One recent discovery whilst searching for repertoire for an article I wrote last year, was this wonderful little set of pieces written for Judith Serota, and presented as a leaving gift when she left her role as Executive Director of the Spitalfields Music Festival in East London. The collection was the brainchild of composer Diana Burrell, and it contains pieces written by a collection of illustrious composers; Richard Rodney Bennett, Michael Berkeley, Diana Burrell, Anthony Burton, Peter Maxwell Davies, Jonathan Dove, Stephen Johns, Thea Musgrave, Tarik O’Regan, Anthony Payne, and Judith Weir.
Each piece is based on “Bist du bei mir” by G H Stölzel arranged by J S Bach, hence the title, Variations, and they are perfect for students who want to explore Contemporary music idioms. Around Grade 4 – 7 standard (of the British examination boards), students and amateurs will love their accessibility. You can find out more about these works in my original blog post here.
I have one copy, very kindly donated by Judith, and signed by the first performer, concert pianist Melvyn Tan, and also by Judith herself, to give away to one lucky reader. To take part in this competition, just leave a comment in the comment box at the end of this post, and Judith will select a winner on Monday.
Judith Weir is composer of the week on BBC Radio 3 from Monday March 30th, and her contribution to the collection, To Judith, from Judith will be featured. You can enjoy Melvyn Tan playing a selection from Variations at various concerts halls around the UK this year. Enjoy his performance of the whole set here:
Melanie Spanswick has written and published a wide range of courses, anthologies, examination syllabuses, and text books, including Play it again: PIANO (published by Schott Music). This best-selling graded, progressive piano course contains a large selection of repertoire featuring a huge array of styles and genres, with copious practice tips and suggestions for every piece.
For more information, please visit the publications page, here.
19 Comments Add yours
I love the whole concept of this book, and what a cavalcade of composers! Looking forward to playing them sometime 🙂
Hi! I would love this copy! 😉 it would certainly spice up my repertoire as I always seem to stick with classics. thank you . T
Beautiful! Would love to play sometime!
I would love to learn these pieces!
This would be a great addition to add some flavor to the ballet classes I accompany! Good luck everyone 🙂
I would love the opportunity to try this book. 😄
These are a great and accessible way to include contemporary music into a students repertoire. I’d love a copy.
Whoever designed it is clever. Vibrant attractive colours would entice me to buy it !!! 😄🎶🎹🎼📖📖📖📖
Lovely pieces, would be another treasure for my “meager” music library. ❤
Lovely, would make a wonderful addition to my sheet music library. Also would be such a wonderful collectors item. Love to collect autographs.
What an intriguing collection of contemporary music! It’s a wonderful way to explore different, and perhaps unfamiliar, idioms and styles.
I’d love that copy! Very nice pieces and interesting!
What an inspirational idea of Diana Burrell’s; I have many adults students who will love exploring these wonderful compositions.
I would love to have a copy.
I would love to have a copy
This looks wonderful!
I’ve worked many years as director/vocal coach with a boy choir, one of whose standard repertoire pieces is “Bist du bei mir.” It’s been a joy to be able to introduce the boys to this lovely piece, and I would treasure the set of variations as a delightful way to explore even more of the pieces enduring charms.
Hi Kathy, Many thanks for your comment, but the competition took place this morning – really sorry.