Laura McMillan is one of the best of the new-breed of solo pianists which is really saying something in a somewhat overcrowded field. She composes all her own music and utilizes various techniques to keep it interesting such as speed shifts, interweaving two melody lines (one with each hand), and having different sections within a single composition. Her playing is flawless, probably from being classically-trained and also teaching piano for many years before becoming a performer and recording artist in her own right.
On her third album, Storybook Love, as the title suggests, she uses the theme of love as the basis for the music she composed. She appropriately starts with children and their concept of love, for decades influenced by Disney animated films such as “Sleeping Beauty,” “Cinderella,” “Beauty and the Beast,” and more recently the Shrek series and “Tangled,” all full of princesses, castles and fairytale rescues. So Laura wrote a couple of pieces looking back -- “For Our Children” and “Playground Memories.” She keeps that thought-process moving forward with the tune “Enchanted,” which would have been perfect for the Disney film of the same name from a few years ago (or for any upcoming romantic movie). McMillan even introduces a hint of melancholy (which also is a part of the roller-coaster ride of love) with “Hard to Say Goodbye” and “What Might Have Been.” Whether it is the old-fashioned idea of getting all lovey-dovey while sitting in a “Porch Swing,” or the thrill of “The Chase” (seeking love), McMillan has crafted music that tugs at our heart-strings and plays with our emotions.
If you want some music that perfectly captures these many different facets of love (just like you find in children’s storybooks), or you simply enjoy hauntingly-beautiful solo piano music, you owe it to yourself to sample the selections found on this Laura McMillan recording. They are available in CD format or as digital downloads at all the main online sales sites.
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About the reviewer
May 22, 2013
Jun 4, 2014 10:34 AM UTC