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Late Intermediate • Grades 5-6

The Pianodao Music Library brings together all of the piano repertoire which has been reviewed, shared or otherwise featured on Pianodao. As such it is a varied, extensive, inclusive, and ever expanding body of carefully curated music.

The music in the Late Intermediate category is suitable for developing players at around UK Grades 5-6 level or equivalent.

In most cases, the sheet music can be purchased online from Musicroom, who deliver to customers worldwide. For your convenience links are provided, and Pianodao Tea Room community members are entitled to a 20% discount on all their sheet music purchases.

Studio Choice

STUDIO CHOICE showcases the publications which my regular students have enjoyed and which I most frequently recommend. This includes Library Essentials, offering a core programme of music, and a regularly updated list of fresh, Current Favourites.

Library Essentials

‘Graded Gillock’: Three New Collections

I have long been an admirer of the brilliant piano music of William Gillock (1917-1993), so it is with huge pleasure and a sense of pride that I can now announce that, in conjunction with the Willis Music Company, I have selected and edited a new series of ‘graded’ collections showcasing a varied range of his best pieces. Find out more about “Graded Gillock” series here:

ABRSM’s Encore Series

The “Encore” publications are a brilliant addition to any piano student’s music collection, and can only help raise the quality and level of music making wherever they are used.

Nikki Iles and Friends

Nikki Iles is back with two new books of jazz pieces for ABRSM, between them bringing 29 new piano solos to the intermediate and advanced repertoire, composed and arranged by Iles as well as several other stars of the contemporary jazz world. With the drawing power of Iles and friends, and the marketing clout of ABRSM, these two books are sure to fly off the shelves, so let’s take a closer look while we can!

Relax with Beautiful Pieces

For those who play the piano purely for pleasure (rather than for certificates or prizes) the latest series of publications from Schott Music will be of special interest. The “Relax With” series is aimed at intermediate to advanced pianists who play “mostly at home for their own enjoyment”.

Peaceful Piano Solos: The Series

The Peaceful Piano Solo series from Hal Leonard is an easy recommendation, delivering a brilliant selection of contemporary favourites in a tastefully presented set of anthologies, with nicely playable editions.

“HerStory”: The Piano Collection

HerStory is a singular and significant achievement, lifting the lid on a terrific range of superb music. The collection will undoubtedly and very deservedly be recognised as one of the most significant publications of 2022.

The Intermediate Piano Sonata Collection

A new supplementary addition to Faber Music’s “Piano Trainer” series, The Intermediate Piano Sonata Collection will be warmly welcomed by all who enjoy the classical style…

Current Favourites

Naoko Ikeda: Aya

For those yet to discover the evocative and scintillating music of Naoko Ikeda, ‘Aya’ offers a beautiful starting point. Like much of her music, these delightful pieces draw their colours from a wide range of influences and offer immediate appeal. The collection is a wonderful addition to the intermediate repertoire…

Donald Thomson’s Celtic Piano Music

Bringing together all 20 pieces from Donald Thomson’s previous four Celtic collections, Celtic Piano Music is a publication to celebrate and treasure. Let’s take a look…

Ola Gjeilo: Night

I have played through a significant number of albums in this general vein before, but Ola Gjeilo’s Night has not only particularly impressed me, but is a collection to which I have absolutely no doubt that I will return for musical and emotional nourishment in the future. Here’s the Pianodao review…

Ludovico Einaudi: Underwater

As a sometime fan of Einaudi’s work, I found his new album “Underwater” a strikingly different listen, as have many others, and have been looking forward to considering the sheet music folio, which has recently been published by Chester Music / Hal Leonard and is the subject of this review…

West Side Story

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. And if you would like to play accessible piano versions of the great songs from this greatest of 20th century masterpieces, look no further than this superb publication.

