Seasons by Andrew Higgins is a delightful set of fifteen miniatures.
The collection is available as a traditional book as well as a digital download.
It was conceived as performance repertoire for the ambitious student. Each piece is short and succinct, often focussed on a single aspect of technique, style, and character. The mood of each musical idea reflects the changing seasons so the student is always responding to a narrative to help inform performance.
The design encompasses a complete year’s study so the student can focus on extending their repertoire over the course of twelve months or four seasons. By learning one or two pieces a month and beginning with the first piece for that ‘Season’, the student can divide the set into four performances roughly five minutes each. Exceptionally Spring comprises just three pieces because April incorporates its own opening fanfare which serves as an announcement in itself before moving directly to a playful Toccata section. At the end of the year a successful student can deliver a single rewarding concert performance of over twenty minutes, or teachers can share pieces between several performers at different levels and perform the cycle as a set.
The pieces range from intermediate to advanced and the collection is not specifically progressive; however the darker modern tones of the Autumn section are perhaps the most challenging. The shortness of the pieces derives from the Greek principle of gradus ad parnassum (steps to Parnassus) – each step is not especially challenging, and some easier than others, but as a collection they require variety technique and stamina, and will give great enjoyment and satisfaction to performer and listener.