Piano Music of Sonny Chua

0101340976Piano teachers across the USA are travelling to Chicago this week to attend the NCKP. As a special treat this year in the exhibitor hall there is an Australian Music Booth! If you are one of our US readers attending the NCKP, go along and check out  Australian composer, Sonny Chua’s music.

If you are not lucky enough to be in Chicago this week, here is a sneak peak inside Sonny Chua’s collection: Piano Music of Sonny Chua. This collection would be fabulous for 40 Piece Challenge students as it includes pieces at a range of levels, so some quick wins as well as some pieces to work towards.

SonnyChuaSonny Chua writes of his Piano Music Collection…

These miniatures were created to taunt, tickle and teach. I wrote these pieces to amuse myself, as much as for the student to perform, and for the audience to participate as our unsuspecting victims.

Even though these works are preceded by descriptive titles, I hope the music itself is just as evocative without its extra-musical references. I believe music is a unique language and can perhaps communicate more richly and mightily than words.

These pieces were great fun to write as they allowed me to explore many aspects of pianistic technique and timbre. It was also immensely enjoyable to dabble as a “sonic character actor” with a range of musical concepts and styles. I hope you will enjoy the craft and the bluff in this quirky collection of piano music.

Piano Music of Sonny Chua (order number 0101340976) is available through these great stores in Australia and available from all good stores in the US via Hal Leonard. The collection includes:

You Dirty Rat (from a Gangster Suite)

YouDirtyRat

 

 

 

 

 

Angel (intermezzo from Sonatina)

Angel

 

 

 

 

 

No. 3 (from Waltz it All About?)
No3

 

 

 

 

No. 12 (from Waltz it All About?)
No12

 

 

 

 

Hoonmobile (from Bogus Boogies)

Hoonmobile

 

 

 

 

 

Headache Crawl (from Bogus Bogies)
HeadacheCrawl

 

 

 

 

TV Zombie (from Bogus Boogies)
TVZombie

 

 

 

 

T-Rex Hungry (from a Day in the Life of T-Rex)
TRexHungry

 

 

 

 

Jamaican Fumble (from Red Hot Rhapsodies)
JamacianFumble

 

 

 

 

Theme & 12 Deviations
ThemeAndDeviations

Piano Music of Amy Beach

Big thanks to Geelong piano teacher Helen O’Brien for this review.

00121629FC

The late-nineteenth-century American composer, Amy Beach, was taught by a pupil of Franz Liszt and the virtuosity of her training is evident in these piano works.

The current volume contains many fine examples of her lush Romantic style, and while influences of major Romantic composers are apparent, there is no sense of derivative writing. The compositions are impressive in both technical scope and musical inventiveness. These works are essentially character pieces, sometimes erring towards vignettes, excepting the last work which is a substantial set called Variations on Balkan Themes.

Some of the notable inclusions are: Arctic Night and although seemingly the least dense notation-wise, requires careful legato and voicing; In Autumn, a delicate but quietly virtuosic piece, has obvious touches of Tchaikovsky and Chopin. Fire-Flies is a wonderful study in playing thirds but without the searing complexity of the technical extremes encountered in Chopin’s Etude Op.25 no.6.

Most of the works in this Album are quite advanced: in an Australian context they would be equivalent to Grade 8 and beyond with the exception of Arctic Night.

I would highly recommend this collection to Australian teachers with advancing students as Beach’s compositions offer an untapped resource of material worthy of inclusion in competitions, recitals and general repertoire development. The volume is well-produced, offering clear editing and layout.

Verdict: A great addition to any music collection.

Item code is 121629

This book is available at all good print music retail stores.