Explore the Library

I have reviewed an abundance of wonderful music suitable for this level, crossing styles, genres, and the history of the keyboard. There’s truly something here for every player, so dig deep and enjoy exploring the full archive, which is presented here with the most recent additions first…

Discovering Burgmüller

Burgmüller’s three collections of piano etudes, Op.100, Op.105 and Op.109 have been cornerstones of the piano pedagogy literature for over a century and a half, and remain as popular today as ever…

Peaceful Piano Playlist Revisited

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…

Ola Gjeilo: Dawn

Ola Gjeilo is back with a superb sequel to the brilliant “Night”. The appropriately titled “Dawn” appeared on CD back in the autumn… the sheet music is also now available, and having played through the pieces I want to waste no time waiting to bring you my recommendation…

Einaudi: Underwater Extra

If you already have the main edition of Underwater, and have been enriched by the gorgeous music within that collection, I can only imagine that you will equally enjoy these new works…

My First Schubert: Easiest Pieces

I cannot think of a directly competing collection of Schubert miniatures that matches this new volume’s mix of accessible presentation and perfectly curated musical appeal…. superb!

The Piano Player: Wintertide Collection

With its gorgeous presentation, superb musical selection, adept pianistic arrangements and helpful fingering, it is very easy to recommend Faber Music’s Wintertide Collection to late intermediate and more advanced players everywhere:

Christmas • Peaceful Piano Playlist

With content that will have wide appeal and suggests versatile use, Faber Music’s ‘Peaceful Piano Playlist Christmas’ will be especially attractive to late intermediate players who embrace a wide range of music and will appreciate the relaxed contemporary vibe…

Luke Howard: 28 Transcriptions

Luke Howard has released a succession of albums over the last decade which have established him as one of the leading classical crossover composers, alongside such names as Ludovico Einaudi, Max Richter, Poppy Ackroyd and Nils Frahm. It is wonderful to now have this superbly produced collection of solo piano transcriptions…

The Piano Player: Classical Favourites

Faber Music’s “The Piano Player: Classical Favourites” features 20 of the most popular pieces of classical music, some originals but in most cases arrangements. Here’s my review…

The Piano Player: British Classics

The sumptuous presentation, matched by superb arrangements and pitch-perfect selection of musical favourites, practically guarantee success for this publication. Yet again it seems to me that Faber have perfectly read the market, and I think we will all be seeing a lot of The Piano Player in the coming months and years. Enjoy!

The Mosaic Series

Mosaic is a superb series, and I am incredibly proud to be associated with it. This is not just educational music at its most creative, but creative composing at its most educational!

Barbara Arens: One Hand Piano

Barbara Arens’s latest collection from Edition Breitkopf is a sequel to her 2013 best-seller “One Hand Piano”. In this review I will take a fresh look at both the original and the newly arrived volume 2…

Women Composers: A Graded Anthology

With the arrival of a third book to complete Melanie Spanswick’s groundbreaking ‘Women Composers: A Graded Anthology’ series, I am republishing my earlier review, fully expanded and updated to include a comprehensive overview of the whole series…

Music from Minecraft

Minecraft fans will no doubt rejoice in the release of these solo piano arrangements. I have a few caveats, but think that the publishers have done a highly impressive job of creating, for the most part, so useful a score. Read the review and let me know what you think in a comment!..

An Expedition into Czech Piano Music

This new publication from Bärenreiter will come as a joy to those who are already familiar with the riches of piano music by Czech composers past and present, will be a revelation to those who don’t, and must be considered an essential purchase for all advanced players keen to expand their repertoire…

The New, Improved Microjazz

As we congratulate Christopher Norton on his 40-year achievement with the Microjazz series, he shows no sign of slowing down, even though he has surely already given us several lifetimes of music to enjoy, an absolute treasure trove! Here’s the latest:

Ballads without words

‘Ballads Without Words’ confirms why we are right to regard Heather Hammond as one of the leading educational composers of our time. Do take time to explore this wonderful collection – and read my full review here:

Beethoven: Klavierstücke

As one who regularly teaches Beethoven, the availability of so much central repertoire in one brilliantly presented and editorially authoritative publication is priceless, and stunning value…

Greater in Major, Finer in Minor

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!

Elena Cobb: Recital Piano Solos

As she continues in her passionate drive to promote the music of others, we must hope that Elena Cobb also continues to exercise her own wonderful, musical voice. Meanwhile, these two collections include some superb music that we can enjoy today!

