First, you need to know that I'm a pianist. Have a degree in music and everything. Make my living teaching other people how to make that big black box in their living room do something besides collect dust and store Hummel figurines.
And I enjoy it, I really do.
But this also means that I hear a LOT of piano music, all week long. And it may surprise you to learn that, once those hours of "that should have been C. C. CCCCCCCC. In the name of all that is sacred and holy will you PLEASE put your thumb on that key right THERE and push it down until some sort of noise comes out of the instrument??" are over, I'm not usually up for a whole lot more piano music than that. It's an ironic bi-product of my profession.
And then there are my kids. My two daughters are almost exclusively self-taught pianists. It's not because I haven't tried to teach them, it's because such an endeavor usually meets with the same success and personal fulfillment as a self-prescribed colonoscopy. So they play on their own, each in a unique, lengthy and LOUD way.
Corinne isn't happy with any practice session that goes shorter than a week. She'll play through an entire book just to get warmed up, and then play her current songs so many times she wears grooves into the keys.
Vanessa, on the other hand, sees "Forte" as a good jumping off spot and treats every performance like one big crescendo until the lamp hanging over the piano is swaying and we're looking for our fillings. Put up the lid, and the paint starts bubbling off the walls.
Their playing is great. It's just not particularly restful.
As you might imagine, then, it takes a lot for me to be able settle back, relax, and actually enjoy listening to solo piano. Which is why last evening turned out to be such a pleasant surprise.
Sherrie Shepherd sent me her beautiful new CD "Solitude", and requested that I listen to it and review it on my blog. Re-read the last couple of paragraphs to get an idea of the trepidation I felt when she asked for my opinion.
That was before I heard it. I put it in my player last night before bed, and listened while I read and unwound from my day. After about ten minutes my husband wandered in, and without telling him anything about the music, I asked him what he thought about it.
He said, "It's really nice. Perfect for keeping a little peace in your home on a Sunday afternoon. Where did you get it?"
I told him that it was my friend Sherrie, and he was very impressed. Not just with her, but with the fact that once again I have managed to attract a pal who is so super talented. I have always been incredibly fortunate to be surrounded by smart, talented people, and here my record remains unblemished.
My husband is right. This is a beautiful, serene collection of piano solos, ideal for bringing the intensity of your house down to manageable, reflective levels. Turn off the TV, light a couple of candles, and put on "Solitude".
It's a lovely way to end the day.