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The Virtuosic Christmas Performer.

by Margaret Goldston. Aljged Publishing Co., Inc. (16320 Roscoe Blvd., P.O. Box 10003, Van Nuys, CA 91410-0003), 2001. 32 pp., $6.95. Intermediate.

The holiday season will be more complete and memorable now with the sounds of Margaret Goldston's recent project. Geared for intermediate to late-intermediate pianists, The Virtuosic Christmas Performer is sure to whet the appetite of pianists, young and old.

The eight well-crafted solos are suitable for church congregations, recital audiences or an evening at home with family and friends. Each solo makes use of a variety of registers across the keyboard, and the idiomatic writing is refreshing. Goldston makes use of several keys throughout the book. Shifts of keys within a carol are tasteful and convincing. Inviting harmonies and well-tempered innovations in rhythm and accompaniment add to the charm.

While some might be anxious about "wasting" valuable teaching time on non-standard piano repertoire, there need not be any worry here. Many important lessons about music making and piano technique can be gleaned through the teaching of these attractive arrangements. Skills such as shaping of line, pedaling, wrist rotation, voicing and chord playing can be easily incorporated into the piano lesson.

The typeface is easy to read, the spacing is good and markings on the page are clear. The Virtuosic Christmas Performer contains arrangements of "Away in a Manger," "Carol of the Bells," "Go, Tell It on the Mountain," "O Come, All Ye Faithful," "O Holy Night," "Silent Night," "The Sounds of Christmas" (a medley of four carols) and "What Child is This?"

With popular pieces, such as Christmas carols, students often have an intrinsic motivation to learn and perform the music. This group of carols is so inviting because of the artistic and pianistic setting, and they are certain to appeal to many students and teachers. Reviewed by David Sharpe, Tempe, Arizona.
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Article Details
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Author:Sharpe, David
Publication:American Music Teacher
Article Type:Book Review
Date:Jun 1, 2002
Words:306
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