Favorite Icon, Full size
Album Review: Grand Design
Thad Fiscella
Cover image of the album Grand Design by Thad Fiscella
Grand Design
Thad Fiscella
2006 / Thad Fiscella
55 minutes
Review by Kathy Parsons
Grand Design is the first full-length CD by pianist/composer Thad Fiscella. Quiet and reflective, the music relies more on emotional depth than pianistic flash, making it an excellent choice for background music as well as for active listening. I really enjoyed listening to it while driving from California to Oregon a few weeks ago - very calming and uplifting.

The CD opens with “Letters of Grace,” a piece that reminds me of David Nevue in places. A bit more energetic than some of the tracks, the feeling is lighthearted and optimistic. “Close to Home” conveys warmth and deep contentment - very peaceful and comfortable. “Remember Me” is a favorite. Somewhat nostalgic and bittersweet, a strong sense of longing pours out of every note and phrase. Fiscella’s use of rubato is especially effective here, making the piece sound very spontaneous and sincere. “Longing For Emma” is another beauty. The gentle rhythm and occasional pauses make it sound almost conversational. “My Eve” has a lovely, dreamy flow that is both evocative and soothing. “Reed’s Song” is full of innocence and playfulness, a love song for a child. The title track also reminds me of David Nevue in places. Its subtle energy is infectious, and then the piece pulls back to a more thoughtful space, and then alternates between lively and reflective - a fascinating piece! “Mother’s Love” is full of grace, comfort, and warmth - something like a long musical embrace. “With Love” concludes the album with a simple, tender “so long.”

Grand Design is a very enjoyable debut, and shows great promise for Thad Fiscella. It is available from cdbaby.com. Check it out!
April 4, 2006
This review has been tagged as:
Debut Albums
More reviews of Thad Fiscella albums
Cover image of the album Christmas Whisperings 2 by Thad Fiscella
2015
(contributing artist)
Cover image of the album Vast by Thad Fiscella
2008