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#929248 - 12/02/04 09:27 AM Confused by Schaum
Olga Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 12/01/04
Posts: 1
Loc: New York City
Hi all,

I'd like to hear on your experience with the Schaum's series. Here's my problem. I ordered and received quite a few of his materials but they have been very mixed in quality. Some of them I like very much, such as "More Chrismas Cameos", adaptation of Handel's "Messiah" and most of the songs from the Christmas Solo Level 3. But his Nutcracker suite is something else. The rhythm in "March" and "Chinese Dance" are terribly distorted, destroying the whole character of the pieces, just like distortions of melody, harmony and timbre throughout many other pieces in this suite. That is as far from Tchaikovsky as it can get. \:\(

His adaptation of Fur Elise is something else... the first part is easy enough to play in the original by the second-year students, but when I played Schaum's adaptation I didn't know whether to laugh or cry... It sounds like a vulgar parody. The original lyrical and poetic theme is given a totally primitive character fit for a performance by a drunken sailor in some bar or maybe a dance in a cheap brothel.

Schaum's "Masters of Technic" seems quite good, but he did manage to hack off the coda in the Burgmuller's piece, pretty much destroying its artistic value.

Anyway, I'll stop rambling and bring out my point: I don't know whether to order more from him or forget about it. I wanted to order his Grieg's Peer Gynt Suites but I'm not sure if it's worth it. His materials are of extremely mixed quality: some very good, some quite poor, so I'd like to hear your opinion about his other materials.


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#929249 - 10/06/05 06:44 PM Re: Confused by Schaum
Glyptodont Offline
Full Member

Registered: 05/19/05
Posts: 377
Loc: Wisconsin
Maybe I am way off base, but let me make a statement or two.

There are two Schaums who have published extensively in the early grade levels. The one who is best liked is John W. Schaum. I am well familiar with him, and learned from his graded books as a child.

After his demise, his son continued to add new titles to the Schaum library (if that's the right way to put it -- ?). Cannot remember the son's name offhand.

My piano teacher warned me about this. Her warning was, don't confuse the Schaums. My teacher dislikes the productions of the son. She feels he does not have the gifts of the father. She regrets that many well intentioned people have purchased editions produced by the son, imagining they are more pieces arranged by the father.
the Glyptodont


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