Tickled by the Ivories

Not sure why it is, but there is something about piano music that I love on my stereo.

Played loud…!

My well thought-out excuse for the excessive volume is what I refer to as “realistic performance levels”. Somehow I don’t think anybody really buys in to that one. Hmmm…

It’s a combination of three things that really can make this music special, make it an event:

The first is the music itself, or the composer. Regardless of whether it’s classical music, jazz, new age. If the music is crap, then it just won’t fit the bill. Certainly this can be a bit subjective, as everyone has differing tastes.

The second ingredient is the musician – the human sitting on the bench doing the actual playing. Do they have the skill level and interpretive qualities to really bring out the best of what the composer penned to paper? No hacks allowed!

Factor number three is the sound. How good is the recording, in what type of venue was it recorded, and what is the quality of the instrument? Does it give you that “you are there” feeling?

Now I am going to point you to a few starter CDs so you can treat your ears to what I am describing. If you enjoy what you hear, you can expand from there.

For jazz, let’s go with a couple of the piano masters:

For classical music, I will keep things mainstream to start:
For new age music: