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Album Review: En Harmonie
Walid Nahas
Cover image of the album En Harmonie by Walid Nahas
En Harmonie
Walid Nahas
2012 / Waldo Music, Inc.
53 minutes
Review by Kathy Parsons
En Harmonie is the second album by composer/pianist Walid Nahas, following his 2011 debut, Immersion. Like his first release, this one has a very big “wow!” factor, more from the emotional power of his music than from dazzling showmanship, although this guy’s chops are certainly a cut above! Where Immersion was all solo piano, three of the fourteen tracks on En Harmonie include harmonica, also played by Walid. Born in Lebanon and a resident of Montreal since his early teens, Walid is a classically-trained pianist who brings a variety of cultural influences to his original compositions, infusing them with great expression, and making them universally accessible - a true world music brought to life through the voice of the piano. Being immersed in Walid’s music for the past several days has been an exceptional musical experience for me, and I hope my humble praise will allow many more people to discover this relatively new artist’s wonderful music. I’m hooked!

En Harmonie begins with “Retrouvailles (Homecoming),” a bittersweet piece that conveys deep longing and nostalgia - a gorgeous way to start! “Theme pour Alice (Theme for Alice)” has a slow, graceful flow and a poignant melody that tugs at the heart. “Corps enlaces (Entwined)” is passion set to music. Very intense and expressive, it’s a favorite. The title track introduces the harmonica, giving voice to the heartfelt melody while the piano has the flowing accompaniment. “Apprendre a aimer (Learn to Love)” would be a wonderful movie theme - sweet, sentimental, and very honest. “Arabesque” has an exotic Middle Eastern flavor that is fairly unusual in a piano solo and that works beautifully - another favorite. “Reve de toi (A Dream of You)” is as soft and gentle as a whisper, expressing great tenderness. “Partir sans reflechir (Gone Without a Thought)” is another potential movie theme conveying feelings of great loss and sadness. I really like this one, too! “Voyage” is an exciting tale told in sections that flow from one to the next, sometimes calm and peaceful and sometimes more intense and energetic. This piece also clearly demonstrates Walid’s impressive playing technique and the skill to express whatever he chooses at the piano. “Deliverance” is another complex, multi-themed piece that blends classical and contemporary styles and brings Walid’s second exceptional album to a lovely close.

En Harmonie clearly indicates a new piano star on the rise and I’m really looking forward to more great music from Walid Nahas! His albums are available from walidpianosolo.com, Amazon, and iTunes. Highly recommended!
November 24, 2012
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