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Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Mark Isaacs, Children's Songs, Solo Piano Pieces

Where solo piano music is concerned, you could say that Mark Isaacs belongs to the modern tonal school. Children's Songs (SoundBrush 1029) finds Mark running through a grouping of 18 interrelated pieces. Without to my knowledge containing an improvisation per se, he nonetheless shows a little bit of jazz flavoring a la Keith Jarrett and Bill Evans, along with the influence of Debussy, in that there are glowing impressionistic expressions to be heard.

The music is something children might appreciate, but mostly it is music that shows Isaacs reflecting on childhood as an experience, a state-of-mind, a set of events and images of an exceptional nature. So in that sense it is more akin than not to something like Robert Schumann's Kinderszenen.

The music really is what shines. Isaacs has created a reflectively intimate tableau that does not engage in pyrotechnics but nonetheless shows the sure hand of a very creative musical brain and heart.

The playing is appropriately poetic; the music revels in dappled sunlight. . . so it's perfect for this season or for that matter any fair day or its memory!

Mark Isaacs comes through with 18 pieces you'll no doubt want to hear many times. Excellent piano music.

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