|Тhe Silvery Tay|
I have borrowed the title for this lyrical, flowing piece from our second national poet, William McGonagall. It depicts the River Tay, which flows through Perthshire and is a famous salmon river. In the central section, you will encounter one of the quick sections of the river where the salmon need to leap up the waterfalls to reach their breeding grounds upstream.
|The Corryvreckan Whirlpool|
This piece depicts the tidal whirlpool between the islands of Jura and Scarba in the Hebrides. Strong currents and underwater topography combine to create a whirling maelstrom which can be heard from 10 miles away. It’s a spectacular sight and boat trips are only for the brave. The left-hand plays ostinato quavers, the right-hand plays crashing chords and I have used the interplay between 6/8 and 3/4 time to give plenty of rhythmic drama. Give the waves plenty of time to settle before you launch into the Coda – as if you were teetering on the brink of a very high wave, then careering down the other side!
|The Legend of Loch Ness|
Watch out, Nessie’s about! A dark, mysterious opening leads into a flowing section which depicts the wind blowing down the loch, whipping up waves and strong currents in the dark, deep waters. The technical aspect of this piece is playing the double third scales – practice these slowly at first and make sure you’re always consistent with your fingering.
|The Guddly Burn|
This is a jaunty, cheeky wee piece that needs plenty of sparkle and wit. Play with nice light staccatos and don’t take it too fast to start with as it gets quite technical as it progresses. The title needs some explanation – ‘guddly’ comes from the word ‘guddle’ which means getting in a right old mess when doing something involving water, mud, etc. A ‘burn’ is the Scots word for a small stream.
|St Mary’s Loch|
A much more gentle piece to end the book. St Mary’s Loch is only a few miles from the Grey Mare’s Tail waterfall, which I portrayed in my Borders Suite. This is a beautiful part of Scotland, with rolling hills covered in heather and many lochs and bubbling streams. Play with plenty of expressions and phrase the melody as beautifully as you can.
|Published by EVC Music Publications Ltd|
Copyrights © 2017
Johan de Cock (verified owner) –
I recently ordered this publication, after hearing some of the composer’s other music online. I am so glad I did! I love Scotland and Donald Thomson captures the moods, rhythms and sounds of this beautiful country perfectly. My two favourite from this collection are ‘The Guddly Burn’ and ‘The Legend of Loch Ness’, but they are all wonderful. Although graded as late intermediate level, these pieces are perfectly suited to professional piano recitals, and would appeal to audiences and students alike. I loved this collection so much, that I ordered the other two books in the series, and I highly recommend them all to lovers of piano and Celtic music!