Paul Halley,
Triptych
(Pelagos, 2000)

The music on Triptych is incredibly beautiful. The sounds of the piano, organ and harpsichord blend together wonderfully. Paul Halley has done a wonderful job composing and playing these songs. The liner notes also add background to the songs, and are worth reading.

Paul Halley plays all three instruments on the CD and as I have already said, he is good.

The CD starts off with "Rejoicing," which is the only song it takes me a while to get into. I find the exuberance of the music hard at first, but easier to take later on. "The Jig is Up" is a quieter piece that soars and at times you can tell it is a jig.

"Middle Earth" is a beautiful piano solo that gently drifts across the stage to the listener. In "Toccata Andromeda" the music slides gracefully from instrument to instrument without losing a beat. And the music flies, climbing, diving, soaring and spiraling right to the last note. The tempo changes for "Maris Stella," an elegant and loose poem that is a joy to listen to.

Celtic folk tunes form the frame for "Outer Hebrides," a solo piece for the organ. At times the organ almost captures the sound of the bagpipes perfectly. "Shores of Ironbound" is a folky song of sea, land and mist. "My Lady Sarabande" is a pseudo-Tudor piece that flows around and covers several different settings of music (i.e., formal entrances and ballroom dances).

"Sands of Time" is a song of hope that looks forward to the future and respects the past. It is a gentle song that quietly says what it has to say. "The Breughel Boys" is a loud dance in the country, but employs the music from a ballroom dance. Then comes another poem in the form of "Evening Song." The CD closes off with "Requiem for Dmitri," a poem of remembrance that is tinged with sorrow and love.

Triptych is full of beautiful music that goes down easy. Take the time to sit back and enjoy this fine vintage of music.

[ by Paul de Bruijn ]
Rambles: 10 August 2001



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