more advanced players have enjoyed this series will be delighted by the arrival of this sumptuous volume. It is becoming something of a clichè to praise the quality and presentation of this series, and the Faber Music Easy Piano Anthology doesn’t disappoint.
Like its predecessors, the volume is wrapped in a thick matt card cover (this time replete with Paul Klee’s Moonshine), with inner flaps which compound the sense of quality. The paper is thick grade off-white, the printing beyond reproach, and music notation well spaced throughout.
In keeping with the series, a number of arty black-and-white illustrations bless the book at regular intervals, and in doing so happily minimise page turns in the music.
To those who complain that the books in this series are difficult to manage and don’t lie flat on the music stand: I hear you, but I have found that with persuasion this ceases to be an issue. It goes against my instincts to fully bend back the spine of a book, but I have so far been unable to damage any of the Faber Music Piano Anthologies, despite meting out considerable abuse; nor have any pages become loose.
A Whole Lot of Good Music
The 51 pieces within are as follows:
- 7 Years (Lukas Graham)
- Air On The G String (J.S. Bach)
- All I Ask (Adele)
- All Through The Night (Trad.)
- Ave Maria (Schubert)
- Bella’s Lullaby (from Twilight)
- Can’t Help Falling In Love (Elvis Presley)
- Chasing Cars (Snow Patrol)
- The Christmas Song (Nat King Cole)
- City Of Stars (from La La Land)
- Cradle Song (Schumann)
- Cry Me A River (Michael Bublé)
- Dance Monkey (Tones & I)
- Eine Kleine Nachtmusik (Mozart)
- Ev’ry Time We Say Goodbye (Cole Porter)
- Feeling Good (Nina Simone)
- Greensleeves (Trad.)
- Hedwig’s Theme (from Harry Potter)
- The House Of The Rising Sun (Trad.)
- I Vow To Thee, My Country (Holst)
- I Will Always Love You (Whitney Houston)
- Imagine (John Lennon)
- Is That Alright (from A Star Is Born)
- La Caroline (C.P.E. Bach)
- Largo (Dvorák)
- The Lord Is My Shepherd/Psalm 23 (from The Vicar Of Dibley)
- Love Me Like You Do (Ellie Goulding)
- May It Be (Enya)
- Memory (from Cats!)
- Moonlight Sonata (Beethoven)
- No Surprises (Radiohead)
- Not About Angels (Birdy)
- On The Street Where You Live (from My Fair Lady)
- Over The Rainbow (from The Wizard Of Oz)
- Pavane, Op. 50 (Fauré)
- Prelude in A major (Chopin)
- Ride (21 Pilots)
- The Rose (Westlife)
- Sandcastles (Beyoncé)
- Scales and Arpeggios (from The Aristocats)
- Scarborough Fair (Trad.)
- Skye Boat Song (Trad.)
- Space Oddity (David Bowie)
- Star Wars Theme (John Williams)
- They Can’t Take That Away From Me (Gershwin)
- Thinking Out Loud (Ed Sheeran)
- Tomorrow (from Annie)
- Walk Me Home (Pink)
- When I Fall In Love (Nat King Cole)
- Winter Wonderland (Etta James)
- Your Song (Elton John)
Faber regulars Oliver Weeks and Lucy Holliday are again on hand for arrangement duties, delivering easy piano reductions and realisations which manage to retain the essence, harmonies and key riffs of the originals.
A couple of happy bonuses enable and facilitate family and friends joining in the fun. Firstly, many of the pieces include guitar/keyboard chords above the main notation, enabling others to play along. And secondly, where songs have words (which most here do) they are included, verses and all. Excellent stuff!
A few of the pieces reappear from previous Faber Music publications such as the excellent Easy Piano Series and the Ultimate Easy Piano Songlist (reviewed here). But much of the material is new here, as is the distinctive and appealing compilation in one book, which traverses an enjoyable mix of popular and traditional favourites.
This series has already proven immensely popular with my adult learners, and Faber Music have done it again! The Faber Music Easy Piano Anthology is a treasure trove of great piano arrangements, and is bound to be a huge hit with elementary to intermediate players who want to play these ever-popular songs.
Quite simply, this is one of the best ‘Easy Piano Anthologies’ I’ve yet seen, and an outstanding addition to this excellent series.
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