The “Children’s Songs” are the first collection of music I’ve written specifically for solo keyboard. I wrote the first song in 1971 to convey simplicity as beauty as represented in the spirit of a child. Song 1 through 15 were composed for the Fender Rhodes and 16 through 20 for the acoustic piano, although any of the songs can be played on either instrument. Songs 17 through 20 were composed during a one month period in 1980, completing the series. The songs lend themselves nicely to various forms of expansion with orchestration. Chick Corea
I first encountered this wonderful collection of pieces in the late 1980’s, and was immediately drawn to them, and intrigued by the last line of the preface above. I extracted a set of movements that I felt worked most successfully for solo saxophone and piano, and have performed these in concerts ever since. At the same time, the Apollo Saxophone Quartet compiled a set of these pieces for our concert programmes, and for our debut CD “Bow Out”, and subsequent re-issue with DECCA (Argo) on our CD “First & Foremost”, which charted at No. 3 in the UK Classical charts in 1993. The original arrangements were committed to memory, and the sketches that we played from have long been lost, and so I set about re-constructing these this year, based on some live archive recordings and the CDs mentioned above. I was delighted this year when Chick Corea personally gave me his blessing to publish this set of arrangements, in the hope that this will introduce his wonderful music to an even wider audience. I have included optional parts for the Alto/Soprano chair, in case your Alto player doesn’t double on Soprano. Each ensemble should find their own combination of movements to suit their needs, although I have assembled them here in this book in the order that the Apollo Quartet performs these live, and that offers the most contrast and structure when played as a suite of music. In the original compositions, Chick Corea leaves all dynamics and articulations to the performer’s discretion - I have included some as a guide, but performers should feel free to honour the freedom that Chick Corea originally intended. I have also published my arrangements of a selection of the Children’s Songs for Soprano Saxophone and Piano. I sincerely hope you will enjoy them as much as I have over the last 25 years.