First Light Craig Urquhart 2012 / Heart Earth Music 51 minutes
"First Light" is a collection of eleven peaceful, soothing piano solos composed and performed by Craig Urquhart. Urquhart’s ninth release clearly demonstrates his mesmerizing velvet touch on the piano while providing a bit of musical tranquility and respite from life’s hectic pace. Gentle and intimate, each piece is an individual gem, but the album also works as a unified whole, with each piece flowing into the next without any jarring shifts in style or tempo. The music works beautifully in the background with quiet activities, but it is also complex enough to be consistently interesting with repeated focused listens. Urquhart has been one of my favorite artists since the release of "Streamwalker" (2004), the first of his albums that I heard, although his debut was "Songs Without Words" in 1990. A classically-trained artist who was Leonard Bernstein’s musical assistant from 1985 until the composer’s death in 1990, Urquhart brings a wealth of musical experience as well as life experience to his compositions and shares them by utilizing his unique musical voice.
"First Light" begins with “Contentment,” a warm and uncomplicated confection that exudes quiet happiness - a lovely start! “Hymn” is a bit more somber, but is still very gentle and soft-spoken. “In Memorium J.G.” is a favorite. Obviously composed for someone dear, tender sadness blends with feelings of loss, drawing in and touching the heart of the listener. “Summer Waltz” is wistful and bittersweet, moving slowly and gracefully, as if in a dream - another favorite. “Autumn Wind” moves calmly and gracefully with just a touch of mystery - an elegant beauty from start to finish. “Little Lullaby” has a gentle sweetness and simplicity to soothe sleepyheads of any age. “A Father’s Love” conveys strength as well as tenderness, grace and devotion. Poignant and deeply emotional, it’s another favorite. The title track beautifully expresses the calm and stillness of daybreak, gradually warming and becoming a bit more active as it evolves. “My Angel” brings this lovely album to a close with a moving love song that comes from the heart with deep sincerity and affection.
Craig Urquhart has created another solo piano masterpiece. It is available from Amazon, iTunes, and CD Baby. Very highly recommended.
I have been a private piano teacher since 1981. I have been writing reviews for a long time, and have my own review and interview site, MainlyPiano.com. I teach piano in person and online, so now I can … more