Home and Away
Robin Meloy Goldsby
2017 / Bass Lion
Review by Kathy Parsons
I have been reviewing Robin Meloy Goldsby’s recordings for more than twenty years and have always been captivated by her music. Whether it is her arrangements of other people’s music or her original compositions, she makes them her own with her elegant touch and sensitive playing style. Also a celebrated author of several books, Goldsby has a marvelous way of telling stories with and without words. Home and Away is an outstanding collection of nine original compositions (one is a collaboration with her daughter) plus Goldsby’s solo piano arrangements of four classical pieces and a pop song. The physical CD includes a six-page booklet with black and white photos as well as some of Goldsby’s thoughts about the music and what “home” means to her. These notes are in both English and German and give some interesting insight into the music and how the fourteen pieces originated.
Robin Meloy Goldsby grew up in the US and spent several years playing the piano in upscale restaurants and hotels in New York City before moving to Germany where she often plays in castles and hotels as well as other venues.
Home and Away begins with Goldsby’s arrangement of “Canon in D,” a piece that often sends longtime piano teachers like me running out of the room. Without deviating too much from the original piece, Goldsby brings some fresh new ideas to this classic and gives it new life. “The Village” is graceful, bittersweet and full of longing - gorgeous! “Round and Round” reminds me of riding a merry-go-round with a feeling of going up and down as well as around - dreamy! “Peaceful Harbor” has a gentle rubato rhythm much like the lazy ebb and flow of a quiet body of water - a favorite. The “Three Rivers Suite” reflects on various rivers that Goldsby has spent time near and how they have affected her life. The first is “Allegheny,“ a river she lived near in her youth. Reflective and nostalgic, its quiet beauty goes right to the heart. The “Hudson” is a river that runs mostly through eastern New York. Also very calm and peaceful, it obviously holds many treasured memories for the composer. The “Rhine” is one of the major rivers in Germany, and also inspired a dreamy, peaceful piece. “Gravity” is a lovely song by Sara Bareilles, tenderly arranged by Goldsby. The title track has a gentle but propulsive rhythm that is reflective yet keeps moving forward. “Somewhere” is a haunting arrangement of the classic song from West Side Story - a gentle daydream that overflows with longing. “Serenade: Variation on a Theme by Schubert” is a beautifully updated arrangement of this ever-popular classical piece. I love Goldsby’s interlude in the middle and think Herr Schubert would heartily approve! “Cathedral” is an evocative piece co-composed by Robin and her daughter, Julia Goldsby. Majesty and grace combine to tell a colorful story. “Gymnopedie No. 1: Variation on a Theme by Satie” is a new take on another one of my favorite classical piano solos. Very slow and open, Goldsby gets it just right.
Home and Away is excellent from start to finish - “a little bit of quiet in a noisy world” (quoted from the liner notes) - and who can’t use a lot more of that!?!? The album is available in the US from Amazon and iTunes. Very highly recommended!
December 26, 2017