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Album Review: Secret Spaces
Craig Urquhart
Cover image of the album Secret Spaces by Craig Urquhart
Secret Spaces
Craig Urquhart
2007 / HeartEarth Music
54 minutes
Review by Kathy Parsons
Secret Spaces is pianist/composer Craig Urquhart’s seventh album of original piano solos, and clearly demonstrates Urquhart’s magic, velvet touch on the piano keys. Urquhart’s belief in the healing power of music and nature is expanded on this album to the more personal emotional level. Reflective, contemplative, and extraordinarily intimate, the music is quietly soothing throughout the album. Classically-trained from an early age, and the late Leonard Bernstein’s personal assistant in his final years, Urquhart brings a wealth of musical and emotional experience to his music, keeping it direct and uncluttered without being simplistic. Flash is completely unnecessary when the emotions conveyed are this clear. More meditative than melodic, the music is hypnotic and calming. And the sound of that piano - pure listening heaven!

Secret Spaces begins with the title track, gently setting the tone of the album. Warm, with a hint of mystery, it’s an invitation to a musical exploration. “Contemplation” is very fluid and introspective - a stream of thought given the freedom to meander. “Cathedral Pines” suggests the sanctuary nature can offer our lives. Reverent and hymn-like, it also reflects on the majesty of these wondrous trees. “Romance” has a graceful, dreamy elegance tinged with bittersweetness - a beauty! “Venetian Snowfall” conveys the quiet peacefulness of falling snow and the sparkle of light dancing on the whiteness on the ground. “Forgiveness” is sad but hopeful, reaching out, and giving solace to both the giver and the recipient. As the pitch of the notes gradually rises, you can sense that both people are being uplifted and finding redemption - very moving and evocative. “Meditation” is a soothing balm for a tired or troubled mind. “Virginia Mountain Morning” is the most traditionally melodic piece on the album. Refreshed and renewed, it offers a new beginning and sense of optimism. It’s a gorgeous piece and a wonderful conclusion to a standout album.

Secret Spaces is my favorite of Craig Urquhart’s albums so far. Check it out at craigurquhart.com, cdbaby.com, amazon.com, and other online retailers. Very highly recommended!
May 29, 2007
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Kathy's Favorites: 2007
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