Countdown to Christmas!

Sheet Music Review

For musicians, the countdown to Christmas is about to begin in earnest, if it hasn’t already. Sheet music needs to be acquired, pianists and students must start learning their Christmas repertoire, preparing for seasonal performances, and so on.

In this review, I will round up some of the Christmas piano publications that I’ve received in recent months – as well as revealing my favourite standard Christmas Song book at the end!

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A Scottish Collection

Sheet Music Review

Avid newsreaders may have seen that earlier this week it was announced that Scotland has been voted The Most Beautiful Country in the World, and those of us who have enjoyed the privilege of a visit there will know why!

But what about Scotland’s musical heritage? Well again, those in the know can quickly advise that it is one to treasure and to preserve with a passion.

As it happens, the ever-prolific Barbara Arens is one of those in the know…

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Four Musical Treasures

Sheet Music Review

Regular readers will know that I have huge admiration for the independent up-coming publisher Editions Musica Ferrum, whose publications consistently bring high-end quality and creative originality.

In recent months EMF have been adding to their range of publications suitable for intermediate, and younger players, building on the success of their best-selling Cool Beans series by Ben Crosland, and EMF founder Nikolas Sideris’s outstanding Fairyland in Treble. Among the most recent releases, I’m going to take a look at four real gems:

  • Alison Mathews:  Treasure Trove
  • Simon Hester:  Megabytes I: The Private Life of Bugs
  • Barbara Arens All Beautiful & Splendid Things
  • Bonislava Taneva:  Sound Stories

These are all available for immediate purchase worldwide, directly from the publisher’s website here.

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Capturing the Spirit of Christmas

Sheet Music Review

Hot off the press from Editions Musica Ferrum, Capturing the Spirit of Christmas features 12 Carols arranged for piano, six by Barbara Arens and six by Alison Mathews. Several of Barbara’s books have been featured here before, and Alison will be known to many readers as the composer of Piano Planets, a collection of original pieces previously published by EVC Music Publications.

As with all Editions Musica Ferrum publications, the book has a high quality presentation with a traditional vibe. I’m a fan of this approach, and rather feel the score is a work of art in its own right! But what of the content?

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Sheet Music: November 2016

There’s been a bumper number of great new music publications arriving for review in recent weeks, from which I have selected four of the very best to write about:

  • The Faber Music Piano Anthology (Faber)
  • Barbara Arens: Piano Tranquillo / Vivace (Edition Breitkopf)
  • The Piano Playlist (Schott Music)
  • My First Chopin (Schott Music)

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Rendezvous with Midnight

Sheet Music Review

Regular readers here may remember the positive reviews that I have given to composer Barbara Arens’ recent publications 21 Amazingly Easy Pieces and Piano Misterioso, and it gives me great pleasure to be the first to review her latest publication Rendezvous with Midnight, brought to us by independent publisher Editions Musica Ferrum.

I first heard about this collection several months ago, at which point Barbara was looking for a publisher for it – I had no hesitation in recommending she approach Nikolas Sideris of Editions Musica Ferrum, believing that they would make an exciting creative partnership. So when I learnt that they had indeed teamed up I was delighted – and even more so now that the results are in my hand – a genuinely brilliant publication.

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