Friday, June 11, 2010

New PianoSoft - Cole Porter, Rock Ballads & Classical Piano Solos

The three latest additions to the PianoSoft catalog cover three very different strains of piano music, but cover each of them beautifully. The piano is a classical instrument par excellence, so any mention of piano music would need to include an album of classical piano solos, such as this week's new "Best Loved Classics". On the pop/rock side, we have a collection of rock ballads lovingly arranged for solo piano. And finally, the realms of jazz, Broadway and standards are all covered by the familiar tunes of Cole Porter. Something for every listener, but also something for every piano.

"Let's Do It" - Songs of Cole Porter

Cole Porter was one of America's great songwriters, penning songs for some of the biggest musicals of the 30s and 40s, as well as creating memorable standards that are still widely sung and enjoyed today. This PianoSoft album features many of Porter's most beloved songs, including the playful "De-Lovely" and "Anything Goes", the romantic "In the Still of the Night" and "Every Time We Say Goodbye", as well as, of course, the title track. For this recording, pianist Sue Downs has not only arranged Porter's songs for solo piano but also plays them beautifully, with delicacy and subtle dynamics. Fans of lyrical jazz and the tin pin alley era of American songwriting will certainly find a lot to love in this new album.

"The Rose" - Great Rock Ballads

Rock ballads, which came into existence as many rock bands of the 70s expanded their sound to include slower, more dramatic material, have taken many forms over the years. On this particular album, pianist Joel Plimmer has created solo piano versions of some the most moving rock ballads, giving each of the songs a romantic and original performance. The selection of songs includes all types of rock ballads, from those that show the sensitive side of hard rock bands, the like Poison's "Every Rose Has Its Thorn", to those that borrow the intensity and fire of rock and roll, like Boston's "Amanda". With classics from Heart, Elton John and Mr. Mister also included, this new album is a definitive collection of ballads for your Yamaha instrument.

Best Loved Classics

A must have for lovers of classical piano. The album is heavy on early modern composers, with works from Debussy, Grieg, Tchaikovsky, Sindig and Elgar, but also includes works from the older masters Bach, Beethoven, and Brahms. Also present are two of the most popular solo piano pieces, "Ave Maria" by Schubert and "The Wild Rider" by Schumann. With so many different types of pieces from so many different eras on the album, pianist Bryan Pezzone navigates through a number of different styles, playing with studied tenderness on Brahms's famous "Lullaby" and with dramatic flair on Sindig's "Fr├╝hlingsrauschen".

- Doug