Patrik Pietschmann’s Movie & TV at the Piano

Products featured on Pianodao are selected for review by ANDREW EALES.

Describing Patrik Pietschmann as an “internet sensation” is something of an understatement. Boasting stats that comprehensively put most online pianists to shame, the German YouTuber’s epic piano arrangements of popular soundtracks have gained him 1.59 million subscribers and over 400 million video views.

Now, in something of a publishing coup, Schott Music bring us his first printed collection, delivering ten of his most globally popular arrangements. This clearly isn’t to be missed; here’s the Pianodao review…

10 Epic Arrangements

Describing its content as “10 Epic Arrangements from the Streaming Universe”, Schott Music describe the collection as:

“A real pleasure for experienced pianists and absolute movie freaks. For anyone who needs a little extra help, there are piano videos for all pieces on Pietschmann’s YouTube channel.”

The included pieces are:

  • Cornfield Chase from the movie Interstellar
  • Toss A Coin To Your Witcher from the Netflix series The Witcher
  • The Mandalorian from the Star Wars series
  • He’s A Pirate from the movie Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl
  • Game of Thrones, theme from the HBO series
  • A Dark Knight from the movie The Dark Knight
  • Into the Unknown from the movie Frozen 2
  • Now We Are Free from the movie Gladiator
  • The Avengers theme from The Avengers
  • Time from the movie Inception

Introducing the collection, Pietschmann writes:

“Thanks to the viral distribution of my piano arrangement of “Interstellar” (with over 50 million views), I am now able to call myself a full-time YouTube pianist. It is therefore particularly significant for me that it is the first piece in this book. I also think that the selection of pieces in this book is a good mixture of current soundtracks (especially streaming hits such as “The Mandalorian” and “The Witcher”) as well as timeless ‘classics’.”

To give you a flavour of Pietschmann’s work, check out said arrangement from “Interstellar”:

Chances are you will be familiar with the video format and special visualisation of the music which have become important distinguishing features of Pietschmann’s YouTube channel.

Here’s another of Pietschmann’s arrangements, which personally I prefer and find more interesting:

The way that Pietschmann conveys both the flow and detail of the orchestral original of this piece is, in my view, stunningly impressive. Not only so: it is also brimming in natural pianism, no doubt in part because Pietschmann has approached all of this music as an enthusiastic piano player, rather than as a music scribe.

One Epic Publication

Schott’s publication is tastefully and appropriately presented, arriving in a slick matt soft cover that conjures Pietschmann’s distinctive visuals:

Within, the pages are white, and after a short preface by Pietschmann, the content is given entirely over to the music notation itself.

Most of the pieces are 4-6 pages in length, although A Dark Knight is a full 12 pages. In general, the difficulty level is ”Advanced”, meaning that the book is suitable for those working towards the higher grades (UK Grades 6-8).

Helpfully, Pietschmann has included some fingering for guidance, while the scores themselves are well engraved and superbly presented.

Closing Thoughts

There are plenty of books of piano arrangements of popular film themes, but Pietschmann’s intuitive pianism has resulted here in versions which are a cut above the norm, and their established global popularity elevates this publication to ”essential purchase” status for anyone who teaches the piano or wishes to play this repertoire.

The original themes by Hans Zimmer, Alan Silvestri, et al are available elsewhere in official versions but there is something undeniably special about Pietschmann’s unique and hugely popular arrangements which quite simply elevates them above the standard ones.

If you think you may need a copy of this collection, you almost certainly do!

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Published by

Andrew Eales

Andrew Eales is a widely respected piano educator, writer and composer based on Milton Keynes UK. His book HOW TO PRACTISE MUSIC is published by Hal Leonard.