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The Sounding Board by R J Lannan
RJ Lannan is the reviewer for The Sounding Board.
Other reviews from The Sounding Board by R J Lannan:
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Another Time, Another Place
By Robin Spielberg
Label: playMountain Music
Released 4/28/2015
Another Time, Another Place tracks
1. First Dance
2. Ship to Shore
3. Another Time, Another Place
4. Cherry Blossoms
5. The View from Here
6. In My Dreams
7. After All
8. The Time Traveler
9. Candlelight Waltz
10. A Whisper in the Wind
11. O Mio Babbino Caro
The Return of the Muse
This is my first review of New Age pianist Robin Spielberg. I have known and listened to her music for a very long time, but I have never had the opportunity to review her until now. I am elated to report that Robin Spielberg's compositions are as dreamy and emotional as they were in 1993 when she released her first album Heal of the Hand. It has been and continues to be an illustrious chronicle for an actress, producer and composer who was not really interested in a musical career. Nevertheless, Another Time, Another Place is number seventeen for this incredible performer and she is still going strong. It is an album of firsts.

First Dance takes us back to a time of dancing on tippy toes and learning to count, 1-2-3. Then, some time later, determining to hold your partner, hand high, back straight. These are significant to the memory. The swirling waltz music is gentle, but tenacious. When you all grown up it allows you to hold hands and hearts.

The title tune Another Time, Another Place for me, is Robin going back to her core as a composer of emotion. Listening to this piece, I can imagine a spirit resting above the piano, guiding, ushering, and smiling. As fantastic as it sounds, we do guide ourselves with our own experiences. The dramatic and sensual tune is a culmination of years of expressing her emotions and translating them into music that everyone understands. It is a song of metamorphosis.

The View from Here is a contemporary opus that overlooks the now. It is not a lofty position, but rather a self-examination, knowing that the beginning of the journey was modest and the rest is made up of experiences. Some of it is tears spent at what happened, but there are many smiles in the notes as well.

The Time Traveler, the longest cut on the recording at almost eight minutes, is my favorite. As I listen, I am carried to the themes of the past, the present, and the melody sometimes gives me glimpses of the future. In the tune, there is the sound of a clock ticking reminding me of the passage of the time. I am transported through many seasons and I am given the job of a silent witness to change, to discovery and to triumph.

The other day as I was sitting on a low stone wall under the trees and eating my lunch, and I could suddenly hear it. A Whisper in the Wind began as a murmur, a rush and then a voice as the leaves rustled and called. Robin's song is such a call. The unseen voice of nature calls to tell you that it is time for action, any action. There is always some good in change.

From the libretto of Puccini’s Gianni Schicchi comes Robin’s rendition of O Mio Babbino Caro. It starts out quietly in orchestrina style and then warms to a flowing melody. The well-known tune is somewhat like a Romeo and Juliet narrative as Lauretta begs her father to allow her to marry Rinnucio. "Oh, My Dear Father" she pleads, but Gianni does not relent. It is love unrequited as played mournfully throughout the centuries.

Robin Spielberg's poignant eleven tracks of solo piano stories are a testament to fortitude and perseverance. Her neo-classical style is warm and enchanting. Her subject matter for Another Time, Another place reminds of a quote from Robert Plant who said, "The past is a stepping stone, not a millstone." Robin dexterously uses her past to musical and emotional advantage.
Rating: Excellent   Excellent
- reviewed by RJ Lannan on 6/26/2015
 
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