Peaceful Piano Playlist Revisited

Products featured here are selected for review by ANDREW EALES

Reviewing Faber Music’s Peaceful Piano Playlist collection back in 2019, I wrote,

Faber Music have brilliantly encapsulated a very current musical zeitgeist with this collection, and it deserves to simply fly off the shelves!”

Read the full article here

Presumably the collection was as successful as it deserved to be, because since then Faber have revisited the series with the Peaceful Piano Playlist Christmas collection (reviewed here) and now present The Peaceful Piano Playlist Revisited, a brand new collection of music which equally captures the vibes that continue to enthralled listeners and players…

The New Playlist

As with the previous titles, Faber Music have curated a Spotify playlist of all the music in the collection. You can enjoy short previews of each piece here or sign in to Spotify to listen to the whole album:

And here is the list of all the music included in the collection:

  • 4th [Charlotte Harding]
  • A Faint Qualm for the Future [Luke Howard]
  • A Little Book of Hours: VI. Singing Sun [Peter Sculthorpe]
  • By The Still Waters, Op. 113 [Amy Beach]
  • Cappricio In Bb major bwv 992, Adagiossimo [J.S. Bach]
  • Current [Phoria]
  • Death Train [Dan Jones]
  • Debut [Melanie Laurent]
  • Glantaf [Morfydd Llywn-Owen]
  • Gnossienne No. 1 [Erik Satie]
  • Gogol [Chilly Gonzales]
  • Holm Sound [Erland Cooper]
  • Howthian [Niall Byrne]
  • I due fiumi [Einaudi]
  • Igloo [Jean-Michel Blais]
  • Light She Brings, The [Joep Beving]
  • Lullaby [C. Duncan]
  • Menuet in C-Sharp Minor, M.42 [Maurice Ravel]
  • Mia & Sebastian’s Theme [Justin Hurwitz]
  • Mishkin [Paul Haslinger]
  • Nouveau-Ne [Phoria]
  • Plus tot [Alexandra Streliski]
  • Reprise [Mike Lazarev]
  • Resolution [M.J. Cole]
  • Saltare (Somewhere at the Baltic Sea) [Dirk Maassen]
  • Solstice [Luke Howard]
  • Sonder [Niall Byrne]
  • Sunset Aglow [Edgar De Vries]
  • Together We Will Live Forever [Clint Mansell]
  • Victor’s Piano Solo [Danny Elfman]
  • Vladimir’s Blues [Max Richter]

Once again, Faber have delivered an enticing mixture of contemporary ambient classics from the likes of Ludovico Einaudi, Joep Beving, Luke Howard et al, relaxing classical favourites (Bach, Ravel, Beach), and arrangements of music from mainstream culture.

It is certainly a strength of this collection that it avoids duplication with the many similar books now available from Faber, Hal Leonard and others.

Established names are not generally represented by the same pieces that now regularly appear in such compilations. And Faber can be commended for including a growing list of composers whose names are less familiar.

I found plenty of new music here which I had not previously encountered at all. A single piece from a composer is of course insufficient to determine whether they might emerge from under the shadow of superstars such as Einaudi and Howard, but I found all the pieces rewarded exploration.

The Publication

Faber Music’s publication retains the series style of its predecessors, arriving with a soft matt cover that revisits the aesthetic of the original title. The binding is good quality and easily pliable, while the inside of the book is tastefully laid out, the music nicely engraved and well spaced.

The 96 pages are printed on white paper, and there are a number of full-page, atmospheric black and white photographs interspersed throughout the book. These have the dual value of removing the need for the publishers to resort to the legend, “this page was intentionally left blank” while adding value and a sense that this is a thoughtfully classy production.

Sculthorpe’s “Singing Sun” was once a popular Grade 2 exam piece, but the majority of the music included in the Peaceful Piano Playlist fits into the advanced category (equivalent to Grades 6-8). It thus remains true that this is a collection that offers commendable value and potentially has a considerable shelf-life.

Adding to the complexity of the music, this is another score in which Faber Music have chosen not to add fingering suggestions to support independent learners. This is particularly striking in the classical pieces. As an example, the first edition of Amy Beach’s By the Still Waters includes her fingering; omitting it here seems to me inexplicable and unhelpful.

Closing Thoughts

How long the fashion for this style of piano music continues remains to be seen, but for now, those who want to sit down at the piano and play stress-busting melodic music will find a wealth of great pieces here to keep them engaged for months, perhaps years to come.

With its lovely presentation and unique selection of rewarding music, The Peaceful Piano Playlist Revisited is another winning title in this growing series, deserving every success.

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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.