The Perfect Place To Be
2020 / Double J Music
Review by Kathy Parsons
The Perfect Place To Be is a collection of nine classical piano solos performed by pianist/composer/ arranger/ educator Carol Comune. The album includes pieces by Robert Schumann, Erik Satie, Frederic Chopin/ Federico Mompou, Claude Debussy, and Alexander Scriabin and all of the pieces are quite short - just under a minute to under three minutes - making this a beautiful sampler of familiar as well as lesser-known works of 19th and 20th century composers.
A Steinway Artist, Carol Comune is on the faculty of Westminster Conservatory. She has maintained private piano studios since 1973 and received Steinway's Top Teacher Awards in both 2016 and 2017. She has released many recordings of classical music as well as her own original piano compositions.
The Perfect Place To Be begins with Robert Schumann's "Kinderszenen, Op. 15 #1," also known as "Of Foreign Lands and People" and one of Schumann's best-loved pieces. Poignant and bittersweet, Carol plays it to perfection. Erik Satie was certainly an eccentric and colorful character in music history, as is indicated in the title of his piece, "Les trois valses distinguées du précieux dégouté: Son binocle" which translates as "Three Distinguished Waltzes of a Jaded Dandy: His Glasses." This short piece is a simple dance with a dreamy feeling.
The next three pieces are "Variations on a Theme by Chopin" arranged by Federico Mompou (1893-1987): "#1: Tranquillo e molto amabile," "#4: Espressivo," and "#10:Evocation. Cantabile molto espressivo." All three are expressive and beautifully performed.
Two pieces are from Claude Debussy's "Children's Corner" - "The Little Shepherd" and "Doctor Gradus ad Parnassum" - a very nice sampling of Debussy's more lyrical side as well as his rapid, showier passages on the piano.
"6 Preludes, Op. 13 #3 in G major" by Alexander Scriabin expresses so much in its short playing time. Relaxed and gently flowing, it's a beauty!
As it began, the album closes with a piece from Schumann's "Scenes From Childhood" (Kinderszenen), this time "Child Falling Asleep." I love the way this one slows and then trails off at the end!
The Perfect Place To Be is a charming album and is perfect for piano students as well as lovers of solo piano classics. It is available from Amazon, Apple Music/iTunes and streaming sites like Spotify.
July 21, 2021