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Piano Reflections

John Burge

Genre: Collections/Books

Level: Advanced Grades 8 - 10

Piano Reflections is a collection of eight Intermediate and Advanced piano solos. In many ways this collection is a follow-up to Parking an Octatonic Truck in that both books include compositions that were written in the late 1990's for use as quick-study pieces. Initially this new set was to consist of only six pieces but while assembling and editing the music, Burge was asked to write a composition for one of his colleagues at Queen's University in honour of the university's first Nobel Prize recipient in 2015. Although completely unanticipated at the time, the resultant tribute to Dr. Arthur McDonald titled, "Oscillations," became this collection's most significant work. There is a fine video of Burge performing this diploma-level composition on Youtube. Additionally, in 2015 Adele Barclay, a writer and former first-year harmony student of Burge's, happened to mention his solo piano arrangement of "O Canada" in a Literary Review of Canada book critique. As this arrangement often changed character due to its improvisational underpinnings, finally putting the notes down on paper made his setting of "O Canada" another ideal addition. 42 Pages.

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Piano Reflections - Contents and Grade Levels
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Piano Reflections - Complete Program Notes
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No. 1 - Prelude to a Prelude
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No. 1 - Prelude to a Prelude (Audio)
No. 2 - Playing Tag
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No. 2 - Playing Tag (Audio)
No. 3 - Variations on a Simple Theme
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No. 3 - Variations on a Simple Theme (Audio)
No. 4 - Pastels
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No. 4 - Pastels (Audio)
No. 5 - One-Note Groove
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No. 5 - One-Note Groove (Audio)
No. 6 - Dancing Arpeggios
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No. 6 - Dancing Arpeggios (Audio)
No. 7 - O Canada
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No. 7 - O Canada (Audio)
No. 8 - Oscillations
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No. 8 - Oscillations (Audio)
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Twenty-four Preludes

John Burge

Genre: Collections/Books

Level: Advanced Grades 8 - 10

This work also includes a number of diploma level compositions highly suitable for competition or examination use given their compact size and relatively short duration. The set reveals Burge's close affinity to the music of Chopin. Equally though, the Preludes of Debussy, with their expressive textural sonorities and colour, can also be considered touchstones, especially in the way that Burge provides subtitles for fourteen of his Preludes. Composed over the years 2011-2015, Burge personally premiered a few at a time so that the music had a long period of gestation, finally premiering the entire set in 2015 (a complete performance takes about one hour). The most unusual aspect of these Preludes is that eight of them use extended instrumental techniques such as strumming strings inside the piano. These techniques are very simple to execute and do not require any advance preparation of the piano but in most cases can only be realized successfully on a grand piano with the music stand removed. As a guiding principle, Burge tried to embrace each Prelude's tonic key in an audibly recognizable fashion so that at times the music is emphatically tonal, even in the Preludes that involve non-traditional performance practices. While some of the Preludes have a difficulty level appropriate to Grades 8 and 9 repertoire ("Prelude No. 5" was published previously in Northern Lights Volume 8B), the majority of the Preludes are at a Grade 10 or Diploma level of difficulty and as such, have much potential for piano competition and examination use. The music is beautifully printed with a coil binding hidden by a fold-over cover for lasting protection and durability. 80 pages.

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24 preludes- Assigned Levels of Difficulty and Detailed Description
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Prelude No. 1 (C Major)
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Prelude No. 2 (A Minor) and No. 3 (G Major)
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Prelude No. 4 (E Minor)
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Prelude No. 5 (D Major)
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Prelude No. 6 (B Minor)
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Prelude No. 7 (A Major)
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Prelude No. 8 (F Sharp Minor)
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Prelude No. 9 (E Major)
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Prelude No. 11 (B Major) and No. 12 (G Sharp Minor)
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Prelude No. 13 (F sharp Major) and No. 14 (E Flat Minor)
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Prelude No. 15 (D Flat Major)
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Prelude No. 16 (B Flat Minor)
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Prelude No. 17 (A Flat Major)
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Prelude No. 18 (F Minor)
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Prelude No. 19 (E Flat Major)
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Prelude No. 20 (C Minor), No. 21 (B Flat Major) and No. 22 (G Minor)
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Prelude No. 23 (F Major)
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Prelude No. 24 (D Minor)
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Parking an Octatonic Truck

John Burge

Genre: Collections/Books

Level: Elementary/Junior Grades 1-4

A collection of ten pieces ranging from Grades 1-8 that explores some of the more unusual approaches to composition such as polytonality, sympathetic reverberation, less traditional meters and clusters. John Burge used many of these pieces in the past as Quick Study repertoire for music festivals and as such, are put together in a logical fashion making them easy to teach, memorize and most importantly, fun to play. The set includes, "Dancing Scales" (RCM Grade 6 Etude List) and "Cluster Blues" (RCM Grade 8 List D). 24 pages.

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No.1 - A Gentle Waltz
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No. 2 - Playing with Prisms
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No. 3 - High Fives
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No. 4 - Lonely
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No. 5 - Building Blocks
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No. 6 - Johann Phones Dmitri
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No. 7 - Parking an Octatonic Truck
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No. 8 - Dodge Ball
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No. 9 - Dancing Scales
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No. 10 - Cluster Blues
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Everything Waits for the Lilacs

John Burge

Genre: Solo Sheet Music

Level: Diploma Level, ARCT and up

This six-minute work was commissioned by Canadian pianist Janina Fialkowska, the title of which is borrowed from Margaret Avision's poem, "Thaws". The music makes expansive use of the entire keyboard and is tinged with a distant romanticism that in part reflects a frozen landscape waiting for the arrival of spring. At times the music echoes appropriately with a strong sense of longing and desire and ends with a very loud repeated chord that just can't seem to break free of the fading grasp of winter as each repetition increasingly reverberates with more ghostly overtones. This work is included on the RCM ARCT Piano Performance Diploma Repertoire List E and has been used by many students as a required Canadian composition in national and international piano performance competitions. 11 pages.

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Everything Waits for the Lilacs (Opening)
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Everything Waits for the Lilacs (Ending)
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