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Album Review: Dreaming of Summer
Robin Spielberg
Cover image of the album Dreaming of Summer by Robin Spielberg
Dreaming of Summer
Robin Spielberg
2000 / playMountain Music
52 minutes
Review by Kathy Parsons
I have been a big fan of Robin Spielberg’s music for quite a few years now, and am delighted to say that I think Dreaming of Summer is her best album to date. Robin’s music has always been full of optimism and strength, but the life-changing events of the past few years have brought a new depth and maturity to her composing and playing. I noticed this development the first time I listened to Dreaming of Summer, and it became even more apparent the more I listened to the variety of moods and colors in this compelling collection of new piano solos. Dreaming is also the debut release from playMountain Music, a new label formed by Robin and her photographer/marketing expert husband, Larry Kosson, giving them full control of Robin’s releases. As a composer, this also provides Robin with much more freedom and flexibility (as well as a ton of additional work for two of the hardest-working people in the world!). Co-produced and engineered by Steven Miller, the sound quality of this album is amazing. So many solo piano albums have wheezing sounds from the pedals, popping noises from inside the piano or squeaks from the bench, but this has a fresh, “live” sound without distractions from the background - an incredible feat!

Each of the pieces on this CD works wonderfully as a stand-alone work as well as part of a unified whole. There is a seamless flow to the CD, but this is no fluff piece - there is depth and passion as well as a sense of peace that comes only from surviving some of life’s greatest challenges and emerging with a new wisdom about what is really important - friendship (“Wherever You Go”, “Wedding on the Mountain”, “Remembering You”), rediscovering the incredible strength of her marriage as well as her own inner strength (“Because of You”), pondering the meaning of life as her infant daughter was undergoing major surgery (“Turn the Page”), and seeking the healing power of flowers and a well-tended garden (“The 2 am Gardener”, “Saving the Irises”). Concert audiences have been asking Robin to record her frequent encore piece, “An Improvisation on the Canon” (Pachelbel’s Canon in D, of course!), and Robin included that as a bonus track, giving a fresh new treatment to this workhorse of a piece.

Sure to be one of my Top 5-favorite albums of the year, I give Dreaming of Summer my highest recommendation for it’s heartfelt beauty, love, sincerity, and wonderful piano playing. Robin truly opens her soul with her music, and it is a joy to behold! Dreaming of Summer is available from robinspielberg.com and playmountainmusic.com before its official release date this fall.
February 2, 2000
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