As Reviewed By You – July New Releases

This month we are looking at some new releases that focus on new music from 21st Century composers. Katrina Love (NSW) has taken a look through some new and recent releases from Alexis Ffrench, David Lanz, Stephan Moccio and Alma Deutscher. If you aren’t sure who these people are, we have helped by putting a link to their websites below. There is also a new book in the ‘Peaceful Piano’ series to check out. Happy Playing.

Katrina has been a private piano teacher for the past 36 years. She also taught as a classroom high school music teacher throughout NSW for 10 years, then lectured in music and sound production at a tertiary level for the following 10 years. Apart from her love of animals, the ocean, and burning things in her oven, Katrina has eclectic taste and a keen interest in music from other cultures, leading her to study and perform music throughout Ghana, West Africa, USA and Brazil. She has also really enjoyed being an AMEB Piano examiner for the past 19 years.

The Sheet Music Collection

This collection is a worthy addition to any piano teacher’s library! If you haven’t heard of Alexis Ffrench, check him out on YouTube. There are 25 beautiful transcriptions of Ffrench’s most iconic pieces from his chart-topping instrumental albums: Evolution, Escape, Dreamland, The Secret Piano, The Piano Whisperer and Together at Last. The arrangements range from AMEB Grade 3 to Grade 7 and would make a wonderful free choice piano solo or extra list exam selection. His contemporary music style is lightly flavoured with Faure, Satie and Debussy. A Musical MasterChef Contender! 

Water Sign

This collection of watery wonders would suit students AMEB Grade 4 and above who enjoy playing atmospheric “new age” style pieces with lyrical melodies and arpeggiated accompaniments. There are 15 pieces in total in this book. I enjoyed Lanz’s “Water Sign Suite”.  A group of 6 pieces featuring dramatic writing that explores the ever-changing ocean “Wonder Wave”, rainfall “Rain Dancer Returns” and the gentle movement of water  “As Rivers Flow” to its stillness in “Moonlight Lake”. 

Tales of Solace

If your students enjoy playing Einaudi’s compositions, they may enjoy Moccio’s music. “Tales of Solace” contains 16 pieces each with a dreamy, improvisatory feel to them. Haunting, melodies with repetitive, minimalist patterns allow the player to really explore a kaleidoscope of emotions. This collection would suit students Grade 3 and above.

From My Book Of Memories

Deutscher has written 12 piano solos suited to the more advanced students AMEB Grades 5-8 level who favour the late classical and romantic styles. These pieces would be great as an extra list or own choice solo for both examinations and eisteddfods. There is a delightful story included about each piece at the front of the book. Deutscher’s compositions reflect a memory of a melody that she wrote in her notebook between the ages of 4 to 14, hence the title “From my Book of Memories”.


A fabulous selection of well-known music from film and television best suited to students AMEB Grade 2-7 level. I particularly enjoyed the arrangements of “Feather Theme” from Forrest Gump, “Merry Go Round of Life” from Howl’s Moving Castle, “Cavatina” from the Deer Hunter and “Fly’ by Einaudi. This book could be very useful for high school music students studying the topic ”Music for Radio, Film, Television and Multimedia”. 30 pieces really makes this collection value for money!

There are now 6 books in the ‘Peaceful Piano’ series.

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