The Revealed Heart
2010 / Larry Rice
Review by Kathy Parsons
The Revealed Heart is the debut recording by self-taught pianist/composer Larry Rice. A social worker for the developmentally disabled in Southern California, Rice wrote his first original composition on the family piano at the age of twelve. As you might expect from the title of the album, the thirteen compositions express a variety of emotions and are played with passion and sincerity. The music isn’t flashy or overly complicated, but it doesn’t need to be with the Rice’s winning combination of heart and style.
The album begins with “Joyous Tears,” a piece that overflows with bittersweet emotion - a lovely opening. “La Pieta Sunrise” has a slow, graceful flow that reflects the beauty of the early morning. At the other end of the musical day, “In the Silence of the Stars” paints a picture of a very dark sky flecked with sparkling stars doing their nightly dance. There is nothing quite so still yet so dramatic as this interplay of light and dark, and Rice describes it well. With “Arms of Passion,” Rice openly reveals the depths of his heart. My favorite track is “Beethoven Dreaming.” The piece drops hints of “Moonlight Sonata,” but never imitates or “borrows” from the original. Dark and evocative, this piece has stopped me in my tracks several times and made my fingers itch. Sheet music??? I also really like “Dancing With Elegance” with its soulful rolling broken chords and minor-key melody. “Loving You Without End” is gently reassuring yet smolders with deep emotion. “Remembering You” is warm and affectionate, but also expresses longing and nostalgia. “Riding the Wind” is much more upbeat and uptempo than the other tracks. Sub-titled “A Salute to Sebastian Sidi,” this piece shows us a different musical side of Larry Rice. Bold and energetic the first half of the piece, it becomes a tender ballad near the end. “The Last Time I Saw You” is dark and turbulent, expressing difficult emotions - another favorite. “Yesterday’s Children” is dreamy and a little sad. Its melody is gorgeous as it flows along with the broken chord left hand - a poignant and touching end to the album.
The Revealed Heart is a very promising start for Larry Rice’s recording career! It is available from Amazon, iTunes and CD Baby. Check it out!
November 18, 2010