Printer Friendly

Desert Suite: Six Original Piano Solos.

* Desert Suite: Six Original Piano Solos, by Carol Klose. Hal Leonard Corporation (www.halleonard.com), 2006. $6.95. Intermediate.

Desert Suite is a collection of six short piano pieces inspired by the landscapes and culture of the American Southwest. At a total length of around 10 minutes, the pieces could be played as a set, though each piece is musically substantial enough to be performed individually. The composer has included introductory remarks detailing her interest in the desert southwest and Native American culture, as well as extensive performance notes and helpful pedagogical suggestions for each piece.

The six pieces all bear descriptive titles--"Dawn to Dusk," "Gecko Games," "Desert in Bloom," "Canyon Spirits," "Mother Earth, Sister Moon" and "Kokopelli (Invention in Phrygian Mode)." The composer succeeds in depicting the beauty and grandeur of desert landscapes by the use of extended damper pedal effects, sparse harmonies in open fifths, and modal, flute-like melodies. The technical level is intermediate. The performer must achieve a wide variety of dynamic levels, from pppp to ff, though there is no marking above mf until the final two pieces. In four of the pieces, the writing is lyric, atmospheric and medium or slow in tempo. As the only fast pieces in the set, "Gecko Games" and "Kokopelli" are staccato etudes requiring a bit more facility to deal with the alternating hand writing and quick position shifts. "Desert in Bloom" is a fine introduction to irregular and changing meters, while "Mother Earth, Sister Moon" asks the performer to tap rhythmic figures on the fallboard (the composer even suggests having a percussionist perform these while possibly improvising similar rhythms).

Desert Suite is a fine piece for study and performance for a strong intermediate-level student. The difficulties are primarily musical. There are lots of expressive markings in each of the six pieces, all spelled out in exacting detail by the composer, leaving little room for individual interpretation by the performer. Nonetheless, teaching a student to focus on dynamics, pedaling, articulation and other musical markings is of great pedagogical value. This suite should appeal to imaginative, expressive students with an eye and ear for detail (or those who need to work on these aspects of performing).--Reviewed by Charles Jones, NCTM, Natchitoches, Louisiana.

* This items can be ordered via the MTNA website through our affiliation with Amazon.com. Go to www.mtna.org for more information.
COPYRIGHT 2007 Music Teachers National Association, Inc.
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 2007, Gale Group. All rights reserved. Gale Group is a Thomson Corporation Company.

Article Details
Printer friendly Cite/link Email Feedback
Author:Jones, Charles
Publication:American Music Teacher
Date:Apr 1, 2007
Words:396
Previous Article:Piano Preludes, Original Piano Solos, vols. 1-3.
Next Article:Freestyle! and More Freestyle! Piano Solos.
Topics:


Related Articles
3rd Annual International Festival for creative pianists. (Competitions).
Virginia Waring International Piano Competition.
Kingsville announces piano and concerto competitions.
2004-2005 MTNA Student Competitions.
Alfred acquires Myklas Music Press.
Army sax quartet to visit UO.
Jabez Press announces Composition Invitational winner.
An overview of pedagogical piano repertoire by contemporary Korean composers.
The piano duet: a medium for today.

Terms of use | Privacy policy | Copyright © 2021 Farlex, Inc. | Feedback | For webmasters