Favorite Icon, Full size
Songbook Review: Nocturnes
Jamie Alexander Smith
Cover image of the songbook Nocturnes by Jamie Alexander Smith
Jamie Alexander Smith
2019 / Jamie Alexander Smith
16 pages / 3 songs
Review by Kathy Parsons
The Nocturnes solo piano songbook is the companion sheet music book for Jamie Alexander Smith’s gorgeous 2019 EP by the same name. The three pieces from the EP are included and were transcribed by the composer. All three nocturnes have a certain sophistication to them and are not intended for beginning pianist, but pianists at an upper-intermediate playing level should be able to master the first Nocturne and those at an early-advanced and above playing level should be able to handle the other two with relative ease. The third piece, “Nocturne in G# minor,” is my favorite of the three, and I’ll be spending more time on that one very soon. When I was listening to the recording, that Nocturne made my fingers itch, so I went right to it after downloading the sheet music! It’s an amazing piece!

Here’s a short summary of each of the three Nocturnes:

Nocturne in B flat major (2 flats): This is the easiest and shortest of the three Nocturnes at not quite two pages. The timing is a little tricky in a few passages, but those passages are not difficult to count. It has a very nice flowing quality to it.

Nocturne in C sharp minor (4 sharps): This is probably the more difficult of the three Nocturnes with its rapidly-flowing broken chords played with both hands and a somewhat “hidden” melody that needs to be emphasized. The melody is marked with tenuto dashes, making it easier for the pianist to “find” it. Even though this Nocturne is a little more technically-challenging, it’s so beautiful that it will be worth the work it takes to master it. 6 pages.

Nocturne in G sharp minor (5 sharps): I absolutely love this piece! The haunting melody and graceful left hand arpeggios are a winning combination and a joy to play. A few passages are a little bit tricky, but not at all daunting. This is going to be one of my favorite pieces to play! 5 pages.

Even though it is short, this songbook is a winner! It is available as a PDF download from www.JamieAlexanderSmith.com and is included when you download the recording from Bandcamp. Excuse me - I think I need to go play the G# minor Nocturne again!
October 8, 2019