HomeIn SeriesStaff PicksMusicroom Staff Picks – 31st October 2022

Musicroom Staff Picks – 31st October 2022

Music of the Stars: Nat King Cole

Nat King Cole (1919-1965) was American musician hailed as one of the best and most influential pianists and vocalist of the swing era. Originally from Alabama, he grew up in Chicago where he sang and played organ in the church where his father was pastor. He achieved his first commercial success with the King Cole Trio in 1943 with “That Ain’t Right.” Today, his songs “There Goes My Heart,” “Sentimental Journey,”All by Myself” and many more are still resonating with modern time listeners. This collection for piano, vocal and guitar gives tributes to the “King”.

Maurice Ravel: Valse Nobles et Sentimentales

Ravel’s suit of waltz was first published as a piano version in 1911, followed by an orchestrated version the following year. An homage to Franz Schubert, who had released collections of waltzes in 1823 entitled Valses nobles and Valses sentimentales, Ravel included in the preface a quote by T Henri de Régnier: “…le plaisir délicieux et toujours nouveau d’une occupation inutile” (the delicious and forever-new pleasure of a useless occupation). Piano players will delight in Ravel’s eclectic blend of Impressionst and Modernist flair and the succinctness of the collection with the typical performance of all eight waltzes lasting 15 minutes. Valse Noble is part of Musique française, a series by Éditions Durand, designed for students and teachers as well as professionals. These editions offer masterworks in French music, with performance suggestions and historical and stylistic commentary by noted scholars.

Vivaldi Album: 12 Selected Arias

This publication by Ricordi proposed a series of Vivaldi’s operatic arias. Each anthology is subdivided by vocal register, drawn from Antonio Vivaldi’s surviving musical works for Italian theatres, which include twenty-four musical dramas, three serenades and numerous individual arias. Each volume is made up of twelve pieces which vary in terms of affect and character, illustrating a wide range of styles and dramatic situation, and are arranged in chronological order, so as to provide an optimal cross-section of Vivaldi’s entire career. Vivaldi specialists, Italian music aficionados and accompanists, and vocal teachers will appreciate the all-encompassing feel of this repertoire book which is sure to become a bestselling collection.

The Voices in Harmony Series

Hal Leonard’s Voices in Harmony focuses on age-appropriate Social Emotional Learning (SEL) in the choral music classroom. The SEL consulting editor is author and educator Dr. Scott N. Edgar. On the inside front cover of each work, a QR code provides access to videos and teaching resources. The videos are specifically created by the composer for the students who will perform the piece. The PDF of teaching strategies provides valuable tools and directions for educators and the “words from the composer” section is designed to motivate both teachers and students. From concert pop music to Scottish folk song settings, explore the inaugural titles for the new Voices in Harmony series through topics ranging from keeping a positive attitude, how friendships lead to good decisions, kindness for others and even an socially engaged work with ‘Colorful’, inspired by Laurel Thatcher Ulrich’s feminist quote “Well-behaved women seldom make history.”

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