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    Michael Mizrahi – The Bright Motion

    Michael Mizrahi - The Bright Motion

    Michael Mizrahi is Assistant Professor of Piano at Lawrence University and a founding member of chamber music outfit The NOW Ensemble. His first CD, The Bright Motion, released in 2012, consists solely of solo piano music that takes a nod to the repertoire of past centuries, yet embraces new works written by young composers in the present. It’s a variety pack that packs quite a punch with its many approaches, settings and moods. Patrick Burke’s “Unravel” takes a simple, contemplative, three-note riff on a journey into a pristine sonic space and unravels it into all sortsa complex permutations that are at once lyrically flighty and dissonantly grounded. William Britelle’s “Computer Wave” adds and subtracts a short catchy rhythm while brandishing an upbeat complexity that, true to its name, sounds like it was composed with the help of a 1960s computer punchcard. Mark Danciger’s “The Bright Motion” is an imaginary ballet made up of gentle trills shot through with deep rumbles.

    Ryan Brown’s short “Four Pieces for Solo Piano” stick mostly to the highest register of the instrument*, which is unusual, and offer up rock-like rhythms imbued with moods ranging from playful to mysterious. (*I don’t agree with the liner notes’ statement that this technique transforms the piano into a whole new keyboard instrument. Listen to John Cage’s prepared piano, if that’s what you’re looking for.) John Mayrose’s “Faux Patterns” provides just the kind of gentle, late-night atmosphere that I want and need from a solo piano setting. Judd Grenstein’s Chopin-inspired “First Ballade” begins in an air of quiet thought, then turns on a wooden nickel toward majestic swells, playful fills, dissonant chords and back again. When the dust finally settles and the last note fades away, The Bright Motion reveals itself to be a fine, cleanly recorded collection–nicely played by Michael himself–that is sure to please fans of contemporary solo piano plonk.

    Label: New Amsterdam Catalog Number: NWAM-036 Format: CD Packaging: Digi-Pak Tracks: 10 Total Time: 53:11 Country: United States Released: 2012 More: Amazon, Lawrence University, New Amsterdam

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