SATURDAY, May 8, 2021: My recordings of traditional music for students

SATURDAY, May 8, 2021 – 7:26 AM


2021: My recordings of traditional music

I have not seriously recorded since the 1990s, with tweaks in the early 2000s. I’m trying to change that right now, starting with some short, famous selections. There is not much written for students in the first couple years of lessons that is both playable and extremely interesting. I think theses pieces are exceptions.

Grieg Nocturne

Grieg wrote many short pieces called “Lyrical Pieces”, and this is one of them.

Grieg Watchman’s Song

This is another of the “Lyrical Pieces”. It refers to a play by Shakespeare.

Chopin Prelude in A major

This is possibly the shortest and easiest piece Chopin ever wrote. But it is also very famous, and like all things that sound good, it’s not as easy as it sounds.

Chopin Prelude in C minor

This piece is entirely made of big, massive chords. It is in all books written for developing students, but it was not written for students and is not at all easy to play.

Chopin Prelude in B minor

This is another famous, short prelude given to students. It sounds pretty easy, but it’s not.

Chopin Prelude in E minor

This is one of the most famous short pieces ever written and has appeared so many times in movies and other sound tracks that it never ceases to surprise me. Like other shorter, slower preludes it is always in books for students. I used the theme for my own “Chopin Variation”.

Kabalevsky Novelette

Supposedly this was written for children. But it’s surprisingly difficult, and the harmony is quite sophisticated.

Kabalevsky Short Story

This is another piece supposedly written for children. The chords in the LH are all in 2nd inversion, and they are arpeggiated.

Kabalevsky Toccatina

This time all the chords are in the RH, and they are in 1st inversion.

Kabalevsky Song

This is the shortest piece I know by this composer that was written for children but is sophisticated enough for players of any age and any level.

Elmenreich Spinning Song

This is something that is in almost every piano method book that has been popular with piano students for well over a century.

6 thoughts on “SATURDAY, May 8, 2021: My recordings of traditional music for students

  1. One thing I have to say — these were recorded full-scale, no compression. No EQ. No tricks. This is what Mother Nature gave us when these were made. Turn it UP, when you listen. Way up. 3/4’s of the way up. And listen on your best headphones or speakers. I mean it. These are hi-fi, in the true sense of the word. Hi-Def, in today’s slang.

    Another thing I have to say – Gary, you infuse even the shortest of student pieces every bit of emotion, dynamics, expression — everything — that 99.9% of the hacks out there can’t even begin to deliver. Myself included. Wish there was more than just one record of you. You treat each and every piece like a unique gem under the hands of a real jeweler. No job too small, eh? I’ve seen/heard you sightread Powerhouse. That.. stopped my heart. For a second. That piece is a monster. I told you from the first day I met you, you read music like I read words. I need to learn that.

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