Two musical gems from the bargain bin

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Since I started teaching piano a couple of years ago, I’ve periodically trawled the ‘sale’ sections of the music shops in town for suitable material for beginners and intermediate players. This one — reduced to a measly €2 — has a wide range of styles in it, not all to my taste, by some very fine British composers. Now that teaching is winding down for the summer (the incredulity of some of my students when I tentatively suggested lessons in the holidays!), I’ve been going through some of the books, taking note of pieces which might appeal. Any that stand out, I mark with a tick, any that I particularly don’t like get an ‘x’. Life’s too short to teach music you don’t like! (Thankfully, the Royal Irish Academy of Music make brilliant selections for their grade exam books. I’m looking forward to the publication of the 2014 ones…)

Here are two of the pieces that stood out in ‘A Century of Piano Music’, both by C.S. Lang, a composer I know nothing about.

Wikipedia tells me he was born in New Zealand in 1891; studied with composer Charles Villiers Stanford at the Royal College of Music, London; chiefly composed for and taught organ; died in 1971.

Both pieces are from a collection of fifteen easy pieces published in 1955.

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