My Heart Will Go On
1998 / George Davidson Productions
Review by Kathy Parsons
Pianist George Davidson has assembled another eclectic mix of pop hits, movie themes and show tunes, a classical arrangement, and three original pieces. As on his other albums, Davidson’s playing is direct and heartfelt, with fresh interpretations of the old as well as the new. I am partial to his original work, and all three pieces on this album really sing. “La Belle Isle” is dedicated to the people of The Cayman Islands, where Davidson is a regular performer at one of the resorts. This piece is full of sunshine and grace, and is a lovely opening for the album. “Lisa” is a love song, pure and simple in both content and in its message. “Joie de Vivre” is one of Davidson’s showier pieces, with lots of trills and runs, and conveys a lighthearted mood with just a touch of melancholy.The title track (the theme from “Titanic”) is one of my least-favorite pieces of music in existence, but that is due, at least in part, to the fact that all of my piano students wanted to play it for months, and I had to hear it in all kinds of states many times a day for what seemed like years. But, I digress.... As often as that song has been played the past few years, it is amazing to me that George Davidson was able to give it a fresh and emotionally true arrangement. Davidson’s treatment of “Castle On a Cloud” from “Les Miz” is gorgeous - the bittersweet melody comes through elegantly. Yanni’s “In the Mirror” was a surprise, and a very pleasant one at that. I like a lot of Yanni’s music played solo on piano, and this song was a good choice! It’s a shame that no composer credits are given in the liner notes, as I’m sure many listeners would shake their heads and ask themselves where they’ve heard that song before. Davidson’s arrangement of Debussy’s “Clair de Lune” is close to the original, making me wonder why he changed sections - whether it was to make it more palatable for his audiences or simply to suit himself. It’s a lovely arrangement, but the piano teacher in me takes small umbrage at “messing with the classics” when the pianist’s skills are up to the original, as Davidson’s clearly are.
This is another excellent solo piano collection from George Davidson, and I highly recommend it to those who like classy piano interpretations of a variety of popular songs and melodies. Keep the originals, coming, too, George!
January 1, 1998