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Tuesday, May 3, 2022

Tyler Kline, Orchard, A Collection of 50 Short Piano Pieces


Tyler Kline is a composer of Modern-Tonal and Post-Tonal imagination. I cannot say I've had much exposure to his music--that is, until now and his Orchard: A Collection of 50 Short Piano Pieces (Neuma 2-CDs). My eyesight does not handle the modern graphic design trend of very small lettering so I cannot read the liners but wait, I have the press sheet. Fourteen pianists from around the world take part in performing the works, and they do a fine job I must say.

What is remarkable and in part transcends what words can express is the abundance of inventive pianisms, all inspired and thought-out, with a certain tenderness at times and other times a dynamic rugged quality that is both whimsical and serious at the same time? It has something of the playfulness of the Alt Moderns, I mean French Impressionists and Satie, a hint of Messaien, then too Cage, Feldman, Crumb, ritual suspensions and repetitions that say their say quickly then go. it is piano music to follow much beyond the folks we have lived with since, say, 1900 to the present, those folks, and an element I cannot quite wrap into words. And given that there are 50 miniatures it is not a simple thing to characterize. 

Given the short and quixotic flight of work-to-work, tones-to-tones, being-to-between-piece expectations, there is almost a compendium of Modern pianistic possibilities here. The idea that this is a kind of musical orchard makes sense, in that each fruit relates to all the other fruits yet none is exactly like the other.

The harvest of this piano work orchard gives you two full CDs or new and refreshing fare, very pianistic yet also unexpected in how there are journeys through original thoughtful key playfulness.

I must say that this extensive collection of piano musical moments brings me to a happy listening place. Anyone who sees the poetry in the piano solo will no doubt find it here as I did. A real boon to all inclined. Bravo!

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