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Songbook Review: Piano Sheet Music Collection
Brian Crain
Cover image of the songbook Piano Sheet Music Collection by Brian Crain
Piano Sheet Music Collection
Brian Crain
2021 / Hal Leonard
80 pages / 17 songs
Review by Kathy Parsons
Brian Crain: Piano Sheet Music Collection is something of a "best of" folio selected from pianist/composer Brian Crain's many albums released between 1999 and 2017. The seventeen pieces give a very nice overview of Brian's musical stylings as well as his most popular pieces. Quite a few of the pieces appear on various albums arranged as duets with other instruments and orchestrations as well as piano solos. "Andante Cantabile" appears in this collection with an optional cello part that could also be played on a keyboard or a second piano.

This songbook was published by Hal Leonard, and, as always, the notation is very roomy and easy to read. The book is in the 9"X12" format and the binding is stapled; I have had no trouble keeping the book open on my piano. I really enjoyed playing through this book and there are many songs that I will revisit as I have time. Most of the pieces are fairly easy to play and I would put all seventeen of them at an upper-intermediate to an early-advanced playing level. Most of the rhythms are not complicated and I don't think there were any reaches of more than an octave. Metronome settings are included in all of the pieces. Dynamics and tempo changes are a little sparse, but composers sometimes want the players to use their own creative expression rather than spelling everything out. My only complaint is that there are several places where there is an octave higher passage on the left hand that is marked with an "8va" between the staves. I find that very hard to read. Changing the left hand to treble clef is much easier for the brain to grasp while playing. Other than that, the music is beautiful, expressive and fun to play.

Brian Crain: Piano Sheet Music Collection is available from Hal Leonard and Amazon as a printed book or a PDF download, and as a printed book from SheetMusicPlus.com. Individual pieces can be purchased and downloaded from Brian's site and SheetMusicDirect.com.

The titles, the key(s) they are in, and the number of pages are:

Across the Bay - Key of Eb (3 flats) - 5 pages
Crimson Sky - Key of Gb (6 flats)/ Ab (4 flats) - 3 pages
Andante Cantabile (arranged for piano and cello) - Key of D (2 sharps)/ A minor (0 sharps or flats)/F (1 flat) - 8 pages

At the Ivy Gate - Key of E minor (1 sharp) - 4 pages
Butterfly Waltz - Key of F (1 flat) - 4 pages
Canon in D - Key of C(!!!) (0 sharps or flats) - 6 pages
Dream of Flying - Key of Bb minor/ Db (5 flats) - 6 pages
Imagining - Key of G (1 sharp) - 4 pages
Lavender Hills - Key of F (1 flat) - 3 pages
A Love Story - Key of C (0 sharps or flats)/ Eb (3 flats) - 3 pages
Moonrise - Key of Bb (2 flats)/ F (1 flat) - 5 pages
Rain - Key of G minor (2 flats)/ G (1 sharp) - 5 pages
A Simple Life - Key of C minor (3 flats) - 4 pages
Song For Sienna - Key of A minor (0 sharps or flats)/ G (1 sharp) - 3 pages
Song For Rome - Key of F (1 flat) - 5 pages
A Walk In the Forest - Key of G (1 sharp) - 4 pages
Wind - Key of C minor (3 flats) - 7 pages

February 11, 2022