The Christopher Norton Eastern Preludes Collection is a superb selection of highly distinctive arrangements of native themes from the east (including Brunei, China, India, Indonesia, Japan, Korea, Malaysia, Mongolia, The Philippines, Singapore, Taiwan, Thailand and Vietnam) for the intermediate to advanced pianist – Grade 5-7.
Arirang is a traditional Korean folk song that has been sung for over six hundred years and has become an unofficial national anthem both north and south of the border. Here is the original tune:
In his new arrangement, Norton creates a lyrical left hand accompaniment with jazz-inflected harmony, pre-empting a richly-textured entrance of the main theme:
Samalindang is a traditional dance that is originally said to have been performed at the palace of the Sultan of Brunei. It is still frequently performed by singers, musicians and dancers at weddings:
The Christopher Norton version takes the key of the melody and creates a dramatic, declamatory piano style in D (natural) minor:
The collection contains a wide range of styles – from beautiful ballads (Arirang from Korea and Bahay Kubo from The Philippines) and toccata-like pieces (Loy Krathong from Thailand and Ya, Ya, Maya, Ya from India), to a straight-ahead heavy rock piece (Hongor Mori from Mongolia) and a set of variations on a theme from Singapore encompassing rock’n’roll, jazz and a habanera (Chan Mali Chan).
The book is packaged with an accompanying CD that puts each Prelude on the map with stylish demonstration performances by Iain Farrington.
Christopher Norton’s Eastern Preludes Collection joins the existing Preludes publications for piano – Rock Preludes, Latin Preludes, Country Preludes and Jazz Preludes. Many of these original compositions have become popular choices for festivals and competitions, as well as being ever-popular choices for examination candidates.