Beethoven: Klavierstücke

The PIANODAO MUSIC LIBRARY
Selected & Reviewed by ANDREW EALES
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Beethoven’s 35 Piano Sonatas and 22 Variations sets are at the very summit not only of his own creative output for the instrument, but are a climax of the classical keyboard repertoire. They are not, however, the sum total of the great composer’s output for solo piano…

With their latest volume, Wiener Urtext Edition UT 50295 amass his other works in one essential 260-page reference compendium, including 31 pieces with opus numbers (all but one published in the composer’s lifetime) and 36 without, one of which was newly rediscovered in 2020.

All works included are edited from the sources by Jochen Reutter, whose recent edition of the complete Sonatas for Wiener Urtext I reviewed here, with fingerings and notes on interpretation by Sheila Arnold.

Wiener Urtext has further issued three shorter folio editions of individual works, and in this review I will also detail those for your interest.

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Josh Winiberg: Change

The PIANODAO MUSIC LIBRARY
Selected & Reviewed by ANDREW EALES
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UK-based composer Josh Winiberg’s album Change was released back in 2018, delivering ten tracks of contemporary music in the vein of the hugely popular Ludovico Einaudi, who Winiberg respects and acknowledges as an important influence.

Winiberg’s ten compositions were originally recorded with piano, string quintet, guitars and electronics. It is a measure of the popularity of the recording and the quality of its music that a solo transcription for piano has now been published by Editions Musica Ferrum, the subject of this review.

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Kashperova: In the Midst of Nature

The PIANODAO MUSIC LIBRARY
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If you haven’t previously encountered the music of Russian composer Leokadiya Kashperova (1872-1940), be kind to yourself: until recently, her name was known only as Stravinsky’s piano teacher (whom he highly regarded), her own rich musical output entirely forgotten.

Happily the situation is changing, thanks to the work of Dr. Graham Griffiths, whose research has led to a Kashperova Edition now being published by Boosey & Hawkes. Recently added, Griffiths now brings us her delightful solo piano suite, In the Midst of Nature

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West Side Story

The PIANODAO MUSIC LIBRARY
Selected & Reviewed by ANDREW EALES
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With Steven Spielberg’s acclaimed new movie version of West Side Story arriving at multiplexes around the world, you surely won’t have missed the buzz once again surrounding the great Bernstein/Sondheim masterpiece.

Looking for an accessible piano score, I found that there are more than 300 search results on Musicroom, narrowing down to several piano solo and duet publications. I’ve selected the “intermediate piano solo selections” version for review here, which has been around for a few years, and is linked (via Musicroom) at the end of the short review which follows…

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Paul Harris: Unconditional Teaching

THE PIANODAO BOOKSHELF
Books For Piano Players, Teachers, Students & Enthusiasts


Many readers will already have benefitted from Paul Harris’s numerous and superb teaching and learning resources, and perhaps also read one or more of his best-sellers written to support teachers. His seminal The Virtuoso Teacher, Improve Your Teaching! and Simultaneous Learning books have established themselves as essential modern classics.

New from Faber Music, and presented in a similar format to those previous books, Harris’s latest publication is called Unconditional Teaching. And it is undoubtedly one of his most provocative and thought-provoking yet…

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Which Adult Piano Method 2022?

EDUCATIONAL RESOURCES • review by ANDREW EALES
Supporting Your Teaching • PATHWAYS FOR TEACHING


In my article Teaching Adults to Play the Piano I explained how adults learn differently to children. It follows that we need a range of resources more suited to adult needs.

Here, I am pleased to present my updated feature on adult method books, giving reviews of Ten Top Choices for 2022 and beyond…

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Pianodao Music Library: Top Highlights of 2021

The PIANODAO MUSIC LIBRARY
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By my tally, I have reviewed 152 sheet music and educational publications on Pianodao in 2021, including all those appearing individually or in sets. No wonder it’s time to sort out my music cupboard again!

But which were my absolute favourites? And which will I continue using in 2022 and beyond?

Here, without further ado, are my top three choices from each category within the ever-growing Pianodao Music Library.

To read my in-depth evaluations of each publication selected, simply click on the titles to open the full reviews.

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Greater in Major, Finer in Minor

The PIANODAO MUSIC LIBRARY
Selected & Reviewed by ANDREW EALES
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Early in my piano teaching career I discovered The Keyboard Crocodile, a colourful publication from Breitkopf & Hārtel offering a delicious collection of 37 Easy Piano Pieces for Children.

Suitable for elementary players, The Keyboard Crocodile fast-tracks young players from around UK Prep Test to post Grade 2 seemingly in a few blinks of the eye, presenting rapidly more difficult pieces as though they are easy, and inspiring a level of practice that is uncommon at that level. It’s quite simply a classic of the pedagogy repertoire.

Over subsequent decades, Breitkopf have steadily grown their Pädagogik imprint to include a delightful range of other characters and collections, often with an emphasis on creative education. And now the editors of The Keyboard Crocodile have delved into music history’s treasure chest of piano literature and come up with 33 gems in minor keys, Toll in Moll (Finer in Minor) and another 33 in major keys, Toll in Dur (Greater in Major).

These two collections are quite simply stunning, perhaps the most superbly presented intermediate collections I have ever seen, and suitable for all ages.

They are available separately, or as the discounted pack of both together, shown above and reviewed here. The wide range of music included (all listed below) is suitable for intermediate players from around UK Grades 3-6. And there’s enough consistently good repertoire here to keep players going for quite some time!

It must be noted however that these are luxury publications which come with a premium price tag; I will explain later in the review why I think many should and will still be very tempted…

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Notebook for Wilhelm Friedemann Bach

The PIANODAO MUSIC LIBRARY
Selected & Reviewed by ANDREW EALES
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Reviewing Christoph Wolff’s critical edition of the famous Anna Magdalena Bach Notebooks of 1722 and 1725 for Edition Peters a few months ago, I described the publication as a “landmark” treasure and noted:

“It hardly needs saying that every piano student and player with any interest in classical music needs to have a copy of the Anna Magdalena Notebook on their music stand at some point, nor that this edition is now the one to buy.”

The publication is now joined by a companion volume: a new edition of the less celebrated Wilhelm Friedemann Bach notebook of 1720.

While the Anna Magdalena Bach Notebooks appeared both in linen-bound Premium Scholarly Edition and more economical Practical Student Edition, this new publication appears (to my knowledge) in Premium Scholarly Edition only.

A similarly lavish linen-bound score, this volume is the perfect partner to its recent predecessor, and surely belongs beside it on every music shelf.


Let’s explore this latest wonder…

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ABBA: Voyage

The PIANODAO MUSIC LIBRARY
Selected & Reviewed by ANDREW EALES
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The story of Abba’s 2021 reunion album, their final studio outing but also their first for some 40 years, hardly needs further comment such has been the media interest and saturation already.

Voyage may have divided both critical and fan opinion (doesn’t everything these days?) but the arrival of the official sheet music book from Hal Leonard offers an opportunity to consider the merits of the songs in their own right, stripped of their production.

Resistance is probably futile, so we had best take a look…

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