2022 / Heart Earth Music
Review by Kathy Parsons
Dreams Remembered is the (lucky!) 13th album by pianist/composer Craig Urquhart and is his 12th album of original piano solos. With one of the most expressive piano touches I've heard, Craig's music often has a velvety-smooth quality that is easy to get lost in. Composed in 2021, the music on Dreams Remembered comes from a place of optimistic deep reflection and nostalgia. Quoting Craig: "Our lifetime is full of dreams - dreams of the future, dreams of the past and dreams of the moment. This collection of nine solo piano works reflects this very personal reality of mine." Along with dreams and his own experiences of love, loss and remembrance, Craig's music is often inspired by nature, human emotions, and the natural rhythms of the universe. I have reviewed all of Craig's albums, and his music is always an exceptional experience to be savored many times, letting the peaceful music wash over you as it transports you to a place of warmth and calm.
In addition to composing and performing, Craig Urquhart spent a number of years as Leonard Bernstein's assistant and continues to work on behalf of his legacy. A classically-trained pianist now living in Germany, Craig has performed concerts all over the world with his music often referred to as "musical poetry" - with good reason!
Dreams Remembered begins with "Ballooning," a dream based on memories of ballooning over exotic places and the thrill of discovery. A light, floating feeling runs through the piece that suggests the freedom of effortless flight while submitting to the whims of the breezes. "The Caress" is slow, graceful and sensuous - and oh, so soothing! "Degas' Dancers" was inspired by the young ballerinas so beautifully depicted in the Impressionist paintings of Degas. Their steps might not be too sophisticated yet, but they are graceful and heartfelt as they move with the music - very sweet and innocent images come to mind while listening to this one! "Shadow Play" is a favorite and "takes one to the unconscious, a dream that one visits when asleep." Tinged with mystery and melancholy, this one really speaks to me! "Stargazer" references looking up into a dark night sky and imagining the worlds beyond. Stillness with occasional flashes of light make this one of the pieces that are so easy to get lost in - in a very good way! "West Wind" is another favorite, describing the uncertainty and drama of changing directions and exploring new places. There is no fear in the music, just a sense of wondering what's around the next bend as you make your way to find out. Quoting Craig: "Being surrounded by a divine presence is a dream we all can share, imagining the feeling of being bathed in a 'Circle of Light'." A warm glow radiates from the music, offering a blissful sense of peace. Memories of tenderness and love inspired "A Mother's Love," a heartfelt dream of remembrance. "Jubilation" offers a dream of "when we are able to manifest a more harmonious reality." Now, that's something to look forward to, and this gentle closing piece offers hope that it can happen, hopefully soon!
Dreams Remembered is another masterpiece of heartfelt piano solos from Craig Urquhart! It is available from Amazon, Apple/iTunes, and streaming sites like Spotify. It is music sure to quiet and calm your world!
February 18, 2022