Sometimes a book drops through the letterbox, and when I open the envelope, I just know that this is going to be a book which remains on my shelves forever. The Harry Potter Piano Anthology published by Faber Music, is just one of those books. It bills itself as a ‘stunning collector’s edition’, and that’s just what it is. Knowing several friends who have many shelves of Harry Potter books and paraphernalia, I know that this volume will fit in perfectly.
The hefty volume contains 56 of the ‘biggest and best musical themes’, not only from the eight Harry Potter films, but from the three Fantastic Beasts films too. Compiled by Rebecca Kintoff and Lucy Holliday, the arrangements, for intermediate piano, are credited to Alfred Music.
I have to confess, I’m not a Harry Potter fan. The books came out just as I was coming to the end of my time at secondary school, so I slightly missed out. I’ve never really caught up with them, and whilst I’ve seen snippets of the films, they’ve never really been on my radar. That said, none of us can have escaped hearing the music, and all the familiar Harry Potter favourites are included here. When the book arrived, my wife, Clementine, being a self-confessed Harry Potter fan was far more excited than I was, so I asked her for a quote:
‘This beautiful book, featuring timeless nostalgia and evocative music, offers a magical transportation to the Wizarding World of Harry Potter in your own home, with an extra added dash of ‘floo powder’ to also discover and explore the music from the adventures of Newt Scamander.’Clementine Barton
If you’re a Harry Potter fan, I’m sure you’ll understand all that!
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The beautiful cover, which really sells it as a ‘collector’s edition’ was exclusively designed by MinaLima, the graphic design studio behind Wizarding World. It’s really gorgeous and will absolutely fit in with all your other Harry Potter books and memorabilia. I know that for many pianists, this is going to make a fabulous Christmas present this year.
The music itself is very clearly laid out and presented, and with so much to include, the publishers have done well to avoid crowded pages. The term ‘intermediate piano’ means different things to different people, but I’d suggest the arrangements here vary from around Grade 4 to Grade 6, possibly even Grade 7 for the longer and trickier pieces. The arrangements are clever and effective, something which is especially important when the music itself is so well-known. The simplified arrangements included here never lose the essence of the original. Much detail is included in terms of the dynamics and articulation, though some pianists and teachers may be disappointed to find there are no fingering suggestions throughout the book. I don’t know the original music well enough to know if any of the pieces have been transposed to easier keys, but even saying that, the full range of keys up to G flat major is included.
Overall, this is a stunning volume. It includes effective arrangements of all the greatest Harry Potter ‘hits’, but also many lesser-known pieces which are well worth enjoying, particularly from the latter films. It’s really the book itself which stands out, and with its deep blue and gold matt cover, this is what makes it a collector’s edition. A huge amount of music is included, with 56 pieces spread over 208 pages, and with it retailing at around £25.00, that’s superb value for money.
At a time when more and more musicians favour digital downloads over printed copies, it’s pleasing to see that publishers like Faber Music are still prepared to produce exceptional volumes such as The Harry Potter Piano Anthology which will, I know, be treasured by many pianists for years to come.
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The Harry Potter Piano Anthology is published by Faber Music, ISBN 9780571542963, RRP £25.00.
I was sent a review copy of this book free of charge; however, this review is my honest opinion as a teacher. You can find my Reviews Policy here.
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