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Album Review: Pastiche
Carol Comune
Cover image of the album Pastiche by Carol Comune
Carol Comune
2020 / Double J Music
33 minutes
Review by Kathy Parsons
Webster's Dictionary defines "pastiche" as "a literary, artistic, musical, or architectural work that imitates the style of previous work," and so it is with Carol Comune's album titled Pastiche. A collection of seven original piano solos and one piece by Claude Debussy, the album clearly demonstrates why Ms Comune is held in such high regard as a performer, teacher and composer. With millions of followers on Spotify and two awards as Steinway's Top Teacher (2016 and 2017), she is obviously well-versed in both the traditional and contemporary aspects of musical artistry. A pianist from a very young age, Comune's elegant touch and the ability to play virtually any music she chooses combine with heartfelt expression to create a rich listening experience that deepens each time you listen to her recordings.

Pastiche opens with "Illuminati," a colorful piece that expresses a variety of moods and emotions while swirling and dancing around the piano keyboard. Good news for fellow pianists - sheet music is available for "Illuminati" (review coming soon)! "Bruyères" is a beautiful prelude by Debussy (Book II, #5) that fits in perfectly with the original music on the album. "Simply, Miss You" overflows with longing and deep emotion - my favorite piece on the album. (I hope there will be sheet music for this one, too!) The playful "Dance of the Carousel" is lighthearted and fun, and you can almost feel the up and down movement of the carousel animals. The faster passages of the piece sparkle like twinkling lights or beams of sunshine bouncing off of mirrors or decorative gems. I really like this one, too! "Simpatico" gracefully expresses the calming effect of spending time with someone you have much in common with and feel at ease with. "Summer Moons" is blissfully peaceful and warm like a summer evening when you watch the moon rise over the horizon and all seems right with the world. "Serenade By the Sea" more than hints at Brahms' Lullaby and then goes in a different direction altogether - several times! It's a delightful "pastiche" itself! The album closes with "And We Dance Again - Reprise," a romantic, dreamlike piece that starts slowly and gradually builds to a lively tempo, slows, and then gets faster and faster before ending abruptly.

Pastiche is a wonderful solo piano album and is available from Amazon, Apple Music/iTunes and streaming sites like Spotify. Check it out!

July 21, 2021
More reviews of Carol Comune albums