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Piano Preludes, Original Piano Solos, vols. 1-3.

Piano Preludes, Original Piano Solos, Volumes 1-3, by Robert D. Vandall, Alfred Music (www.alfred.com), 2006. $5.95 each.

Alfred Publishing has released a new edition of Robert D. Vandall's Preludes. The complete volume also contains a CD, and Vandall added a final three preludes to complete all major and minor keys. Preludes are classified for UK Exam levels: Volume 1 (Grades 2-4), Volume 2 (Grades 3-5) and Volume 3 (Grades 4-7). The complete volume is specified for UK Exam Grades 2-7, but does not subtitle the exam levels, which could be problematic. The scores are clean and free of written instruction.

Volume 1, Preludes, creates single moods: pieces are very patterned and yield quick learning (appropriate keys for early-intermediate level). Chord progressions are a popular sound, appealing to students. There are technical examples (Preludes Nos. 1, 5 and 6), and musical examples (Preludes Nos. 2, 3, 4 and 7).

Volume 2 (Preludes 8-14, and Preludes 22-24, which are the new preludes), with the exception of Prelude No. 9 (D Minor) and Prelude No. 12 (G Minor), include more flats and sharps in the key signatures. Again, while using a limited number of patterns (the maximum number of measures is 46), the preludes provide a variety of moods. Prelude No. 14, reinforces the traditional right-hand B Major scale fingering in a very exciting, technical performance. Prelude No. 13 in A-flat Major is an homage to Bach's Prelude in A-flat Major (WTC, Book I).

Volume 3 (seven preludes) includes patterns, but they are extended technically and more difficulty musically. Melody and accompaniment within one hand is featured in Preludes Nos. 15 and No. 19. Prelude No. 16 is a nice introduction to the idea of a nocturne. The technical preludes offer challenges to the late intermediate student.

These preludes are attractive supplementary repertoire, but I would also recommend them for practicing memorization, as they are short, patterned and accessible harmonies.--Reviewed by Mary Tollefson, NCTM, La Crescent, New Mexico
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Author:Tollefson, Mary
Publication:American Music Teacher
Article Type:Audiobook review
Date:Apr 1, 2007
Words:329
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