Piano Stories/Debbie Wiseman

September 20, 2011

 Warner Classics will release on Sept. 19th, 2011 a CD/download of piano solo material from Debbie Wiseman. Twenty two of her themes will be highlighted in the 78+ minute recording. All of her material begins with a piano recording and these are what are being offered. Available from http://www.classicsonline.com/ if you’re not yet a member you can join and receive 101 tracks for only $9.99. This could be a fairly inexpensive way to download this album. Lately there has been a series of piano solo CD’s from film composers. First up was Christopher Young in with his An Unfinished Life Piano Sketches (2008), Stephen Edwards came out with Piano Music From the Movies (2011), Bear McCreary just released Battle Star Galactica For Solo Piano (2011) and this Wiseman release quickly followed. Having all four recordings I learned that each piano had its own distinct sound as well as a style, touch, rhythm, and color from each composer. Wiseman has a firm touch without being showy like Horowitz as an example. The result is a set of 22 Preludes. These are not complicated to play for a good pianist like Wiseman but the theme is definitely featured on the track with the right hand and the left hand is always moving enhancing the track. I like her playing very much and certainly love her melodies. I for one would like to see more of this kind of material released. Her themes are beautiful without the benefit of an orchestra. One could compare Pictures at an Exhibition for solo piano and then the orchestral version. This reviewer would like to hear both on the same CD back to back. I’m going to have to make my own CD!

Favorite tracks include “Echoes of Carmilla” from Lesbian Vampire Killers. The track begins with single notes of the melody with harmony also single notes. As it progresses the track become concert like. The track ends as it started with simplicity. Well done! “Christina’s Minuet” from Haunted is a true minuet in that it starts with a theme followed by variations of the theme or a second theme and then returns to the main theme. Scary it isn’t. A theme to remember, yes. “Mists of Edbrook” is also from Haunted and offers more of an uplifting quality to it. One can hear a ray of hope in the melody. “Isolation,” theme from The Hide is a sad haunting theme with main melody being performed with several variations on the theme is this six minute solo work. “Ray of Sunshine,” theme from Children’s Hospital is a bright uplifting work with a major key giving it a feeling of happiness.

The listening experience is quite laid back yet if you enjoy a particular movie/television show you’ll instantly recognize it and it could become a favorite. As I said earlier it is fun to listen to the piano version followed by the orchestral arrangement.

Track Listing:

1… Isolation Theme from Hide (6:19)

2… Portal to the Past Theme from Tom’s Midnight Garden (3:30)

3… Thorn to the Heart Theme from The Nightingale and the Rose (4:54)

4… High Walled Garden Theme from The Selfish Giant (3:30)

5… Oscar Theme from Wilde (4:22)

6… Silver Stream (3:25)

7… Fields of Hope Theme from Land Girls (2:50)

8… Joe & Diana Theme from Upper Hand (3:02)

9… Ray of Sunshine Theme from Children’s Hospital (3:04)

10… Succession Theme from The Throne (3:28)

11… Mists of Edbrook Theme from Haunted (3:10)

12… Journey of a Lifetime Theme from Joanna Lumley’s Nile (2:26)

13… Travels With Uncle Sam Theme from Stephan Fry in America (3:06)

14… Affairs Current Theme from The Andrew Marr Show (2:00)

15… Man of Law Theme from Judge John Deed (2:58)

16… Peacekeeper Theme from Warriors’ (3:50)

17… Occupation Theme from The Promise (3:38)

18… The Quiet Room (3:14)

19… The Honeymoon’s Over Theme from Tom & Viv (4:34)

20… Echoes of Carmilla Theme from Lesbian Vampire Killers

21… Fall of the Last Barrier Theme from Flood (3:42)

22… Christina’s Minuet Theme from Haunted (3:37)

Total Time is 79:30

Warner Bros. Classics 2564-67188-8


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