Aureole etc.




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If it’s the Czech works you’re after, do not hesitate

  Founder: Len Mullenger
Classical Editor: Rob Barnett

Music for Quiet Listening
Sergei RACHMANINOV (1873-1943)

Preludes, Op. 32/5, 23/6
Lilacs, Op. 21/5
Daisies, Op. 38/3
Leopold GODOWSKY (1870-1938)

Java Suite: Boro Budur in Moonlight
Hollis KELLOGG (b. 1953)

Dance for a New House
David DELUCIA (b. 1958)

Carol Ross' Rapture
Germaine TAILLEFERRE (1892-1983)

Three Sonatines
Maurice RAVEL (1875-1938)

Adagio from Piano Concerto in G major
Franz LISZT/Robert SCHUMANN (1810-1856)

Widmung (Dedication)
Franz LISZT (1811-1886)

Bénédiction de Dieu dans la Solitude (from Harmonies Poétiques et Réligieuses)
David DeLucia, piano
Recorded Neighborhood Music School, New Haven, Ct., December 2003
PERSONAL LABEL 59672 [62:39]
More Music for Quiet Listening
Johann Sebastian BACH (1685-1750)

Jesu, Joy of Man's Desiring (from Cantata No. 147 - transcribed by Myra Hess)
Prelude in B minor (from Clavier Buchlein for W. F. Bach - transcribed by Alexander Siloti)
David DELUCIA (b. 1958)

Jubilant Jane and Her Adventures
Song for Michelle
Claude DEBUSSY (1862-1918)

Reverie
Ballade
1st Arabesque
Hollis KELLOGG (b. 1953)

Pandiatonic Piece No. 1
Howard HANSON (1896-1981)

Impromptu, Op. 19/1
Poèmes Erotiques, nos. 1/2/4
Melodic Etude
Richard RODGERS (1902-1979)

Hello Young Lovers (transcribed by Stephen Hough)
The March of the Siamese Children (transcribed by Stephen Hough)
Charles WILLIAMS (1893-1978)

The Dream of Olwen
David DeLucia, piano
Recorded Neighborhood Music School, New Haven, Ct., November 2003
PERSONAL LABEL 59692 [67:15]


I might as well start at the beginning. I have received many discs over the past few years from performers with their own personal labels. With little exception, I have not reviewed them because the level of artistry and technical command was unable to drag me away from my normal review regimen.

These two discs from David DeLucia on his own label are an entirely different matter. His command of the piano's resources is quite impressive; I would have liked a little greater fluidity in his trills, but the overall playing is excellent indeed. More important, he nails the emotional content of each programmed work, resulting in my assessment that Mr. DeLucia is a prime-time pianist.

Who is this man? David earned his Masters Degree in Education and 6th year professional Certificate in School Psychology from the University of Connecticut. During his academic pursuits, David also found time to perform and compose music, and he was a music critic for the Connecticut Daily Campus newspaper. He has written works for solo piano, chamber ensemble, band, and orchestra. David has also performed in public in Connecticut and New York.

In addition to his musical and psychological pursuits, David has developed an enviable set of gardens and greenhouse, growing over 1,500 varieties of cacti, succulents, and orchids. He reminds me some of my wife who has an eclectic array of life activities, the opposite of my own preferred route to zero in on a limited number of themes. My wife also likes David's music-making, commenting on the lovely tones and enchanting atmospheres he projects. To make it unanimous, my adult son Alexander also praised David's performance of the Ravel transcription, and Alex has never before said a good word concerning the music I listen to.

The titles of the two discs are not quite reflective of the musical content. First, some of the works are playful such as the premiere recordings of Kellogg's "Dance for a New House" and the Sonatines by Tailleferre. Second, most of the remaining works, including David's own "Carol Ross' Rapture", have a subtle rapture that he plays superbly. Rapture means tension, so "quiet listening" doesn't begin to adequately describe the intensity of the programmed music. Personally, I would prefer the title "Music for Lovers".

On the first disc, the piece that really makes me sit up in amazement is Gustave Samazeuilh's piano transcription of the Adagio from Ravel's Piano Concerto in G major. Besides being one of the few transcriptions that I treasure, David plays the work with great patience and love. Actually, patience is one of the best aspects of David's playing on the two discs. So often, well-known pianists can't seem to stay in line with the leisurely pacing of the music they play. Not so with David, as he seems born to play this type of music.

On the second disc, the three Debussy works are early pieces composed before Debussy developed his own unique musical language most in evidence in his Etudes. Still, these are lovely works that David gives a delectable treatment. Also stunning is the Kellogg Pandiatonic Piece No. 1; not having any key center, the music is allowed to float in an enchanting dream-state.

I certainly don't want to neglect the three works composed by David, each celebrating a member of the Neighborhood Music School. Carol Ross is the Vice President of the School, and her rapture is intense and and beautiful. "Song for Michelle" is an impressionistic gem celebrating the School's program manager Michelle Maitland. "Jubilant Jane and her Adventures" represents the Director of Advancement Jane Christie who must be a very enthusiastic individual. The work has eight very short sections as David has Jubilant Jane waking up - losing her dog - getting her dog back - meeting a fairy princess - trying out the trampoline - jumping rope - reading a sad story - and flying a kite. My favorite section is meeting the princess; this is poignant and gorgeous music. After listening to the work, I wouldn't mind meeting Jubilant Jane myself.

Any complaints? Just one - I would have liked a more alert presentation of the Bach/Hess transcription, but that could well be my personal reaction to solemnity. Concerning sound quality, David's soundstage has a deep resonance just right for the delicious music he plays. Detail is exquisite, and all musical lines are given distinction.

In conclusion, snuggle up to your partner and let the music work its magic. The results should be sublime, and David DeLucia is an excellent proponent for the disc's themes. I prefer "Music for Quiet Listening" because I'm not a fan of Howard Hanson's music, and I would hate to be without the Ravel Adagio. That's just my subjective voice, and yours might well veer toward the second disc. Then again, pick up both of them. They are at budget price and available from http://cdbaby.com. If you would like to contact David, his e-mail address is mrdcac@aol.com.

Don Satz



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