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Songbook Review: Winter Piano Preludes, Nos. 1-10
James Michael Stevens
Cover image of the songbook Winter Piano Preludes, Nos. 1-10 by James Michael Stevens
Winter Piano Preludes, Nos. 1-10
James Michael Stevens
2022 / James M Stevens Music
31 pages / 10 songs
Review by Kathy Parsons
Winter Piano Preludes, Nos. 1-10 is the companion sheet music collection for James Michael Stevens' 2022 solo piano album by the same name. One of the most prolific composers ever (and still going strong!), Stevens is approaching 7000 items on SheetMusicPlus.com - more solo piano compositions than any composer in the world including Bach, Beethoven and Mozart! He is also the Dean of the School of Music at Welch College in Gallatin, TN.

Something that is kind of unusual about Dr. Stevens' sheet music is that he actually writes the music out before recording it, and uses the sheet music when he's recording, assuring that the recording and sheet music match. I also think it's interesting that almost all of his pieces for piano are three pages long - just a little fun fact! None of Dr. Stevens' piano music is what I would call difficult, and most of it is at a relaxed tempo with strong melodies. Being a music professor, the notation is accurate and correct, and the sheet music very appropriate for using in piano lessons for students of all ages. More advanced pianists should be able to play the music without a lot of practice and for pure playing enjoyment. It is also an excellent choice for many church musicians.

Most of the ten pieces in this collection are reflective and graceful, and some are quite poignant. The rhythms are not complicated and there are no reaches of more than an octave. Sheet Music Plus rates the book at Level 3 (early intermediate), and of the individual downloads, only "No. 10" is rated at Level 4 (intermediate). This is a really nice sheet music collection for any time of year, but is especially well-suited to the winter months!

The titles of the pieces, the keys they are in and the number of pages are:

No. 1 in E minor - 1 sharp - 3 pages
No. 2 in G major - 1 sharp - 3 pages
No. 3 in A minor - 0 sharps or flats - 3 pages
No. 4 in C minor - C minor (3 flats) and C major (0 sharps or flats) - 3 pages
No. 5 in E major - 4 sharps - 3 pages
No. 6 in D minor - 1 flat - 3 pages
No. 7 in Eb major - (Eb major (3 flats) / G major (1 sharp)/ B minor (2 sharps) - 3 pages
No. 8 in E minor - 1 sharp - 3 pages
No. 9 in Bb major - 2 flats - 3 pages
No. 10. in C major - 0 sharps or flats - 3 pages
January 18, 2023
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