Reality of Dreams
Dulce Joya Leon
2017 / www.oomoxx.de CD Produktion und Vertrieb
Review by Kathy Parsons
I recently reviewed Dulce Joya Leon’s second solo piano album, Devotion, and was blown away by it, so I was anxious to hear her 2017 debut, Reality of Dreams, which I missed the first time around. The album was awarded the Akademia Award for Best Classical Album (Piano), a Global Music Award in instrumental music, and was nominated for the SoloPiano.com Album of the Year in the Contemporary/Modern Piano category. Classically-trained from the age of six, Dulce’s music is masterful, passionate, colorful and very powerful. She obviously has the “chops” to express whatever she wants at the piano, giving her limitless possibilities in her own compositions. Not all of the tracks are flashy, as they vary widely in style and in the messages they convey, but all of them are jaw-dropping in their own special way. Currently living in Germany, Dulce Joya was born in Cuba and has performed and trained in a variety of locales around the world.
Reality of Dreams begins with “Romantic Power,” a ballad-style piece with a melody strong enough to support lyrics but doesn’t need words to express the emotional impact of the music. From quiet lyricism to fiery passion, it says it all. “Call of the King” has a mysterious feeling that runs throughout. Dulce’s touch is light and gentle in some passages, contrasting with passages that express majesty, power and drama while telling a compelling story. “Sad Moments” expresses a wide range of emotions, occasionally suggesting a Latin influence in the rhythms. “Magical Ride” begins with a very dark introductory passage that suggests danger or even doom. Although the tone lightens a bit, it often feels like a nightmare “ride” through a dream. “Shadows of My Soul” is one of those pieces that make you stop what you’re doing and say, “WOW!” A very “big” piece with strong classical influences, a variety of themes are woven together to describe the many facets of the composer’s soul, from quietly reflective to explosive and everything in between - an amazing piece! I really like “Stormchild,” too. A blending of peaceful calm and turbulent energy creates a fascinating study in contrasts. “Winter Dreams” is absolutely gorgeous and my favorite piece on the album. Poignant, chilly and sparkling, it evokes images of the sun or moon shining on a blanket of snow and the profound stillness that becomes part of that kind of setting. “Bleeding Heart” is more introspective as it expresses the pain, anger and confusion of heartbreak. At over eight minutes, “Fallen Angel” tells quite a story that unfolds organically without feeling at all rushed. This piece really demonstrates Dulce Joya’s virtuosity at the piano as well as her ability to weave many musical themes and ideas into one colorful tapestry. Appropriately, the album closes with a piece called “Goodbye.” Beautifully heartfelt and expressive, it doesn’t feel at all like a final goodbye, but more of a “so long for now.”
I am so impressed with Dulce Joya Leon’s music and can’t wait to hear more from her! Reality of Dreams is available from Amazon and iTunes as well as many streaming sites. Great stuff!
December 27, 2019