Small Hand Piano

Sheet Music Review

Small Hand Piano is the latest in Barbara Arens’ series of publications from Edition Breitkopf, following on from the successful One Hand Piano, 21 Amazingly Easy Pieces (read my review here), Piano Misterioso (reviewed here), Piano Vivace – Piano Tranquillo and Piano Exotico (all reviewed here).

Small Hand Piano is also (ironically) the largest of these collections, providing 40 Pieces “without octaves”, half of which are original compositions, the rest selected from the existing literature.

I often hear players mention online that their stretch is too small for a lot of the repertoire they would prefer to play, so this publication certainly has the potential to be something of a crowd-pleaser.

Let’s take a look and see how well it succeeds in fulfilling this useful aim…

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Journeys in self-publishing

Sheet Music Review

Back in the summer I interviewed Barbara Arens about a raft of publications she was self-publishing using Amazon’s Kindle Direct Publishing option.

At the time I wondered whether other composers might soon be tempted by the ease this route offers those who want to sell their latest music worldwide, quickly, and without the need for an established publisher.

And sure enough, since talking to Barbara I have received new self-published music from two more composers, William Minter and Jenny Walker. In this post I will review their books, while also considering the pros and cons of this burgeoning publishing option.

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Mosaic Volumes 1 & 2

Sheet Music Review  by Guest Reviewer Karen Marshall

I was delighted last week to receive the above publications which I have been readily using with my students of all ages and grades.

Initial impressions after using Mosaic with my whole teaching practice are that these books are best placed with the teenage and adult market, but with material also for primary age children. Younger children in my practice loved compositions in the collection particularly by Ben Crosland and Sarah Konecsni.

This is a job well done, and I congratulate all the composers and Nikolas Sideris on the contents of these volumes.

Continue reading Mosaic Volumes 1 & 2

Barbara Arens in Conversation

Barbara Arens will be known to most Pianodao readers as an excellent and prolific educational composer – I have previously reviewed several collections of her music, and most recently the Piano Exotico and Piano Tranquillo/Vivace collections published by Breitkopf & Härtel.

Around the time I was writing that review, I heard from Barbara that she was publishing a further five books via her own Editions Rensakov publishing on Amazon.

I decided it was about time I caught up with Barbara for a chat about all this fresh activity!…

Continue reading Barbara Arens in Conversation

Piano Exotico, Tranquillo & Vivace!

Sheet Music Review

The indomitable and much-loved Barbara Arens has recently added two new titles to her Breitkopf & Hārtel catalogue, which already includes One Hand Piano, 21 Amazingly Easy Pieces and Piano Misterioso.

The double-barrelled Piano Tranquillo/Vivace has already been reviewed here briefly a while ago, but I will take another look here. First, however, let’s take a look at the latest edition to the series, the marvellous Piano Exotico

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Countdown to Christmas!

Sheet Music Review  Christmas 2017 Roundup

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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