Ever Ever On
Tom Salvatori and Iris Litchfield
2010 / Salvatori Productions
2 CDs, each 47+ minutes
Review by Kathy Parsons
Ever Ever On is the anxiously-awaited new album from Tom Salvatori and Iris Litchfield, following their award-winning 2007 release When Evening Falls. This new release is a 2-CD set with one disc featuring solo versions of each of the twelve pieces and the other featuring ensemble versions of the same twelve songs. The ensemble CD is not just a re-recording with someone playing keyboard instrumentation - these are live chamber musicians playing additional parts lovingly created by John Catchings in Nashville. The sound quality is stellar! The CDs alternate between piano pieces composed by Iris Litchfield, a classically-trained pianist and retired math teacher from England, and acoustic guitar pieces by Tom Salvatori, a classically-trained American guitarist. John Catchings appears with his soulful cello on all of the ensemble tracks. The rest of the chamber group includes violins and viola, bass, oboe, and French horn. The music itself is classically-styled with a contemporary attitude - gorgeous and heartfelt. It is difficult to choose which CD I like best. I love the simplicity of the gentle tunes played solo, but the additional musicians on the ensemble CD create so much depth and color that I love that one, too. The good news here is that no one needs to choose a favorite and the only decision to be made is which one to slip into the CD player first! Lucky us!
Ever Ever On begins with Ms. Litchfield’s “You’re With Me Still,” a tender love song that is haunting as a piano solo and becomes achingly beautiful with the addition of cello. What a way to start! Next up is Salvatori’s elegant and mysterious “Ghosts of Levigliani,” arranged for nylon string guitar and string quartet. “Escher’s Lullaby” is a fascinating trio for guitar, cello, and oboe - an unusual combination that really works with each instrument’s unique voice. I love both versions of “Blue Horizon” - solo piano and piano with string quintet - graceful, melancholy, and full of longing. “Whirlpool Song” returns to the guitar/cello/oboe trio - enchanting and soulful! “Dark Round” is a lovely slow, somber duet for cello and guitar. “To You With Love” is another favorite, this time a trio for piano, cello, and bass. Tender and gentle yet passionate, it soars while touching the heart. The closing track is the dark and mysterious “Folk Dance” for guitar, violin, cello, and bass. It is a slow and serious dance with a distinct Renaissance flavor. A gorgeous ending to an outstanding album!
Ever Ever On is certain to be on my Favorites list for the year! Give your ears and your mind a real treat and check this one out! It is available from Amazon and CD Baby. I give it my highest recommendation!
September 14, 2010