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Album Review: The Garden Gate
Greg Maroney
Cover image of the album The Garden Gate by Greg Maroney
The Garden Gate
Greg Maroney
2009 / Hen House Records
53 minutes
Review by Kathy Parsons
The Garden Gate is pianist/composer Greg Maroney’s seventh release and presents us with some of Greg’s best work to date. Most of the thirteen original tracks are graceful and contemplative, but Greg always throws in at least one or two pieces that let him stretch out at the piano and demonstrate what an accomplished pianist he is. Unlike many pianists, Maroney never does this to show off; the bigger, faster passages are a means to depict drama and power, and he utilizes them to great effect. A trauma nurse who tends a small farm with his wife on their land, Maroney uses his music to express his relationships and experiences with nature and his surroundings, people and pets he cares about, and his own inner life. Obviously, this makes the music very personal and strongly emotive, yet the themes are universal and adaptable to our own experiences. Greg has been one of my favorite composers since I first encountered his music with “Sentinel” in 2002. I’ve also had the pleasure of proofing his sheet music and highly recommend that as well.

The Garden Gate begins with “Fall,” a dreamy, somewhat melancholy piece that seems to anticipate changes with grace and resignation. “Rolling Joy” is in constant motion, swirling with carefree abandon. “Romance” is a gorgeous ballad that overflows with tender emotion and longing. I like all thirteen tracks on this album, but one of my favorites is “Crescent Moon.” Beginning and ending as a minor key waltz, a sense of mystery prevails as the piece intensifies and becomes more magical. (For you pianists out there, “Crescent Moon” is a blast to play!) The title song is an ode to joy and the anticipation of discovering what’s beyond the garden gate - another favorite. I also love “Tundra Swan,” a lively piece that conveys a variety of themes: mystery, determination, grace, and even carefree fun. "Sanctuary Medley" first appeared on Maroney's 2005 release, "Wind Chimes," but this new ("Revisited") version cleverly incorporates parts of the joyous hymn “Simple Gifts,” imbuing it with a lighthearted energy. “Farewell” closes the CD with a warm, conversational melody that expresses several emotions with grace and eloquence and makes you hate to see the song and CD end.

Greg Maroney is an artist who just keeps getting better. If you love emotionally rich music, a clear clean piano sound, and an exceptionally masterful piano technique, Greg Maroney is your man! The Garden Gate is available from gregmaroney.com, cdbaby.com, and amazon.com. Very highly recommended!
May 5, 2009
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Kathy's Favorites: 2009
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