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Album Review: Beautiful Dreamer
Robin Spielberg
Cover image of the album Beautiful Dreamer by Robin Spielberg
Beautiful Dreamer
Robin Spielberg
2000 / North Star Music
41 minutes
Review by Kathy Parsons
The story of how Robin Spielberg’s newest release, Beautiful Dreamer, came to be is incredible. I remember two years ago when Robin emailed me with the joyous news that she was pregnant with twins. She had recently returned home from a concert tour that included playing in Walnut Creek, CA, and an unforgettable workshop with my piano students the following day. She was so excited about becoming a mother, and wrote me frequent updates about how she was doing and feeling. After a few months, I didn’t hear from her for an unusually long time. I was concerned, but with the twins coming and a new album (Mother with singers Susan McKeown and Cathie Ryan), I didn’t think too much about it until she called one morning in tears with the horrible news that she had lost one of the girls in utero, and the surviving twin was only a pound and very fragile. My heart broke for Robin and her husband, Larry. Hope and prayers were all any of us could offer, but after a grueling four months in the hospital, in and out of danger, Valerie got stronger and healthier, and was able to go home. She was so tiny that Robin was able to slide her wedding band up her baby’s leg. Because Valerie had been hearing Robin’s music since conception, Robin had recordings of her music continuously playing while Valerie remained in the hospital. Her vital signs improved, and so did those of the other babies in the unit. Now a healthy and happy little girl, Robin wanted to give her a very special gift of a recording of lullabies made especially for her.

On the CD cover, it says that Beautiful Dreamer is “solo piano lullabies for parent and child”, but this very beautiful collection can soothe and relax anyone. The fourteen songs are pieces that Robin learned as a child and that mean a lot to her, so the stylings are very warm and personal. Robin’s elegant playing is laced with love in every note. Although I’m not a mom or an insomniac, I love this album! The selection of songs is wonderful. Not surprisingly, “Brahms’ Lullaby” is included along with the title track, “Puff, the Magic Dragon”, “Edelweiss”, and “Lavender Blue”. More of a surprise is “The Inch Worm” - a haunting and wistful song from the film “Hans Christian Anderson”. “The Water is Wide” touches the soul with it’s simple but heartfelt melody. “You Are So Beautiful” was a surprise, but it fits in perfectly and glows with a mother’s love. Robin also included a piece composed in Valerie’s honor, and it bears her name. Robin is one of my very favorite composers as well as pianists, and this gentle piece epitomizes Robin’s composing and playing style. I hope one day Valerie will appreciate the wonder of this gift! Robin also assembled a montage of children’s songs and nursery rhymes that makes me smile each time I hear it.

Along with soothing the soul, $1 from the sale of each album generated from robinspielberg.com or northstarmusic.com will go to The March of Dimes, the organization responsible for much of the lifesaving equipment needed to help critically ill babies and premature infants. This is a wonderful album with a wonderful cause. I highly recommend it!
January 1, 2000