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Pianists Guide to Standard Teaching and Performance Literature

Pianists Guide to Standard Teaching and Performance Literature


Pianists Guide to Standard Teaching and Performance Literature

This reference book is an invaluable resource for teachers, students and performers for evaluating and selecting piano solo literature. Concise and thoroughly researched, thousands of works, from the Baroque through the Contemporary periods, have been graded and evaluated in detail. Includes an alphabetical list of composers, explanations of works, and much more.


1.It deliberately limits itself to things the author believes no harder than the Bach Three-Part Inventions or Beethoven Op 49. It also largely avoids transcriptions. The text tends to be about as succinct as that in Hinson, and thus just as frustrating: a little more detail, even if opinionated, often would be welcome. It also mostly limits itself to things in print at the time of its publication over twenty years ago. With the rise of the web and IMSLP this is an unfortunate limitation for things published in past centuries; and, of course, it necessarily omits the wonderful resources now published electronically directly by composers.

On the good side, I think there is a serious, and welcome, effort to include some pretty obscure things, particularly relatively easy ones. I’m pretty sure there are things in here I’ve not seen cited elsewhere. And it shows considerable respect to some valuable, easy pieces that aren’t profound enough to get much play in most other reference works. Again, it is over twenty years old, though, so nothing really recent, nor reflecting recent revisions of taste, are included.

2.It does have an oddly hit or miss quality in some cases. For example, only a few of the Mompou Cancion e Danza and Impressiones Intimas are mentioned, though I’m pretty sure many of those neglected are still in the difficulty range covered.

As a physical object it is substandard: it is feebly bound and pages were coming out within an hour of my first opening it. This is particular frustrating in a reference work.

On balance, I guess I’d categorize it as a good start, but it could benefit tremendously from a thorough revision and updating. Though perhaps in this day and age such a revision would be better as a living on-line resource rather than as a static book.

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