6 Dance Episodes
2006 / Azure Hills Music
Review by Kathy Parsons
6 Dance Episodes is the second solo piano release from Arthur Dobrucki on the Azure Hills Music label. LIke his first release, The Darkness and the Light, the musical styling is mostly classical with jazz and contemporary dance touches. The dances vary from slow and graceful to lively and upbeat, showcasing Dobrucki’s versatility and very expressive and impressive playing abilities. At just under twenty-four minutes, this EP is available on CD Baby for a very modest $6.98 - a real bargain for music of this quality and depth!
“Dance #1 in F-sharp minor” opens the set with a colorful and upbeat dance that has a bit of Russian flavor. The second theme is a lively but subdued waltz that contrasts beautifully with the bigger, bolder opening theme. “Dance #2 in C major” is jazzier and has more of a playful edge. “Dance #3 in F-sharp major” is more intense and agitated, and it’s easy to visualize contemporary dance movements working with it perfectly. “The Nude Waltz” has a very “sparse and naked” harmonic structure that inspired its name. Quiet and gentle, the simplicity of this piece also reveals “naked” emotions that come from the heart. “Rond de Jambe” was written with the ballet movement of the same name in mind (it calls for graceful circular leg motions). The quiet elegance of this piece is both charming and touching, evoking visual images of a dancer onstage by herself dancing to her own inner music, calming her soul. The ‘One’ Ballet” was conceived as a solo dance. It begins simply, with a lovely understated melody that builds as it evolves. The themes intensify, become quiet again, build to a big almost humorous romp, and end with a whisper. At 8 1/2 minutes, this fascinating piece goes through all kinds of changes, yet remains very solid and seamless. I’d love to see this ballet performed!
My only complaint about this album is that I wish it was longer! I love Arthur Dobrucki’s composing style and his marvelous playing technique, and highly recommend 6 Dance Episodes to those who prefer their solo piano music with a strong classical influence. Great stuff! Samples can be heard and purchases made at cdbaby.com.
October 9, 2006