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Songbook Review: Secret Places Private Thoughts
Lesley Spencer
Cover image of the songbook Secret Places Private Thoughts by Lesley Spencer
Secret Places Private Thoughts
Lesley Spencer
2012 / Lesley Spencer / Gabriella Publishing
75 pages / 17 songs
Review by Kathy Parsons
Secret Places Private Thoughts: Original Piano Solos, Volume 1 is the companion sheet music book to Lesley Spencer’s 1999 solo piano CD, Secret Places Private Thoughts. All seventeen of the pieces (five of which are part of Piano Suite 1) from the CD are included, transcribed note-for-note by Rebecca Oswald (and proofed by yours truly). As always, Oswald’s notation is meticulous and includes extensive expression indications and pedal markings. The layout is roomy and easy to read, with crisp print, bright white paper, and a nice weight of paper stock to keep the book looking good for years to come. The book is also spiral bound, which keeps it open on the piano without any breaking-in needed (thank you!!!).

The music itself is a joy to play. Melodic, expressive, and very beautiful, it’s an exceptional playing experience to just sit and play the book cover to cover. There is a wonderful variety of moods to express, and pianists of an upper-intermediate and early-advanced playing level should be able to master most of these pieces without much trouble. There are no reaches of more than an octave chord, most of the timing is quite straight-forward (flowing eighth notes, chords - nothing terribly difficult), and only a few more challenging key signatures. Pianists will be able to express a full range of emotions for a very satisfying hour or so of piano time.

Secret Places Private Thoughts is a welcome addition to any sheet music library, and I recommend it very highly! It is available from lesleyspencer.com.
December 18, 2012
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