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Songbook Review: The Holiday Collection
Robin Spielberg
Cover image of the songbook The Holiday Collection by Robin Spielberg
The Holiday Collection
Robin Spielberg
2003 / Spobs Music, Inc.
76 pages / 14 songs
Review by Kathy Parsons
Robin Spielberg’s The Holiday Collection is one of my very favorite holiday songbooks, both to teach from and to play myself. The fourteen pieces include three songs from Robin’s American Chanukah CD, and the others come from The Christmas Collection and In the Heart of Winter CDs; three of these are Robin’s original compositions. A few of the arrangements are fairly easy (intermediate level), but some are relatively difficult (early advanced), as they are note-for-note transcriptions of what Robin is playing on her recordings. Robin often uses the full piano keyboard in her pieces, so players need to be able to read ledger lines and be quick about making big jumps from note to note. That said, these arrangements are superior in that they are beautiful, heartfelt, and very enjoyable to play. I have found that they add greatly to my holiday student recitals in both student enjoyment in learning and performing the pieces and in audience reaction.

“Carol of the Bells” is my favorite solo piano version of this piece ever and is something that my advancing students aspire to be able to play well. ”Jingle Bells” is great fun with its carefree mood and upbeat tempo. Robin’s arrangement of “Silent Night” is exquisite in its simplicity and elegance - another student favorite. “Zum Gali Gali” is fairly easy with its repeated left hand patterns and simple melody. The haunting “The Coventry Carol” is gorgeous and relatively easy to play. “Angels We Have Heard on High,” “In the Bleak Midwinter,” and “It Came Upon a Midnight Clear” are also student favorites, and is Robin’s own “First Night.”

I give The Holiday Collection my highest recommendation. It is available from robinspielberg.com.
October 4, 2008
This songbook has been tagged as:
Holiday Songbooks