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Album Review: Harmony Grove
Greg Maroney
Cover image of the album Harmony Grove by Greg Maroney
Harmony Grove
Greg Maroney
2003 / Hen House Records
48 minutes
Review by Kathy Parsons
Harmony Grove is Greg Maroney’s fourth and most inspiring album to date of original piano solos. What a great album! Drawn from life experiences of the past year as well as interpretations of his natural surroundings in rural Pennsylvania, Maroney captures a full spectrum of emotions and musical colors, and presents them in an accessible form that deepens with each listening. Maroney has been studying the piano since he was five, and the naturalness of his playing comes from one who has such an intense and intimate relationship with the instrument that it is truly an extension of who he or she is.

“The Reluctant Ballerina” is one of my favorites. It tells about a timid ballerina who comes into her own as the music sets her free. The beautiful melody becomes more flowing as the dancer lets herself go, and it’s easy to picture the shy dancer becoming one with the music and movement as she gets swept away, forgetting her inhibitions. “Elementals” was composed during the time of Maroney’s mother’s illness to her passing. Much darker in mood, I can imagine Maroney sitting at the piano late into the night, working through the tangle of emotions that fill a person at such a time. This is a passionate and very personal piece, and the emotions are clear. The next piece, “Rising,” describes the relief and peace of his mother’s transition. It is also somewhat darker than the other pieces, but there is a strong feeling of hope and celebration. “Long Walk Home” is a gorgeous piece. A bit melancholy and introspective, it is in no rush to go anywhere, and seems to be drinking in whatever it encounters along the way. “Beneath the Sycamore” is full of grace and longing, and could easily be a lovely movie theme. “Nature’s Fury” is a powerful depiction of an approaching thunder storm. From watching the ominous black clouds to feeling a swirling wind to seeing the brilliant flash of lightning, this is a great piece! The closing track, “The Chicken Chase,” is huge fun. Anyone who has experienced chickens scurrying around the yard looking for food can relate. I could also visualize children running after the chickens, trying to catch one, and laughing all the way. This piece must be exhilarating to play!

Harmony Grove is very highly recommended! It is currently available from gregmaroney.com. Samples are also posted on the site.
March 3, 2003