Autrefois (In Olden Days)
Autrefois (In Olden Days), composed by Rick Robertson, is a late intermediate lyrical solo that is an appropriate repertoire piece for recitals, contests, and festivals. It recalls the Paris of the late nineteenth century, with its evocation of early Impressionism. This piece is part of the Kaleidoscope Volume 3 songbook. This piece has been selected for the NFMC Festivals Bulletin, 2020-2024.
Tarantella is a virtuosic, spellbinding piece for advanced pianists composed by Stacy Fahrion. The time signature is 6/8, although one of the recurring left hand patterns is in 7/8. In the recording, the piano is deliberately detuned, intensifying the dissonances of the double harmonic major scale by lowering the minor 2nd and minor 6th slightly, and raising the major 3rd and major 7th slightly. The percussion sounds are created by placing a tambourine on the bass strings of the piano. Detuning your piano and tossing a tambourine in it is entirely optional, although the composer encourages it.
The Lovelorn Lobster
The Lovelorn Lobster is a song from 1897 with words by Joseph W. Herbert. Stacy Fahrion wrote her own original whimsically macabre music to the poignant lyrics about love between a lobster and a piscatorial maiden going terribly awry. A timeless, classic theme for Valentine’s Day, or any occasion!
Waltz for a Six-Legged Octopus
Waltz for a Six-Legged Octopus by Stacy Fahrion begins whirling gently in 6/8 time, but the real hexapus waltzing starts when the piece shifts to 9/8. This waltz, ideal for intermediates, is for anyone who has ever felt like they’re missing something that everyone else has.
Terrifying Trilogy is an eerie and mysterious three-piece set with Hitchcock-inspired titles spanning late-elementary to early intermediate levels. All three pieces are in an expanded C minor five-finger hand position. With fast-slow-fast tempo indications, the three solos work well as movements of a modern sonatina or as stand-alone material.
October is an intermediate new age piece by Sarah Reaser O’Brien, NCTM. The constantly moving triplet figures in both hands are meant to evoke the swirling motion of colorful autumn leaves blowing about in the breeze. Rather than centering on a traditional melodic line, October allows students to create a mood or effect by experimenting with dynamic inflection and rubato to vary each performance. Dynamic indications in the score are merely suggestions – performers are meant to make this free-flowing piece their own.