Three calming new neoclassical pieces for your summer relaxation playlist

Liz Mathieson – “epilogue: a place above the clouds”
-I love this piece. I suppose it’s because it reminds me of 19th century music. But there’s something sweet and charming, like a Ken Burns documentary, that emerges when listening to this track. Mathieson has captured something that feels powerful while also gently charming. I guess it’s a bit of nostalgia. Folks like Stephen Foster wouldn’t recognize much in modern music, but they’d be delighted to hear that someone is still playing the piano in this way. It’s so refreshing.

Thomas Lehmkuehler – “Calmness”
-Take a bit of delightful pop jazz and mix in some old time flavor… that’s what you get with Thomas Lehmkuehler’s sweet track “Calmness.” It reminds me a bit of “Sweet Georgia Brown” in some places. There’s a southern flair to it, certainly. Maybe it’s got a New Orleans jazz influence. No matter what you call it, this is the kind of piano music that genuinely puts a smile on my face. My only complaint is that it ends too soon. I could enjoy a full album of tracks with this charming jazz sweetness and whimsical summery character.

Jason Rose and Darklights – “Endangered”
-Typically I don’t find myself accepting much music with crowd noise in the background, but when the crowd includes birds and distant natural sounds, there’s something different going on. The piano work is, of course, the main point of the track, but I have to say that the whole composition feels like it occupies an important sonic space. There’s more going on than “meets the ear” so to speak. The layers connote the meeting of the tame and the wild. It might not be as conventional as some of the neoclassical we feature here, but it certainly deserves a wider audience and your consideration.

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