Ben Crosland – “On the carousel”
-This contemplative neoclassical piece has wonderful movement from the start. The melody line is fascinating as it keeps rolling from one phrase to the next. I find this type of piano music to be inspiring and bright. It’s what drew me to neoclassical in the first place. Crosland brings an enjoyable style to it. The image of the “carousel” in the title does make me think of the cyclical nature of the music.
Sarah Spring – “Music to marry by”
-Here I am reviewing this song on my wedding anniversary, feeling like this song is very befitting nuptuals. The sweet composition feels like the fresh mornings of springtime. I like the way the phrases each have a similar rhythm but add a slight variation in the notes. I’m sure there’s a fancy classical term for this, but I just know that it sounds good and comfortable. When the mood shifts around the 1:30 mark, I can’t help but feel a tangible sense of celebration.
REW – “Corythucha Elegans”
-I’m not sure what language the title is in or what it means, but I’ll tell you what I do know about this piece… it moves me. There’s a real sense of meaning in the phrasing here. I don’t know how the layers work, exactly, but the left channel seems to have some sort of keys while the right has a normal piano. When the two meet in the middle, it feels exquisite. It feels like an experimental yet evocative piece.
Gianluca Piacenza – “Circles”
-The cinematic energy of Piacenza’s writing here is inspiring to me. Something about the way the left hand moves in the opening feels like we’re about to go on an adventure. Then later in the track when the right hand takes over with more of the straightforward melody I feel like we’re entering a moment of dialog. I think, more than a metaphor for life, it’s the kind of piece that can provide a wonderfully moving backdrop to something you are doing like reading or writing. This one is a delight.
Just Nathaniel – “Aunt Diana”
-Much to the chagrin of some submitters, for neoclassical we rarely cover music other than minimalist piano work. However, every once in a while a piece like this one comes along totally blowing our categories out of the water. Just Nathaniel’s style is experimental and unique, defying easy categorization and fully pulling us in. This is a hidden gem in an increasingly crowded neoclassical genre.