1999 / Calliope Music
Review by Kathy Parsons
This is the kind of solo piano album that I really like - a variety of musical stylings that range from tranquil to thundering. A Juilliard-trained pianist, Bernard Weinstock chose composition over a concert career at the suggestion of one of his teachers. Recognized and commended by both Leonard Bernstein and Keith Emerson, Weinstock’s influences are varied and smoothly incorporated into his own very impressive style.
One of my favorite pieces on Evening is “Dance”, a classically-influenced romp up and down the 88’s. Light-hearted and carefree, you can almost see the piano grin. “Midnight” is a wonderful contrast - dark, moody, and abstract with deep black bass notes answering the rubato melody in the middle registers of the piano. The CD opens with “February Afternoon” - one of the gentler pieces on the album. There is a kind of wistful feel to this piece - perhaps looking through the raindrops to the promise of approaching spring. “Remembering” is more minor and complex. Anxious and yet poignant, this is no day-dream! “Autumn Song” brings to mind swirling winds and vibrant colors dancing through the trees. This could be a piece that Liszt would have composed if he were alive today - a tour de force! “Connecticut Rain” has a gentle and peaceful flow that soothes and refreshes with its melancholy introspection. “Evening” closes the CD with a quiet and lovely piece that inspires thoughts of sitting and watching the stars appear one by one as the sky darkens - a very satisfying end to a wonderful album!
Although the music on Evening is accessible and easy to listen to, this is not commercial pop music. As with most classical music, it gets better and deeper each time it’s played. Jazz and improvisational influences are there, but Weinstock’s extensive classical training shines through. His technique is very impressive, and fans of good, strong piano playing and composing will enjoy this album immensely. Evening is available from Amazon.com, CD Baby, and iTunes. I highly recommend it!
written in 1999 for Wind and Wire; posted on MainlyPiano 7/4/12
July 7, 1999