Koželuch: Six Easy Sonatas

“By 1790, ‘without question the living composer most loved by young and old’ was not Haydn or Mozart but Leopold Koželuch.” Here’s some truly delightful Viennese Classical music for intermediate players…

Adrian Lord: Piano Meditations

Adrian Lord’s Piano Meditations is in short a superb publication in every sense, and a very easy recommendation to any more advanced player who enjoys playing music which is as absorbing as it is relaxing.

Harry T. Burleigh: Through Moanin’ Pines

Celebrating Black History Month here in the UK, I have pleasure in sharing this new recording which I have made of a piece I recently discovered in the collection Four Early 20th Century Piano Suites by Black Composers, published by Schirmer edition.

Jakub Metelka: Little Virtuoso

These are exquisite compositions, several cuts above the bland fare too often served up to younger players. Jakob Metelka has delivered another stunning musical feast, and for young players who are up to the challenge, Little Virtuoso can be recommended wholeheartedly and unreservedly.

Markus Schimpp: Yearning for Silence

Suitable for early advanced players, “YEARNING FOR SILENCE” will be a superb discovery for many, and is certainly the pick of the recent bunch of inventive and evocative miniatures. Exquisite! Read the full Pianodao review…

Disney Goes Classical

Disney Goes Classical is the latest hit album from the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, comprising 15 favourite songs from Disney movies. You can stream it on all the usual platforms …and now you can also play the arrangements from the recently published 72-page accompanying music book…

People Get Ready!

People Get Ready! is a new collection of 13 solo piano arrangements of popular songs by Black musicians, suitable for late intermediate to early advanced players.

The Faber Music Contemporary Piano Anthology

Faber Music’s growing series of Piano Anthology books are a continuing source of joy, and have been enthusiastically received by several of my regular adult students. I have been impressed both with the intelligence and value of the music selections and the quality of the publications themselves. So it great to be welcoming a new addition to the family with the delivery of The Faber Music Contemporary Piano Anthology, which offers 52 “beautiful neoclassical pieces for solo piano”. Let’s find out whether it lives up to the high standards set by the series…

Martin Doepke: Piano Tales

Those keen to discover and explore imaginative new music, brilliantly and instinctively composed in a popular contemporary style, will find much to enjoy in these pieces. Here’s the Pianodao review….

Patrick Hamilton: Journey to the Unknown

Patrick Hamilton is the latest to join the ever-growing pantheon of composers creating gentle, soothing piano music in the style popularised especially by Ludovico Einaudi. Here’s the Pianodao review of his debut piano album, “Journey to the Unknown”…

Musical Treasures from Chopin’s Land

As the series draws to a close, I would like to share a couple more books that were featured in the PWM promotion, as well as a series of three special collections which actually bear the project name, Music from Chopin’s Land. And then the punchline! I will end this final post in the series with a short reflection on the lasting lessons I have learnt about piano pedagogy following on from my visit to Chopin’s land…

Zbigniew Bargielski: A Flea Market

Bargielski’s music is yet another unmissable highlight of the PWM catalogue, the three “Flea Market” books in particular offering a kaleidoscopic view of twentieth-century music in all its range and beauty. Here’s a closer look at the first book…

June Armstrong’s ‘Dreams and Dragons’

June Armstrong continues to consolidate her status as one of our most interesting, characterful and imaginative composers. Her latest publication, Dreams and Dragons, is suitable for early advanced players around UK Grade 6 level has just arrived…

Discovering Chopin

For pianists at any level who are keen to explore and discover the music of Chopin (and who isn’t?), Poland’s PWM Edition offer the definitive range of sheet music publications, from easier anthologies through to the world’s finest complete editions…

Play Piano for Well-being

Having reviewed and recommended a number of Faber collections before, I have always found them enjoyable and good value. But this one is my new favourite…

Bacewicz: Children’s Suite

Grażyna Bacewiczs “Suita dziecięca” (Children’s Suite) offers eight charming miniatures for the late-intermediate pianist, and a fascinating progression from the educational piano music of Bartók, Kabalevsky and Prokofiev.

Rachel Portman: Ask the River

English composer Rachel Portman is best known for her many gorgeous film scores, which include music for such blockbusters as Chocolat, The Cider House Rules, The Duchess and The Lake House. Portman’s latest musical project is ‘Ask the River’, a self-contained CD of piano-led instrumental reflections on the natural world, with an accompanying book from Chester Music delivering solo piano versions of all 13 tracks, the subject of this review. Anyone wanting to move on from Einaudi to music with a similar contemporary vibe but more nuance, these consummately composed pieces offer a beautiful and evocative sound world that is…

Piano Music of Africa and the African Diaspora

More than a decade has passed since the publication of these books, and it is odd that so little of this music has made its way onto concert platforms or found regular use in teaching studios, music-loving households and on exam syllabi. Quite why more haven’t picked up this music is a mystery, because anyone with a fair mind, musical sensitivity and imagination will discover as soon as they explore these OUP volumes that the music of these neglected composers is consistently superb. So let’s explore the series…

Garreth Broke: Healing

Garreth Brooke’s music enters a crowded field of solo piano music written in an easy-going post-minimal style. But his writing is, in my view at least, a cut above that of many of his peers.

Relax with Meditative Piano

Here is a mixture of simply superb piano solo music, much of it little known but deserving global enjoyment: music that will linger in your heart for a lifetime. There’s a danger that I’m going to get carried away here, because Relax with Meditative Piano is a book that inspires poetry in me as a reviewer. It is just wonderful! Need I say more? Well okay. Here’s the in-depth Pianodao review…

Andrew Higgins: Seasons

Andrew Higgins continues to impress as a highly imaginative composer, and Seasons is a brilliant addition to the EVC Music catalogue. Not only so, this small collection could make a big pedagogic impact on those who use it….

Adriano Cirillo: Deux Valses

This slight publication offers up two lovely and beautifully evocative vignettes, and I have found myself returning to them repeatedly for cultural comfort during the challenges of the present coronavirus outbreak. Here we can revel in memories of former times, while losing ourselves in music of genuine quality and compositional ingenuity…

Pam Wedgwood: Piano Meditations

Following on from her previous collections of original pieces inspired by works of art. Piano Gallery (reviewed here) and Piano Seascapes (reviewed here), Piano Meditations is the latest from best-selling composer Pam Wedgwood, brought to us as ever by publishers Faber Music. Intermediate players who enjoyed the previous collections, along with Wedgwood’s many fans, will undoubtedly already be rushing to their music supplier for a copy; for the benefit of those wanting more information, let’s take a quick look…

ABRSM’s Core Classics

Once in a while, a publication arrives for review which is based on a great concept and is itself essentially a very good product, but where the mismatch between the original concept and its delivery is a glaring one, as though at some point in the developmental process there was a communication breakdown. Core Classics: Essential Repertoire for Piano, a set of seven progressively “graded” solo repertoire books published worldwide today by ABRSM, is a striking example of this phenomenon. So let’s see what went awry, and more positively, what this beautifully presented new series actually has to offer… here’s…

James Welburn: Reflections in Waltz

James Welburn is back with a new collection, once more published by Musica Ferrum. Reflections in Waltz offers seven new original pieces, once again suited to players at late-intermediate level…

My First Tchaikovsky

Wilhelm Ohmen’s My First Composers collections from Schott Music are proving to be a series which keeps on giving… It only seems yesterday that I reviewed My First Haydn, having previously taken a look at My First Schumann and My First Beethoven. The series also includes collections of music by J.S. Bach, Mozart and Chopin. The latest collection to join the series is My First Tchaikovsky, the subject of this new review…

‘Ragtime Blues’ and more…

Ragtime Blues and more is everything we’ve come to expect from UE’s Mike Cornick publications: there’s great variety, with a stylistically convincing range of teaching-pieces, and even the less remarkable numbers are still musically appealing and pedagogically rewarding. This attractively presented volume is well worth a look!

Christmas Carols with a Classical Flair

For 2019, Keveren brings us a newcomer to his best-selling piano book series, “Christmas Carols with a Classical Flair”. Let’s see whether he has again struck gold

Capturing the Spirit of the Season

As autumn nears its end, the thoughts of musicians everywhere are no doubt turning to the coming season, likely to be a musically rich one for many.

