Debussy Preludes book 2 Nº 7

A reliable source has provided additional editing information; a new revised version of this divine prelude has been uploaded today.

Moments of exaltation evoke a distant land, shrouded in legend, saturated with exotic overtones — a subtly elusive and ethereal scene requiring great sensitivity. 

Schumann Phantasie in C — Op 17

You can now download the result of months of enjoyable revision of this extraordinary work. I have included two preparatory studies for the second movement, including the notorious coda, and Schumann’s original discarded coda to the third movement.
Does anyone have an opinion with reference to the following conundrum in the second movement?

Measures 1 to 5 —  given that the LH arpeggiated chord of 6 is clearly to start before the beat, logically these five bars should start on the beat. I have found no reference to the problem anywhere.

Please use the contact link to send your observations.

Scriabin Sonata Nº 4 Op 30 revision

My thanks to a reader based in Germany who has just spotted errors in Scriabin’s fourth sonata, Op 30. He also added the following comments :

Recently I have discovered your magnificent edition which in combination with the available urtext editions provide an interesting insight to the score. I find it very helpful that when possible, the rests are omitted and notations are changed to make the score easier to read. The tiny modifications which do not change the music are also helpful for some pianists, for example those who have small hands. As you have nicely said, your edition is a good companion to the urtext editions.

A revised version is now available. 

Schumann’s ‘year of song’ 1840

PPE is delighted to announce six new solo piano transcriptions by Ray Alston, ideal for students and aficionados above grade 8. Adelbert von Chamisso’s 1830 cycle of poems Frauenliebe und Leben — A Woman’s Love and Life — expresses sentiments totally out of step with the concept of women’s liberation, but the music is absolutely gorgeous.

Op 25/3 Der Nussbaum page 3

Op 39/1 In der Fremde page 9

Op 39/8 In der Fremde page 16

Op 42/4 Du Ring an meinem Finger page 20

Op 42/5 Helft mir, ihr Schwestern page 25

Op 57    Belsatzar page 30

My purpose was to discover the essence of this irresistible music, at the same time creating a pianistic challenge and an addition to the recital repertoire. I have faithfully kept to the original melodic lines and harmonies with some artistic licence, filling the gap between Clara’s straightforward arrangements and the more flamboyant versions of Liszt and Godowsky.  Ray Alston August 2021

Rachmaninov Preludes Op 23 Nº 1 and Op 32 Nº 12

Following error reports by another eagle-eyed researcher in Holland the Preludes Op 23 Nº 1 and Op 32 Nº 12 have had misprints corrected. PPE is indebted to its readers for error reports and comments.

Here is pertinent quote from the said researcher/pianist : “When I encountered Rachmaninov’s original version of Prelude 23/1 F# minor, I saw in bar 34 the right hand under the left, which is absolutely unnecessary, and I was glad to see you inverted this extremely unpractical way of playing. Such places make your new editions valuable.”


a technique acquired many years ago from Russian and Greek pianists

  • with either hand, keeping it relatively firm (clenched), place four well-rounded fingers with all four nails evenly touching the white keys
  • run either hand up and down the keyboard over 2 or 3 octaves silently
  • repeat this noiseless glissando, depressing the lowest (ascending) or highest (descending) notes thus achieving a painless pianissimo glissando
  • the deeper the depression the greater the dynamic
  • this can also work with the black keys
  • and at any tempo
  • some situations improve by performing the first and/or last glissando notes with the other hand