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Songbook Review: The Beneath the Olympian Skies Collection
Jim Wilson
Cover image of the songbook The Beneath the Olympian Skies Collection by Jim Wilson
The Beneath the Olympian Skies Collection
Jim Wilson
2023 / Willow Bay Music
66 pages / 10 songs
Review by Kathy Parsons
The Beneath The Olympian Skies Collection is the solo piano sheet music for Jim Wilson's 2007 album, Beneath The Olympian Skies. Much of the recording is orchestrated with other instruments in addition to Jim's piano, so these transcriptions are not an exact match to the recording, but they are very close. The recording includes a "reprise" version of "Dreamland," which is not included in the songbook, but the original version of the piece and the other nine pieces from the album are. I really enjoyed my time with this songbook and plan to take the time to get the music "into my fingers" very soon!

The songbook includes Jim Wilson's biography, a discussion about the inspiration for the album as well as individual pieces, some favorite quotes about Jim's music from a list of artists that I'm sure you'll recognize, and some "final thoughts." The scores include chord charts and metronome settings as well as plenty of expression markings. I didn't find any of the ten pieces overly difficult, making them very suitable for pianists at an upper-intermediate to early advanced playing level. There are several reaches of well over an octave, but pianists with smaller hands can roll the chords or play octaves, and sometimes the other hand can handle the note. It's a very satisfying songbook to just sit and play, and, as I mentioned, I look forward to mastering some of my favorites!

The Beneath The Olympian Skies Collection is available from Jim Wilson's website as either a PDF download or a printed book, and on Amazon as a printed book. Highly recommended!

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

Beneath the Olympian Skies - Key of G# minor (5 sharps), Bb minor (5 flats) - 6 pages
Dreamland - Key of E (4 sharps) - 4 1/2 pages
Beside The River Of Dreams - Key of F (1 flat), G (1 sharp) - 7 pages
Through Your Eyes - Key of F# minor (3 sharps) - 3 pages
A Way Back To Your Heart - Key of D minor/F major (1 flat) - 5 1/2 pages
Rio - Key of D (2 sharps), Eb (3 flats) - 9 pages
Where I Belong - Key of G (1 sharp), F (1 flat) - 6 pages
When The World Belonged To Us - Key of Eb (3 flats) - 4 1/2 pages
In Every Heart - Key of D (2 sharps), Ab (4 flats), Eb (3 flats), A (3 sharps) - 6 1/2 pages
Don't Stand At My Grave - Key of A (3 sharps) - 4 pages
March 20, 2024
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