Saturday, March 21, 2009

Christopher Norton

I don't seem to have mentioned on this blog that last year I bought a book of NZ pieces from SOUNZ entitled First Fifteen.
In spite of the title (which relates to the number of composers), there are 32 pieces in it, ranging in difficulty from moderate to difficult (John Psathas' Waiting for an aeroplane comes at difficult the end of the range), and though a few of the pieces are either beyond me in terms of just getting my brain and fingers to coordinate, and a very few are just not my cup of tea (Dorothy Buchanan, and my old bĂȘte noire, Jack Body), I've thoroughly enjoyed getting to know the rest. It's been my best music purchase for a long time.
One of the pieces is by Christopher Norton, who comes from Dunedin originally (his sister attends our church), and whose made a big name for himself by composing heaps of pieces in modern styles for people learning the piano. This piece is four, three (it swings back and forth between 4/4 and 3/4) and is a delight: tricky enough to require a bit of work, but very playable once you've got your fingers around it.
So, recently, when I discovered the Sheet Music Plus site, where you can buy music online at both full and sale price, I searched for the volume that four, three comes from, and ordered it. The Christopher Norton Rock Preludes Collection arrived yesterday, and again the pieces are tricky enough to make you work, but not hard to play once you've figured things out. Looks like I'll be getting my money's worth out of this lot too. It's a site I'll need to keep away from. Our local music shop has cut back on the amount of sheet music they have in stock these days, so I don't visit them much. Sheet Music Plus has virtually everything you'd want on the planet, it seems, which could get very pricey!

Apropos of nothing to do with the above, but I don't seem to have mentioned Howie Mandel and his brief videos for Buy.com that keep appearing on You Tube. They're annoyingly busy and Mandel is a bit like a frenetic wasp; furthermore they often border on the crude. Guess he's got to make his money somehow.
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