I was happy to learn that esteemed colleague Gail Lew had written a “New Music Review” of my Book of Preludes: 1-15 for Piano for the Fall 2018 issue of California Music Teacher magazine. I was even happier when I read her thoughtful and honest comments. I deeply appreciate your review, Gail! This adds even more credibility to the Preludes as they make their way into state teaching organizations across the country.
The Music Teachers’ Association of California® (MTAC) publishes California Music Teacher magazine and sponsors the music study program Certificate of Merit® (CM). The Preludes are being considered for the next revision to their CM “Piano Syllabus”.
The entire article is reproduced below for easy reading.
CM Level: 8-10
This collection of fifteen evocative pieces is perfect for inspiring creative interpretations. These preludes are a great grab-and-go book for weddings, special events, senior centers, recitals, or any number of occasions that require lyrical, meditative, and expressive music. The CD recording has become my traveling music in the car, especially soothing when I’m stuck in heavy traffic. Throughout the collection, the music is tonal, impressionistic, improvisational and full of unexpected colors, turns, and harmonic shifts. Students who crave pieces with lots of octaves and dynamic fervor will love the dramatic conclusions in Preludes 3 and 5. The dreamy Prelude 9 requires a slight ethereal touch to keep the flowing sixteenth-note passages smooth and even. The melodic line is continually surrounded by flowing passagework and must be carefully voiced. The preludes range from slow and concise as in Preludes 1 and 8 to more expansive compositions, such as Preludes 10 and 11 which are more complex, intricate pieces requiring sophisticated counting and impeccable technique. Fingering and suggested pedaling is included. The drawback to this edition is that by using 5 systems per page on 8-1/2 by 11 inch paper, often with 5 to 6 (sometimes 8) measures per system, the staff is smaller and harder to read. This is merely a comment on the engraving. The music itself is delightfully appealing. The CD recording is sold separately.