Ardor is the 11th studio album from pianist-composer Matthew Mayer, and follow-up to his children’s album Art, which earned him a Parents Choice Award. A pioneering supporter of piano music, Matthew is the owner and founder of SoloPiano™, an internationally renowned website and online station that features over 300 piano artists from around the world. Comprised of 12 solo piano compositions spanning 43 minutes, Ardor is an exquisite album of both emotional reflection and expression, which gracefully unfolds among a soundscape of personal moods and scenic settings throughout.

“Stars on 123” opens the album in a somewhat pensive mood, proceeding along in a gentle manner with light exertion on the keys. The title piece, “Ardor”, follows next, a minor key rumination that subtly shifts from gentle pauses in the shadows to delicate, dance-like movements in the sunlight. My favorite piece on the album is “Source of Blue”, another minor key composition in a characteristically minimalist style. Hauntingly emotive yet perfectly understated, this mesmerizing piece seemingly conveys a stirring sense of nostalgia and heartfelt longing. “Escape” is another minor key composition in a definitively neo-classical fashion. Likewise, supremely lovely, it flows continuously in a hurried manner like that of a cascading river. Striking a careful balance throughout between the major-key pieces (like “Dreams VI” and “We Met Once”) and minor key passages, Matthew demonstrates his expertise at creating the perfect mood for each composition with his skilled approach to tempo and playing dynamics.

Elegantly arranged with a beautiful simplicity, Ardor is another impressive album from this supremely talented composer, which will likely appeal, especially, to fans of fellow pianists George Winston and Michele McLaughlin! ~Candice Michelle

Links & Purchase: Matthew Mayer, Amazon, iTunes, CD Baby, Google Play

 

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