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Check out the New HAL LEONARD Mainstage Newsletter!
This issue features the distinguished composer and arranger, Carol Klose. Here you can find out about Carol's newest releases, the inspiration behind her music as well as valuable teaching tips. Carol Klose

Playing the piano - creating a musical painting on a canvas of 88 keys - what a joy! That is what sold me on the piano at the age of 6, when I would sit on the floor and watch in ecstasy what was the only classical piano offering available to me in my home town of North Fond du Lac, WI: the Liberace Show on network TV! But how long I had to wait to make the piano ring with the melodies and sonorities of the “greats...” My goal as a composer is to provide music that will allow students to experience at least a hint of those big sounds and exquisite sonorities no matter what their level, as well as to make colorful musical stories come alive through imaginative composition.

I like to think I am on the side of the student: getting the biggest bang for the buck by carefully crafting patterns and shapes that lie under the hands and avoiding unnecessary technical glitches, to ensure a smooth and inspired performance. I like to search for “special” sounds in my music that help express the mood of a piece - for example, color chords, an especially expressive turn in a melodic phrase, or an unexpected final resolution. Of course, I never rule out a musical joke where appropriate.

I hope that your students find my compositions fun to play, inspiring, and rewarding to learn and perform.

Garden Treasures

The five solos in my latest book, Garden Treasures (HLSPL Composer Showcase, Late Intermediate), reflect moods ranging from gentle impressionism (“Water Lily Garden,” “Jasmine in the Mist”), flowing Romanticism (“Dandelion Wishes”) and ballad style (“The Healing Garden”), to a more contemporary allegro sound featuring staccato chord patterns played by LH over RH ("Daffodil Caprice"). My favorite is perhaps “Water Lily Garden”, which was inspired by slides in a lecture I attended in Chicago by the award-winning British gardener, Jinny Blom. The gentle opening of the piece, with pedaled sonorities supporting a soulful simple melody, evolves into greater texture and harmonies reminiscent of French Impressionism, in ABA form. The ending is an enigma, with the unresolved pianissimo notes fading to nothing at the high range. This piece, along with others in this book, can be an effective preparatory experience for the music of French composers.

At the Flea Circus

My newest duet, At The Flea Circus (HLSPL Showcase Solo, Level 3, Late Elementary) is a bouncy, leaping 3/4 piece whose spirit and imagery depends on playing in a quick “one” beat. Technically, I chose patterns that are easy to digest quickly, with the quarter note as the shortest time value for easy execution at a perky tempo. Non-syncopated pedal and grace notes are also featured. The circus band in the B section is a good study in 2-note slurs for both Secondo and Primo. Winding up the B section is a great descending chromatic Secondo scale against alternating pedaled seconds in the Primo part, with plenty of fortissimo dynamics to top it all off. One should be sure to check out the image of the hilarious flea performers on the cover to set the mood before even opening to the music...

Click here for a complete list of
compositions and arrangements by Carol Klose.
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