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Posted October 1, 2010
WHAT THEY SAY IS TRUE
Yes, if you like Keith Jarrett, you'll love this. Also if you like classical solo piano of a spare, lean nature you'll probably like this. It's spare and lean, but also very lyrical. Some parts bring tears to your eyes. It's that beautiful. It makes you want to just sit and listen, to really pay attention to it. This is my first Mehldau CD and I sure plan to get more.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted October 1, 2010
a landmark in piano solo playing
Finally there¿s a piano solo album in my collection that can match Keith Jarrett¿s 'Facing You¿ (1972). It¿s Brad Mehldau¿s `Elegiac Cycle¿. This album ¿released in 1999- is a revelation. This guy¿s playing takes your breath away. On `Elegiac Cycle¿ Mehldau plays improvisations inspired by the theme of `loss¿. His playing is daring and adventurous, and because he has a perfect sense of structure, shape and direction as well, he never gets lost and keeps everything along the way in perfect balance. And on top of this, his playing is deeply moving. In Mehldau¿s playing we can discern a lot of influences from the realms of classical and jazz music. I hear a lot of Bill Evans and Keith Jarrett, but, much more important, I hear foremost a pianist with a distinct style of his own. His classical training seems to contribute a lot to this distinctness of his playing. On `Elegiac Cycle¿ I hear the influence of Bach¿s contrapuntal style, especially in `Memory¿s Tricks¿. I hear some Chopin in 'Bard', a bit of Debussy in `Rückblick¿, and each and every time it¿s a big sensation to hear the opening and ending-segment of `Trailer Park Ghost¿, which sounds in my ears as the perfect blending of the enraged energy of Schubert¿s `Der Strom¿ and the odd-mystical melodic intervals in the middle section of Scriabin¿s piano-piece `Poème vers la flamme¿. In the longest piece on the cd, `Goodbye Storyteller¿, Mehldau reveals all his poetic qualities -using a Rachmaninoff-touch here and there- and makes a deeply moving and unsurpassable statement about the way `beauty and loss¿ are interconnected. Brad Mehldau¿s `Elegiac Cycle¿ is my favourite album of 1999, and most certainly one of my all time favourite albums. It¿s a masterpiece, and nobody with a serious interest in good and enriching contemporary piano music can afford to miss this album. Pieter de Rooij (Amsterdam, The Netherlands)Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.