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Balm in Gilead: 12 Meditations for Piano

Balm in Gilead: 12 Meditations for Piano

  • By Marge Adler
  • Release 4/11/2008
  • Media Format CD
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CD 
Price: $17.89

Product Notes

WHERE ELSE CAN YOU HEAR a wonderfully creative, critically-acclaimed pianist playing \'IN THE WEE SMALL HOURS OF THE MORNING\' (the theme from SLEEPLESS IN SEATTLE), inspirational melodies from around the world, songs of (musical theatre composers) STEPHEN SONDHEIM and JACQUES BREL, quotes of J.S. BACH and RAVEL, and more, all woven together on the same CD? \'I\'m blown away by this CD -- beautifully conceived and stunningly performed -- I don\'t know when I\'ve loved a solo piano album more!,\' raves BILL RUDMAN, nationally syndicated radio personality. \'BALM IN GILEAD: 12 MEDITATIONS FOR PIANO\' inspires a re-energizing calm in the midst of our busy days, and I PROMISE YOU WON\'T FEEL LIKE YOU\'RE STUCK ON AN ELEVATOR, LISTENING TO MUSAK. The CD will remain fresh every time you listen to it. MORE ABOUT THE CD, from Marge Adler, pianist/arranger: Telling a new story without words is great fun. As an arranger and improviser, I\'m fascinated by ways that I can be inventive with sheet music, to make it \'say more.\' To choose the music for this CD, I opened up my whole library, to create musical bridges between styles, between old and new, sacred and secular. You\'ll hear the music to well-known songs and those lyrics may run through your mind; if you\'re a Musical Theatre or Classical music buff, you\'ll hear some of those works done in new ways; and you\'ll hear some music that I just discovered too. Back at the piano, I can change the chords underneath a melody to make it seem more magical. I imagine myself being an orchestra, and that gives me lots of colors to play with, through the whole range of the keyboard. I can expand on one song\'s message by connecting it with others in a medley. By combining music of different styles and traditions, I can say something to bring people together or I can go for some lighter comic relief. Sometimes I can put a quote from one piece of music on top of another. Think of \'STARS AND STRIPES FOREVER\' (parody lyric by Glazer) at the big moment when the \'BE KIND TO YOUR FINE-FEATHERED FRIENDS, FOR THAT DUCK MAY BE SOMEBODY\'S MOTHER\' melody is matched with the famous piccolo line bouncing up and down. Fireworks go off, players stand up, the big American flag is revealed. Well, no such pageantry when the music is calmer, but I became dangerous when I realized, in a performance, that I could \'improve on\' the stately Pachelbel canon by superimposing \'Jolly Old Saint Nicholas.\' (And impose does seem the right word.) Try it at home on your piano -- it works! (WARNING: this is not generally welcomed by brides-to-be.) It\'s a wonderful moment for me when an arrangement -- and a whole CD -- take shape, like a writer says of a story that is somehow written by it's principal characters. ABOUT Marge Adler, pianist/arranger ---- Critics have called MARGE \'a treasure with at least three hands\' [a trait which amuses her audiences as well as her husband] and \'worth the price of admission all by her lonesome.\' Some days take her from writing horn charts for Motown bands to being featured as pianist/arranger/cabaret performer on public radio broadcasts. Classically trained, Marge is an Award-winning Music Director of hundreds of musical theatre and cabaret shows. When she served as Organist for the CLEVELAND INDIANS BASEBALL TEAM, she saw snow falling on the field, played Christmas carols and had 50,000 people singing; then she was interviewed on ESPN. There were days that season when on the freeway Marge literally changed hats for her next gig as harpsichordist in a Baroque chamber orchestra. (The theme from THE ADDAMS FAMILY might work at both, I suppose.) Now, MORE ABOUT EACH OF THE 12 MEDITATIONS FOR PIANO: 1) PROLOGUE -- tunes of AARON COPLAND set the mood of a calm, clear night outdoors. \'THERE IS A BALM IN GILEAD\' helps to inspire the healing of a good night\'s rest. A prelude by J.S. BACH ties the medley together with a flowing line underneath. 