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Pianist Laura Leon

Subito Music reissues two Leo Kraft works for young pianists

Subito Music reissues two Leo Kraft works for young pianists

It is very special to announce that Subito Music Corporation has reissued Leo Kraft's two wonderful works for young pianists--Easy Animal Pieces: A First Book for the Piano and Music for a Day: 8 Play-full Pieces for Piano. For those of us who were lucky to have been given a copy of either--from the maestro himself, way back--Subito Music making these available to teachers and their students is great news!

Both are meaningful contributions to 20th century young pianists repertoire. Each introduces--in a well organized fashion--a rich range of sonorities, notation, articulation, phrasing and pianistic figurations in the development of learning how to think about and play contemporary music for the piano. These pieces are accessible, fit young hands naturally, and delightful to play and hear.

Easy Animal Pieces (1968) is a collection of 20 very short, clever and fun pieces ( two or three lines each), perfectly composed to teach a specific skill and "stretch" young ears, while capturing an animal's personality. Among the 20 animals are the cat, dog, cow, giraffe, rabbit, zebra, seal, aardvark and lion. Leo provides a Practice Patterns page introducing the student to each animal's musical figuration idea. One of my favorites is Two Snakes, with two simple weaving chromatic lines--without question, a nod to Bartok. The Whale left hand line has the contour of the gentle giant in the ocean. And for dog lovers, Our Dog happily sounds like ours.

Music for a Day (1982) is 8 short pieces, incorporating more developed compositional ideas for the intermediate pianist. Pedaling to blend sonorities, more sophisticated phrasing and articulation within engaging and expressive pieces that almost seem like short poems, are natural and so rewarding to play. A Suggestion Page provides input for approaching each piece. At Evening reflects the cherished "Copland sound," and the all-black-keys Distant Bells, suggests Debussy's "La cathedrale engloutie." Raindrops, using seconds in both hands, sounds like raindrops atop an umbrella. Each piece has a tonal center, with touches that widen the pianistic and musical experience.

Leo Kraft was a master of streamlined composition, infused with purpose, sensitivity and humor. He was so deeply committed to teaching the inner workings of, and the magic of music. He would have been thrilled about this!

Easy Animal Pieces: A First Book for the Piano

Music for a Day: 8 Play-full Pieces for Piano