Whispers of Autumn
James Michael Stevens
2022 / James M Stevens Music
Review by Kathy Parsons
Whispers of Autumn is a collection of twelve original piano solos by James Michael Stevens, possibly the most prolific composer on the planet! With 6,718 items on Sheet Music Plus (at the moment!), he has more solo piano compositions available there than any composer in the world, including Bach, Mozart and Beethoven! James also composes for several other instruments, ensembles, choirs, and church ministry, so his creative output is beyond amazing! On top of that, he is the Dean of the School of Music at Welch College in Gallatin, TN! What an impressive track record, and I'm sure he is far from finished! Released on 9/1/2022, the music on Whispers of Autumn is reflective, peaceful and soothing with easy-going tempi and lovely melodies. A companion sheet music book and individual pieces are also available to download on SheetMusicPlus.com.
Whispers of Autumn begins with "Windows," a soulful, melancholy piece that sets the tranquil tone of the album. I really enjoy staring out a window - especially when it's raining - letting my thoughts go wherever they want, and this piece feels like that. "Serenade Divine" has gently rolling chords on the left hand and a sweet, simple melody on the right - a bit of innocence set to music. "Warsaw Cafe" sounds like a very romantic place to eat or meet! The slow, easy tempo feels very leisurely and comfortable - I'm ready to go there any time! "A Bridge To Autumn" caresses the mind with a sunny warmth that soothes and uplifts. "Beauty" seems to reflect on the kind of beauty that can leave you speechless. Slow, open, and very expressive, it's a real beauty itself! "Last Sunset of Summer" is a favorite. More than a little melancholy, the heartfelt melody and slow broken chords combine to express sadness at the change in seasons and perhaps some regret that the summer went by so quickly. "Easy Autumn" swings the mood back to warm, sunny and optimistic. If you are having trouble falling asleep, "Serenade Lullaby" should take care of it! It's a cozy, comfortable musical "blanky" that reassures that everything will be okay, so close your eyes and let the dreams come! "Misty Nights" continues in this comforting vein, moving slowly and freely like dense fog or a misty dampness. "Sunset at Deep Harbor" is another favorite - warm, dreamy and very romantic - and brings the album to a peaceful close.
Whispers of Autumn is a wonderful accompaniment to the season that is right around the corner - and any other season as well! It is available from Amazon, Apple Music/iTunes and many streaming sites including Spotify. Very nicely done!
September 16, 2022