Author: Conklin, N Mason
Date published: April 1, 2012
Slavic Miniatures, compiled and edited by Agnes Lakos. Editio Musica Budapest, 2011. www.halleonard.com; 56 pp., $19.95.
Last year, I reviewed Editio Musica Budapest's Kaleidoscope for AMT, and in many respects, this review of Slavic Miniatures feels a bit self-plagiarized, as I can hear most of my comments and criticisms being echoed from the past. That being said, I find the repertoire in Slavic Miniatures wholly compelling in quality, novelty and emotional content. My only complaints are the misleading cover art, which is entirely too juvenile considering the level of difficulty of the repertoire contained, and the table of content's location in the back of the anthology, not the front.
Slavic Masterpieces has an interesting representation of composers, some of which are recognizable to the knowledgeable piano teacher, and others that are slightly more obscure. The more frequently encountered composers include Moritz Moszkowski, Bed ich Smetana, Mikhail Glinka and Vladimir Rebikoff. The lesser-known composers are Michal Ogi ski, Maria Szymanoska (not to be confused with Karol Szymanoski), Zden c Fibich and Genari Karganov.
The repertoire is late-intermediate to advanced, and given the length (most are about two pages long, some longer, some shorter), might work well as "stretch" pieces, giving students an opportunity to break through a technical plateau. The pieces fall into two categories. The first showcases hotblooded, lusty melodies that allow your older students to express the extent of their teenage angst. These pieces require solid musicianship, the ability to project melodies hidden within complex textures and the self-confidence to emote, emote, emote. The other pieces are good, oldfashioned finger wigglers, which feature brilliant tempi and require a fleet, clear technique. Many of these are excellent as short etudes for developing passage-work practice habits.
Slavic Masterpieces provides an excellent source for an injection of new literature in your advanced teaching repertoire and ear-catching gems to distinguish your students in competition. - Reviwed by N. Mason Conklin, Waleska, Georgia
-Reiwed by N. Mason Conklin, Waleska, Georgia