Christopher Norton’s distinctive contributions to the literature for the piano successfully bridge the gap between traditional piano literature and music in contemporary popular styles. The original series, Christopher Norton Connections for Piano contains over 200 newly composed pieces, carefully selected, edited, and sequenced to span ten levels from elementary to advanced. The pieces in Connections for Piano Duet cover a wide range of styles—from swing to Latin and from calypso to pop ballad. These pieces present many of the same challenges found in more traditional repertoire. Lyrical pieces demand tonal beauty, excellent balance between melody and accompaniment, natural breathing and phrasing, and pedalling finesse. More rhythmically oriented pieces require coordination, a deep-seated sense of pulse, and awareness of stylistic touches and accentuations. All pieces benefit from a strong connection to mood, movement, or image. Stephen Doughty’s adaptations for duet are full of invention and imagination that give the pieces in this book a life of their own.
The notation in Connections is clear—easily understood by teachers and students accustomed to traditional piano scores. For example:
- eighth notes are played “straight” unless swing eighths are specifically indicated
- although strict time may be assumed in most pieces, rubato is implied in the lyrical pieces, often spelled out through specific indications.
As fun and entertaining additions to the performance repertoire of young players, these pieces will prove to be popular selections for recitals, festivals, informal performances, and even examinations. Parents and friends will enjoy them, too, resulting in a positive experience for the performer.