"Klavierstucke" (“Piano Pieces”) is a fascinating collection of fourteen original piano solos by German composer/pianist Mathias Schabow. With extensive training in both classical music and jazz, Schabow’s music is distinctive and personal - sometimes lyrical and graceful and sometimes a bit more abstract and discordant. Klavierstucke offers a sophisticated listening experience that can be enjoyed as background music as well as more active, focused listening. I see that iTunes has this album classified as both Jazz and Classical, further indicating that this is not easy music to categorize. I love when that happens! With experience as a church organist, vocal and piano studies, composing for musical theater, music director for musical productions, performance with his own jazz trio, and pianist for large companies and hotels, it is no wonder that Schabow’s music has such a richness and variety of approaches. He also lectures on jazz piano, piano and keyboard at the Frankfurt School of Music.
"Klavierstucke" begins with “Ausruhen” (“Rest”), a slow, leisurely piece with a repeated rhythmic pattern and a simple, uncluttered melody that would feel at home in a classical, jazz or new age setting. “Ruckblick” (“Review”) has an easy rocking rhythm on the left hand with a playful, jazzy right hand - a favorite. “Am Meer” (“Seaside”) is a relaxed and peaceful jazz piece with a strong melody as well as improvised passages that keep it fresh and spontaneous. “Kastanienallee” (“Chestnut Avenue”) is free and unhurried. “Ohne Titel 4” (“Untitled 4”) goes a bit darker as an unstructured jazz improvisation. “Entwicklung 1” (“Development 1”) is a bit more classical, strumming the piano strings as well as playing them from the piano keys. “Angekommen” (“Arrived”) is another favorite. This slow, graceful piece with its dreamy, reflective mood is gorgeous! “Nachstuck 2” (“Nocturne 2”) is another evocative beauty. “Das Hundertprozentige Madchen” (“The One Hundred Percent Girl”) is certainly an interesting title! Distant and melancholy, it could be a late-night of soul-searching at the piano by the light of a single candle - haunting! “F 96” brings the album to a close with jazz musings that drift off at the end.
I have really enjoyed my introduction to Mathias Schabow and his music! "Klavierstucke" is available from www.MathiasSchabow.com, Amazon, and iTunes. Recommended!