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Songbook Review: Reflections & Recollections, Volume 1
Mark John McEncroe
Cover image of the songbook Reflections & Recollections, Volume 1 by Mark John McEncroe
Reflections & Recollections, Volume 1
Mark John McEncroe
2012 / Mark John McEncroe
70 pages / 13 songs
Review by Kathy Parsons
Reflections & Recollections, Volume 1 is the companion sheet music book to Mark John McEncroe’s debut CD by the same name. The book contains all thirteen songs from the recording AND a copy of the CD. McEncroe’s music is strongly influenced by the French Impressionists, which is readily apparent as soon as you start playing most of these pieces. Some of the music was inspired by the koi and bonsai in McEncroe’s Japanese courtyard garden, and several have a water theme. I also find a Baroque influence in a few of the compositions, so there is quite a variety of music between the covers of this book! My favorites are “A Fish with the Blues” (love the title!!!) and “Andante Moderato.” Most of the pieces are fairly slow and none have difficult key signatures.

The notation of the sheet music is clear, crisp and easy to read. Some of the timing is rather challenging, and there are quite a few chords that have a very wide reach. Most pieces include metronome settings, and the dynamics are clearly marked. The music is not simple, but most pianists at an early-advanced playing level should have no problem mastering the pieces. The Reflections & Recollections, Volume 1 songbook is available from markjohnmcencroecomposer.com.

The song titles, key signatures, and number of pages are listed below:

A Lazy Summer’s Afternoon - Key of D (2 sharps) - 6 pages
Andante Moderato - Key of Bb (2 flats) - 6 pages
Dancing In the Light - Key of D - 4 pages
A Fish With the Blues - Key of C minor (3 flats) - 5 pages
The Gargoyle Fountain - Key of D minor (1 flat) - 4 pages
Ghosts From the Past - Key of E minor (1 sharp) - 5 pages
Introspective Moments - Key of E (4 sharps) - 4 pages
Ripples On the Still Water - Key of C (0 sharps or flats)/Eb (3 flats) - 6 pages
Shades of Autumn - Key of A minor (0 sharps or flats)/ C minor - 6 pages
Shadows In the Water - Key of B minor (2 sharps) - 5 pages
Shadows of an Old Memory - Key of C minor - 4 pages
The Calling - Key of F# minor (3 sharps) - 2 pages
The Pendulum - Key of F minor (4 flats) - 4 pages
September 15, 2014
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