ABRSM Publishing continue to focus on bringing out superb anthologies for different instruments and levels, widening the scope of developing players’ musical engagement. Their recent publishing successes for piano have included the three jazz collections Nikki Iles and Friends and the superb Pop Performer books which arrived last year.
Now they bring us two new anthologies of solo piano repertoire, curated by concert artist Isata Kanneh-Mason. These are notable collections which, for reasons I will unpack in this review, immediately rise to the top of my pile of recommended piano publications.
The first book is suitable for intermediate players in the Grade 4-6 bracket, the second for more advanced players, Grades 7-8+ (ARSM). Refreshingly, but potentially frustrating for some, the specific grade levels of the individual pieces are not stipulated, even though ABRSM twice suggest on the covers that the pieces can be used as own-choice repertoire in their Performance Grades.
Kanneh-Mason’s selections mix surprise with delight, novelty with familiar favourites, delivering an intoxicating and diverse blend of music that quite simply belongs on the piano of every player working at these levels.
Having already given a rough outline and positive verdict, I will shortly go on to list the musical contents of each book, describe the publications for the benefit of those unable to inspect them in a music store, and attempt to frame these volumes in their broader context…Continue reading ABRSM • Piano Inspiration