Hauschka: A Different Forest

Known professionally as Hauschka, composer Volker Bertelmann has catapulted himself into the top tier of instrumental composers…

Karl Jenkins: Piano

“Karl Jenkins: Piano” is proving to be one of the most enjoyable and rewarding publications of the year…

The Peaceful Piano Playlist

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

Bertini’s Piano Études

The book will probably need a hard sell to persuade most children and teens to dig in, but determined and enthusiastic adult learners are likely to really enjoy these studies, both for their intrinsic merits in building technique, and for their very attractive musical qualities.

Pam Wedgwood’s “Piano Seascapes”

Pam Wedgwood’s latest is a well-considered, highly worthwhile and musically enjoyable collection, and I can easily recommend you have a look for yourself!

Lang Lang’s Piano Book

One of the most lush publications I’ve ever seen, Lang Lang’s Piano Book delivers a superb selection of the most popular and appealing repertoire for early advanced pianists…

Small Hand Piano

Small Hand Piano is a very easy recommendation for those who struggle with larger stretches and chords…

James Welburn’s ‘Musical Escapades’

The latest publication from Editions Musica Ferrum is a collection of “Animated pieces for the intermediate pianist” called Musical Escapades and composed by EMF newcomer James Welburn.

Faber Christmas Piano Anthology

This is a book which has significantly raised the bar, instantly establishing itself as the new “must-have” Christmas music book.

Big Phat Jazz Piano Solos

For some time I have felt there’s space for more and better jazz publications written by true exponents of the art…

Ultimate Piano Solos

This is another collection from Faber which essentially sells itself – even if you want just a few of the included pieces, you’ll not be disappointed…

Which Mikrokosmos?

In this review I will be looking at classic edition from Boosey & Hawkes, and comparing the more recent Urtext editions from Henle Verlag and Wiener Urtext Edition.

Elena Kats-Chernin: “Unsent Love Letters”

The music in this collection is hauntingly beautiful. These aren’t simply pieces which I will enjoy listening to and teaching in the coming months – this is music which I anticipate loving and playing for the rest of my life.

Mike Cornick’s ‘Six Jazz Piano Solos’

Mike Cornick has an outstanding reputation for composing material of this nature and quality, deservedly so, and here again he demonstrates his ability to write educationally well-considered jazz pieces that are a cut above the rest.

Film Themes: The Piano Collection

Put simply, this is a brilliant collection for the more advanced pianist who wants to explore these movie themes and play them in intelligent piano arrangements.

Simon Hester’s ‘Megabytes’

These pieces are quirky and characterful, brimming with good-natured humour, and show their composer to be absolutely at the top of his game, both in terms of his understanding of the instrument, and through the outstanding quality of musical imagination.

Christian Hartmann: Two Pieces

Per Hartmann’s independent publishing house Edition HH have produced many fine scores, and brought into the spotlight some fine classical pieces which were unjustly overlooked elsewhere…

Faber Music Piano Anthology

This beautifully produced gift book makes the perfect present for the enthusiastic amateur pianist of intermediate to advanced level.

Rendezvous with Midnight

Rendezvous with Midnight is quite simply a fabulous collection of pieces. I would certainly rank it as one of the best of Barbara’s works, and a significant addition to the late intermediate piano repertoire.

“Mindfulness: The Piano Collection”

Mindfulness: The Piano Collection comes across as wholly sincere in its intentions, and a labour of love. This is a publication that I doubt you will be able to resist once you have it in your hands, so do go straight ahead and get yourself a copy!

My First Beethoven

In my recent review of Schott’s ‘My First Schumann’ I concluded : “This is a collection that will “keep on giving”, with such a great selection of pieces for students to enjoy over a number of years… ‘My First Schumann’ is a brilliant introduction to one of the world’s greatest ever piano composers. Highly Recommended!” Hot on its heels comes the latest book in the series, ‘My First Beethoven’. Can it repeat the success of the previous book? Let’s take a closer look…

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