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Gold Rush Rags
While the ragtime genre really did not exist during the California Gold Rush, this collection of evocative ragtime solos by Barbara Becker, offers a musical glimpse into that wild time as San Francisco appeared and then boomed with activity. Picture a gentle dance late at night in a saloon; the joyous hope and the frequent disappointment associated with prospecting for gold; Lola Montez’s moaning about some so-and-so who did her wrong; “Mr. Moneybags” John Sutter preening in the city; and tired miners drowning their sorrows on Saturday night, then shuffling off to bed. These fun pieces fit right in with the period’s expectations of instant wealth, juxtaposed against the back-breaking work, often for little return.
Nuances by Jenny Walker is a collection of ten contemporary lyrical pieces depicting the beautiful things in life and reminiscent of childhood. Gazing up at the clouds, making time for a little play, daydreaming and staring in wonder at nature all provide a welcome diversion from the world’s troubles. They are written for the late-intermediate pianist and contain subtle harmonies and textures.
The Wellspring suite, composed by Jenny Walker, depicts the journey of a mountain stream, from its humble beginnings high up in the hills of County Down, all the way to its final destination where it flows into the sea. Within them are snippets of Irish style reels, jigs, and songs, resulting in a varied and beautiful collection for intermediates.
Phantasmagoria is a collection of ten preludes for advanced pianists composed by Paul Sweet. This set serves as a primer of modern styles of music-making, introducing and reinforcing musical concepts not necessarily found in music of seventeenth, eighteenth, and nineteenth-century “classical” music. In these preludes you will find elements of blues, musical theater, minimalism, avant garde, and rock-n-roll.