Thursday, September 2, 2010

Duke Ellington & Wedding Music in This Week's New PianoSoft

Duke Ellington's music is the stuff of legend - from "It Don't Mean A Thing" to "Mood Indigo", he's written some of the most beloved and frequently performed songs in the history of jazz. Combine that with the fact that he was also a masterful pianist, and you'll see why Ellington, and his music, are the perfect subject for the latest PianoSoft album, "Sentimental Mood". "Sentimental Mood" is the first PianoSoft Solo album of Ellington's music Yamaha has produced, and makes a wonderful companion piece to the PianoSoft Plus album, "It Don't Mean a Thing". We're also very happy to announce the re-release of "
The Wedding Album", which was long out of print, but returns to offer beautiful solo piano versions of the most popular wedding music for your Disklavier or Yamaha keyboard.

Duke Ellington - Sentimental Mood

Part of what makes Duke Ellington's imprint on the history of popular music so vast is the versatility of talents he displayed in his career. In addition to being a world class band leader and pianist, he wrote songs as diverse as "Take the A Train" and "(In My) Solitude". This new PianoSoft album focuses on solo piano arrangements of Ellington's elegant, softer compositions, such as "Sophisticated Lady" and "Mood Indigo" and, thanks to deft touch of pianist Sue Downs (who we profiled earlier this week), the individual beauty of each song shines through. You can really tell that Downs knows these songs inside and out, as she plays each with an effortless touch that adds dynamics and nuance throughout the album.

The Wedding Album

While pieces like the Purcell's "Wedding March" and Jeremiah Clarke's "Prince of Denmark's March (Trumpet Voluntary)" weren't necessarily written specifically for the occasion of a wedding, their regal, joyful sounds have become synonymous with marriage, and the blossoming of new love. This album collects the most famous of these songs to create an PianoSoft recording that is equally suited for celebrating existing marital bonds, or sound-tracking the creation of new ones. Including two settings of the "Ave Maria" by Schubert and Bach, as well as other romantic favorites from the Carpenters and Kenny Rogers, the performances on this album are certain to pull at the heartstrings.

The quality of the music, with performances from pianists Phillip Keveren and Thomas Hrynkiw, is exceptional, but this music on this album is meant to be functional as well as beautiful. With solo piano arrangements of all of the most widely used wedding music that can be flawlessly played back on your Disklavier, the Wedding Album provides a wonderful accompaniment to a ceremony without involving a full band of musicians.

- Doug