Most helpful positive review
28 of 28 people found the following review helpful
An instant favorite!
on February 16, 2002
I received this book as a gift and it instantly became my all-time favorite compilation. Although I am an advanced pianist who loves to play the original versions of many of these songs, I still turn to this book again and again for pure listening and playing enjoyment.
Like the other reviewers, I appreciate the quality of the selections and the spiral binding. But what I love most about this book is how cleverly the pieces have been simplified. They are easy enough for an advanced student to sight read, yet somehow they retain all the essence of the originals, so they don't sound like the watered-down kiddie versions I remember playing in my "lesson books." They would definitely provide enough challenge for a beginning or intermediate student building a repertoire.
I feel the reviewer who stated that the arrangements were "needlessly simplified or altered" completely missed the point of this book. Imagine learning to play the "Moonlight Sonata" or Schubert's "Serenade" in a few weeks or even a single sitting! The pieces are condensed, but when you are playing just for fun, it makes sense to play only the parts that people recognize and admire. And what a great idea to transpose Chopin's "Etude in E" into the key of F so that it is actually possible to enjoy its lyrical beauty without going mad trying to remember all those sharps. Since composers tend to be men with large hands, I've had to chop notes out of their four-fingered chords all my life, so why not have the publishers do it for me? In short, this book does all the right things to make these songs a joy to play.
Whether you are a beginning student looking for recital pieces, an intermediate student wanting to learn sight-reading, or an advanced student who just needs a welcome break from months of laboring over the originals, this book has something for everyone. I would recommend it as an addition to any home with a piano.