2) \'AS IF I COULD REACH RAINBOWS\' -- this piano piece by DAVID BENOIT invites me to travel up and down the keyboard, and occasionally to encounter a double rainbow, in the form of other \'rainbow\' songs that I add in. 3) \'\'ROCK\' MY WORLD\' -- Keyboard works of J.S. BACH connect lullabies from different cultures (\'LULLY LULLAY\', \'RAISINS AND ALMONDS\') and also a tune from an American folk opera (\'THE TREES ON THE MOUNTAINS\' from CARLISLE FLOYD\'S SUSANNAH.) 4) \'-- WHICH WOULD ALSO INCLUDE SPAIN\' -- The POULENC \'NOVELETTE ON A THEME BY DE FALLA\' flows under a traditional Spanish/Hebrew cradle song, \'DURME DURME\'. 5) \'THE HAZE OF ROMANCE\' -- \'I LOVED\', a French cabaret song by JACQUES BREL, tells of memories of a grand love affair, but finally the lover\'s name is forgotten. \'AFTER A DREAM,\' an art-song by GABRIEL FAURE, brings to mind the same blurry line between memory and fantasy. 6) \'LOST IN THE STARS\' -- this beautiful song by KURT WEILL is the only \'stand-alone\' song on the CD. Someone can enjoy a bright starry night but still feel isolated and vulnerable as they look up towards that vast wide-open space. 7) \'AUDIO FILTER\' -- Time for a 7th-inning stretch, time for some fun. (I won\'t give away the joke here -- it would spoil your fun of listening to it.) 8) \'WHERE OR WHEN\' -- this romantic ballad by RODGERS and HART, and \'ALL THE THINGS YOU ARE\' by JEROME KERN, each become more urgent when combined with more intense rhythms of STEPHEN SONDHEIM. Finding the ideal match in the Big City is a challenge -- everyone\'s hectic schedules, all the congestion, all the competition. \'LONELY HOUSE\', a song by KURT WEILL, and \'IN THE WEE SMALL HOURS OF THE MORNING\' describe the bleak feeling of being alone there late at night. 9) \'SWEET WILDERNESS\' -- this is a fable about learning to soar in one\'s own way \'A NIGHTINGALE SANG IN BERKELEY SQUARE\' is combined with SONDHEIM\'S \'GREEN FINCH AND LINNET BIRD\' (from SWEENEY TODD), to express the joy of singing rather than the frustration of being caged in. A quote from the MOTHER GOOSE SUITE by RAVEL helps me build to the moment of discovery in \'ANYONE CAN WHISTLE\' (also by SONDHEIM), to feel enough at ease that anyone can air their own voice. 10) \'FOR MY DAD, OF BLESSED MEMORY\' -- in \'IF I SING\' (MALTBY and SHIRE), a young pianist/composer can say thank you to his ailing, elderly father, also a pianist but one who prefers older Broadway tunes. Using this song as an instrumental, I can make it more personal -- I\'m the daughter of a great music lover, but Dad wasn\'t a piano player. He continues to be a voice to inspire me, and I\'m comforted to know he will \'never let me go.\' 11) \'ALL, THROUGH THE NIGHT\' -- I\'ve been so touched by the power of music to build bridges, between races, generations, cultures, faiths, even between denominations of the religions themselves. Finding musical common ground, I hope for healing and peace. 12) A BONUS TRACK -- again I won\'t spoil the fun by giving it away. Let\'s just say I change styles -- a lot. SORRY, NO PACHELBEL on this CD -- but I promise you some GERSHWIN next time! THANKS FOR LISTENING, ENJOY THE CD. AND THANK YOU FOR SPREADING THE WORD --WHICH MAKES YOU PART OF, YES, THE \'BALM SQUAD\' --- Marge Adler.

Details

Title: Balm in Gilead: 12 Meditations for Piano
Release Date: 4/11/2008
Label: CD Baby
Media Format: CD
UPC: 634479886041
Item #: SRD988604
This product is a special order