Sheet music pick of the month: Alec Coles-Aldridge

21 July 2019
By Alec Coles-Aldridge
Develop your repertoire and learn new skills with our sheet music pick of the month, as selected by our trusted professionals

For the beginner: Buxtehude: Sarabande from Suite in E minor

The name Dieterich Buxtehude is only occasionally mentioned in musical circles today. However, the Danish-German composer wrote a number of pieces that are worth hearing (particularly his Jubilate Domino, omnis terra). His Suite in E minor is one such composition, and the Sarabande is no exception. The music creates a delicate and calming atmosphere. The rhythms are simple and almost predictable, but this focuses the listener on the direction of the notes. The charming high G in bar five appears, and over the next four bars gently descends. A very special piece indeed!

For the intermediate: Chabrier: Habanera

Impassioned, sweet and vibrant can all be used to describe Habanera. This short three and a half minute long composition is stuffed full of character. The opening feels calming but reveals a glimpse of the real spirit of the music through the inclusion of the Habanera rhythm. Then half-way through, the volume rises and one feels the Spanish Habanera dance style cutting through. For the ending, the piece returns to the tender mood which reminds the listener of the music’s beginning. Highly recommended for those who want to add a little spice and flare to their playing!

For the advanced: Scriabin: Prelude Op 9 No 1 for the left hand

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Music written for the left hand is a fascinating genre of music. Often, the necessity to perform with only the left hand is born out of tragedy. In the case of Scriabin, his intense practice had caused an injury to his right hand. Op 9 No 1 was written in his period of recovery, and the music conveys a strong sense of despair. The composition seems to be constantly searching for a resolution, but despite every twist and turn, only ever finds peace on the final note of the four minute piece. If you are looking for a powerfully emotional piece to play, then this is it!

QUICK LINK: Read about the world's oldest piece of sheet music here