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Album Review: A Place Without Noise
Wayne Gratz
Cover image of the album A Place Without Noise by Wayne Gratz
A Place Without Noise
Wayne Gratz
2002 / Narada
55 minutes
Review by Kathy Parsons
Wayne Gratz has always been a master of understated piano compositions, and A Place Without Noise, his seventh collection of original piano solos for Narada, is perhaps his most peaceful and introspective album yet. The fourteen pieces are solo piano, piano with Paul Fleury accompanying on cello, or piano with synth washes. Each piece is a distinctive “vignette”, but the album as a whole maintains a calm and tranquil mood throughout. Wayne Gratz has been one of my favorite composers for a lot of years, and it’s always a delight to savor his new music. As has been true of many of Gratz’s compositions, the majority of the songs on A Place Without Noise are inspired by nature - “Clouds”, “Mist of a Waterfall”, “Willows”, etc. My favorite piece is “Still Pond”, a gorgeous piano and cello duet that is the absolute aural definition of peace and contentment. “Onset of Winter” is a very spare and evocative mood piece. Gratz is incredibly good at making the open spaces between the notes and chords as important and effective as the notes themselves. I was down at the shoreline this morning playing frisbee with my dog, and “Birds in Flight” captures perfectly the feeling of having flocks of gulls, terns, and other shorebirds flying all around you - beautiful and breath-taking! “Sunday at Twilight” is serenity set to music. Gentle and thoughtful, it is easy to imagine watching the stars come out one by one as the sun sets. If you enjoy quiet piano pieces with a calming effect, you’ll love A Place Without Noise! I found that I enjoyed it even more each time I listened to it (about ten times), and I know this is a CD that will NOT sit on the shelf once the review is finished. Very highly recommended!
May 4, 2002
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