Childhood in Music – Antonietta Loffredo: Piano, Wirripang: Wirr 042

This is an unusual but very welcome addition to the piano repertoire for young people. It caught me by surprise as there were non of the expected names. Rather, the composers (mostly Australian or Italian) chosen for this enticing disc are Sofia Manta, Paul Smith, Holly Harrison, Ji Yun Lee, Adrian Barr, Michael Atherton, Diana Blom, Massimo Priori, Francesco Schqeizer and Stefano Pracoccioli (the first 5 are either currently studying or past doctoral candidates from the University of Western Sydney).

Pianist Antonietta Loffredo, who passionately brings to life this repertoire is dedicated to bringing contemporary music to young children from the earliest moments of their learning.

“Contemporary music has allowed me to share… curiosity for the present, interest for its complexity and pluralism, but above all the pleasure of discovery,” wrote Ms Loffredo.

There have been many composers over time who have written specially for children, not least of whom were Schumann, Bartok and Stravinsky, so a recorded anthology as this, has much merit.

Dissonance, consonance, intricate rhythms, changing metres, chord clusters, gong-like effects, and even the use of piano with CD soundbed (of a cat) are just some of the imaginative ideas found in these pieces which are influenced by childhood reminiscences, Japanese animation, story book characters, Asian spirituality, and even references to Bartok’s Mikrokosmos, Schumann’s Album for the Young, Op 68 and Copland’s The Cat and the Mouse.

Exploring new music is always enhanced by fine recordings and this CD will help teachers and students to enjoy more of the latest in piano repertoire suited for the young. The repertoire has been skillfully chosen and represents a range of styles that will appeal to a broad range of listeners and performers.

Ms Loffredo’s performance has clarity of touch and tone, confidence and emotional depth, making this recording not only one for teaching the young, but also an enjoyable listening experience for piano enthusiasts of all ages.

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