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
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.