Twin Strings II
is a very interesting collection of instrumental pieces played on piano (George Davidson) with and without viola accompaniment (Ljova), and Paraguayan harp (Eugenio Leon). Most of the songs are very familiar pop songs from the 60’s through the 80’s, including Roy Orbison’s “Crying”, Dan Fogelberg’s “Longer”, Simon and Garfunkel’s “El Condor Pasa”, and the theme from “Ice Castles”. There are some show tunes like “How Do You Keep the Music Playing” and “Never On Sunday”, and a couple of movie themes. A few of the harp pieces are not familiar to me, so they may be Paraguayan. The collection also includes a lovely original piece by George Davidson called “What Would It Be Like?” The piano and harp duet of “Can’t Help Falling In Love” is wonderful - these two instruments are so different, but blend together so well here. Davidson also does an exceptional job with a very tender arrangement of “With You I’m Born Again” and a achingly beautiful take on Lionel Richie’s “Hello”. I also really like his version of “Crying”.
Both of these musicians are regularly-featured entertainers at resorts in The Cayman Islands, and I would imagine that these are some of their most-requested and popular pieces. George Davidson’s playing style is elegant and understated in the grand scheme of pianists who interpret other composers’ work - especially when it comes to some of these frequently-played songs. He extensively uses arpeggios and runs up and down the piano, but not to the detriment of a melody, as many pianists do. His playing skills are superb, and his interpretations are fresh and evocative. I wasn’t sure I could stand listening to another version of “Ice Castles”, but he actually reminded me of why that piece has stayed so popular with it’s simple and very pretty melody. I still don’t like the song, but I only skipped over it a couple of times in the six or seven times I listened to the CD! That’s saying something! I thoroughly enjoyed reviewing this CD, and if you are a fan of new versions of very popular music, I think you’ll enjoy it, too! It is currently available at www.georgedavidson.com