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Progressive Rock CD Reviews

Anthony Phillips

Private Parts and Piece VI: Ivory Moon

Review by Gary Hill

I think most people think of Anthony Phillips as a guitar player. With this album he turned his attention to solo piano. The music here is often very classical in nature. That said there is a lot of range and power built into this stuff. It's a great disc of piano music. It's not the kind of thing to have playing in the background, though. There is too much excitement and melody included for this to be relegated to the backdrop.


This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2016  Volume 6 at lulu.com/strangesound.
Track by Track Review
Suite: Sea Dogs Motoring

           
I Sunrise over Sienna

Very classical in nature, this piano solo has a lot of moods and variance in volume and scope. It's quite expressive and powerful.

II Basking Shark
This is much more of a playful piece of music. It has more of a foray into more challenging sounds, too. Yet is also descends into mellower, more classically based intricacies. It builds upward from there in some excellent melodic motifs, too. There are some rather marching movements. This is quite a complex ride, really. It's fairly extended, too.
III Sea Dog's Air
There is more of a playful, dancing joy to the tone of this piece. It's still quite classical at the same time.
IV Safe Havens
This is a very short and rather tentative classically based piano solo. This ends the suite.
Tara's Theme (From Masquerade)
So pretty and expressive, this is a great tune. It's one of the best on this disc.
Winter's Thaw
In a lot of ways this more playful. It's rather a fun piece of music. Yet, it's still quite classical in nature. This is a rather extensive piece of music. Because of that length (it's over nine and a half minutes), it's quite complex.
The Old House

If the last piece was epic in stature, this one is far beyond that. It's almost fifteen and a half minutes in length. It comes in quite classical and very expressive and works forward in that sort of fashion. This really is a suite in and of itself. It's a real powerhouse that goes through a number of movements. At times it leans toward powered up music. At other points it gets very mellow and slow moving. There are some particularly beautiful passages built into it.

Moonfall (From Masquerade)
This has a lot of Beethoven built into it. It's quite a beautiful piece of music.
Rapids
Coming in mellow, but suitably rapid, this works nicely from the start. It takes us through some different moods and melody ranges. It gets pretty frantic and impassioned later. The closing movement is much mellower and very beautiful. 
Bonus Track

 

Let Us Now Make Love
This is a solo piano arrangement of a Genesis song. It's pretty and evocative.
 
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