1999 / Midnight Rain Productions
Review by Kathy Parsons
This is David Nevue’s fourth solo piano album, and it is his most spiritual and personal work. I also think it is by far his best. The Vigil chronicles the passage of a sleepless night, starting at about midnight and ending with the following dawn. Although there is a restless turbulence in many of the songs, there is also a sense of introspection and of a coming peace. The pieces were inspired by events in Nevue’s spiritual life, and are heavily influenced by The Psalms. Nevue calls The Vigil “a worship album in the most intimate sense; a call to my Lord and an expression of my heart in earnest, my soul in despair, and my joy in grace.” With or without the religious context, the music is so heartfelt and sincere that not a note seems out of place. In listening to as many piano albums as I do, it is easy to lose track or which is which, but this one stands out in its grace and honesty. “Watching the Clock” is a favorite, and was an experiment in frequent time signature changes. This can result in real rhythmic chaos, but David succeeds in creating a sense of restlessness and slight unease with otherwise gently flowing broken chords. “A Midnight Rain” is a gorgeous musical depiction of a late-night rainstorm - cool and aloof, and yet compelling. “Psalm 77” is almost wrenching in its expression of one of the most mournful of the Psalms - a soul alone in the darkest of moments. “Lullaby” is much lighter, but is again just too beautiful for words; the gentle, rolling arpeggios are indeed an invitation to sleep in peace. From here, the pieces get lighter and more optimistic as daybreak approaches. This is an exceptionally fine solo piano album, and I highly recommend it!
January 1, 1999