Ludovico Einaudi’s legion of fans worldwide are no doubt already enjoying his latest release; Seven Days Walking: Day One was released in mid-March, and is to be followed by six further albums, each offering fresh variants on the first, culminating in a boxed set later in the year.
Hot on its heels comes the sheet music publication of the album, brought to us by publishers Chester Music and distributed by Hal Leonard.
In his recent interview for Pianodao, concert pianist Martin Roscoe enthusiastically discussed his long-held ambition to record a complete series of the solo piano works of the great Hungarian composer and polymath Ernő Dohnányi (1877-1960).
Now that ambition reaches its fulfilment, culminating in the fourth and final release in Roscoe’s recorded Dohnányi cycle for Hyperion Records, released this month, and an easy choice for Pianodao’s Recording of the Month.
I’ve been a fan of Dohnányi’s music for several years, not least knowing that my own teacher Joseph Weingarten had been one of his students in Budapest Academy. I’ve been collecting Roscoe’s recordings since the series started, and have been eagerly awaiting this final issue.
Before reviewing the CD itself, here’s a short introduction to the composer and music…
Exclusive Interview with concert pianist Martin Roscoe
As Hyperion Records release the fourth and final disc in Martin Roscoe’s complete survey of the solo piano music of Ernő Dohnányi it was a delight to have the chance to ask Martin about his Dohnányi odyssey, which has taken so much of his time over recent years.
I was keen to know more about how this extraordinary project came about, and the impact it has made on pianist and audiences alike …
The internationally acclaimed concert pianist Alice Sara Ott recently issued a heartfelt and brave statement concerning her health and recent diagnosis of multiple sclerosis, touching on the impact this has already had on her life, and on her hopes for her career.
Alice is without question one of the leading pianists of her generation.
Her recordings for Deutsche Grammophon have been consistently excellent and innovative; as an independently-minded creative artist she has already made a huge mark, even though she only recently turned 30.
Launching my Recording of the Month feature on Pianodao last autumn, her outstanding “Nightfall” disc of Debussy, Satie and Ravel was my immediate choice for the inaugural article, which you can read here (and please do).
For this week’s Sunday Sounds, I’ve picked the enchanting opening track from that album, courtesy of Deutsche Grammophon‘s YouTube channel:
Sunday Sounds showcases great keyboard music featuring players past and present, from classic recordings to great new music discoveries.
Christmas is one of those times in the year when having a few party pieces up our sleeves is particularly important – and of course family and friends are often keen to hear us play their seasonal favourites, so it’s worth adding those into the Active Repertoiremix over the next two months!
With this in mind, here’s a special Christmas gift to Pianodao readers – a Christmas Repertoire Sheet which can be used alongside your and your students’ standard Active Repertoire Sheet.
The Christmas Repertoire sheet can of course be used how you like, but my own suggestions are shown on the Sheet itself, and will hopefully be clear to those taking part in the ongoing Active Repertoire Challenge.
As always, the choice is with each player. And however you use the Christmas Repertoire sheets, I hope that it will make a positive contribution to your piano journey over the next two months!
Over recent years, piano teacher and composer June Armstrong has steadily developed an enviable reputation as one of Britain’s most prolific and distinctive educational composers. Her impressive range of self-published – and beautifully produced – titles now stretches to some 15 collections of pieces suitable for players at most levels from beginner to advanced.
Along the way, June has gained a cult following from teachers-in-the-know – and no doubt gained many new fans following the recent inclusion of several pieces in the graded syllabuses of the examination boards.
I have reviewed a number of June’s publications on Pianodao – you can find out more here:
The rise and rise of EVC Music Publications as an exciting and innovative music publisher can’t have escaped the notice of any player or teacher active on social media, and like many I have watched their emergence over the last three years or so with growing interest.
With the publication of Piano Tales for Alice – a brand new collection of easy pieces by acclaimed jazz performer and composer Nikki Iles – it seems to me that EVC Music has unequivocally arrived as a mature and significant force in music publishing.
Building on their activities thus far, with this publication EVC Music has hit the jackpot, bringing to market a genuine classic.
It’s all about Claude Debussy for classical music lovers and pianists this year, as we mark the centenary of his death in 1918.
And rightly so! Because few composers have made such a seminal contribution to the pianist’s literature, or composed music which explores such a range of colour, tonal possibility and timbre from the instrument.
Later on in this review I will be taking a look at the Bärenreiter Urtext edition of Debussy’s Préludes (1er Livre).
But first, what about players who aren’t yet sufficiently advanced for these masterpieces? For the developing pianist, the question often arises – where to start exploring Debussy’s rich, varied and substantial body of piano music?
The good news is that, while Debussy never wrote anything simple, his oeuvre does offer up plenty of music that suits pianists of early advanced, around Grade 5-8 level. And while many of these pieces are among the world’s most cherished, a few remain surprisingly less well-known.
John Pitts’ book How to Play Indian Sitar Raags on a Piano was undoubtedly one of the most unique publications submitted for review last year, and as I browsed through the 260-page volume, I have to admit that I was somewhat overwhelmed by the depth and quantity of information in it – to the extent that I felt genuinely unqualified to write a review!
How happy I was, then, to learn that John has written a prequel called Indian Raags for Piano Made Easy, suitable for players from easy to intermediate level (around Grades 1+ to 4 in my view).
This, surely, would be the collection that I needed in order to jump in and have a go at exploring this extraordinary and diverse music! So, how did that work out?