Solo Piano Tales Piotr Komorowski 2013 / Piotr Komorowski 62 minutes
I thought I had my list of Favorites for 2013 all set until I started listening to Piotr Komorowski’s stunning "Solo Piano Tales." In a year of great new piano albums, this one immediately rose to my top ten for the year. Elegant, bittersweet, and achingly beautiful, the sixteen solo piano improvisations are soothing, spare, and incredibly expressive. A musician of wide interests, Komorowski has been conducting operas and symphonies, performing as a pianist in chamber concerts as well as accompanied by an orchestra, and has also been preparing and leading musical shows. Recently, his great passion has been creating film and illustrative music, and his music can be heard in Polish films and television. He has given concerts all over Europe as well as in the US, Korea and Japan. Born into a family of musicians, Piotr has been a performing pianist since he was thirteen. His extensive training in classical music is apparent, yet this music is fresh, contemporary and very personal. Solo Piano Tales is his first album of original piano solos.
"Solo Piano Tales" begins with “Winds Upon My Village,” a haunting piece that conveys a mix of hope and despair. Not a lot of notes are used in this piece, but the picture it paints is clear and chilly - a lovely start. I love “Friendship for Sale” with its gracefully flowing left hand and simple, poignant melody. “End of Summer” is wistful and dreamy, perhaps looking ahead to the coming winter. “A Day in Tatra Mountains” is light and delicate - peace and a soothing calm flow from its gentle notes. “Foggy Morning” expresses the slow, floating movement of fog as it sends out fingers of mist and softens the edges of everything in its path. “It All Started When the Book Fell (Nocturne)” is one of the more unusual titles I’ve come across recently, but this is my favorite track. Very slow and overflowing with emotion, it’s an amazing piece that makes me think this might be how Chopin would compose in if he was alive and composing today. “Forgotten Photographs” brilliantly conveys the mix of emotions that are stirred when looking at old photos - nostalgic and bittersweet. Have you ever sat in front of an aquarium for more than a few minutes only to discover that you have become mesmerized by the gentle motion of the fish and the slow movement of the water? “Aquarium” captures that tranquil feeling perfectly - also a favorite. “First Snow” brings this excellent album to a close with a quiet piece that expresses the profound silence of falling snow and the hush it creates. Delicate yet sparkling, it’s as lovely as the scene it describes.
It is always an incredible listening experience when an artist can say so much with so little - especially spontaneously. "Solo Piano Tales" is breathtaking from the first note to the last and I give it my highest recommendation.