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Songbook Review: Notte
Milana Zilnik
Cover image of the songbook Notte by Milana Zilnik
Milana Zilnik
2019 / Milana Zilnik and Artyom Tchebotaryov
42 pages / 12 songs
Review by Kathy Parsons
The Notte songbook is the companion sheet music collection for Milana Zilnik’s 2019 album by the same name. Each of the twelve pieces represents an hour between dusk and dawn and while all of the pieces are distinctly different from each other, they all express a quiet stillness. The project arose from Milana’s husband, Arty, asking her to compose a minimalist/ ambient album, a departure from her usual composing style. “Notte” is the Italian word for “night" and I really like Milana’s description as it gives an accurate overall feeling for this collection: “…Notte… Night.. the time of silence, dreams, reflections.. the time when music happens in between notes more than in the notes themselves.”

Since the pieces are slow and very open, the challenge for the pianist is to capture the feeling and expression for each piece, and to not just play the notes as written. Dynamics and expression are clearly indicated, but each pianist has the freedom to interpret and express the music in his or her own style. What does each hour of a night mean to you? Most pianists at an upper-intermediate and above playing level should be able to master this music because, as I mentioned, the challenge and sophistication are in the expression.

Milana and her husband did the transcriptions for the sheet music and I proof-read it, ensuring that the songbook is as close to the recording as possible. The notation is clear and very well-spaced, with metronome settings included. The books are available with spiral binding or “perfect binding” by contacting Milana on her website, on Bandcamp and directly from Lulu.

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

8pm. Shadows - Key of C minor (3 flats) - 4 pages
9pm. Sunset - Key of A (3 sharps) - 3 pages
10pm. Twilight - Key of A minor (0 sharps or flats) - 4 pages
11pm. Calmness - Key of Db (5 flats) - 3 pages
12am. Midnight - Key of C minor/ Eb major (3 flats) - 3 pages
1am. Longing - Key of G minor (2 flats) - 4 pages
2am. Echoes - Key of G major (1 sharp) - 5 pages
3am. Silence - Key of A minor (0 sharps or flats) - 2 pages
4am. Dreams - Key of C (0 sharps or flats) - 3 pages
5am. Quietude - Key of Db (5 flats) - 1 page
6am. Reflections - Key of D minor (1 flat) - 4 pages
7am. Dawn - Key of C (0 sharps or flats) - 3 pages
October 22, 2019
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