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Good Days At Schloss Elmau

Good Days At Schloss Elmau

7 Jan 2011

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Product details

  • Original Release Date: 7 Jan 2011
  • Label: ACT Music
  • Copyright: 2011 ACT
  • Total Length: 58:26
  • Genres:
  • ASIN: B004HZEVNG
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 48,405 in MP3 Albums (See Top 100 in MP3 Albums)

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

17 of 17 people found the following review helpful By Ruth Sharville on 17 Jan 2011
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
The disc is playing as I write. It's gorgeous. "These are the good days" (track 1) says it all.

I am familiar with Gwillym Simcock's style and soundworld, and for me this album could be by no-one else. It starts up-beat and almost funky, but is more often wistfully languid and soulful, Although his sleevenote says most of the music was "composed" for this album, there is a real sense of improvisation playing a major part, which is totally in keeping with this wonderful musician. I keep picking up hints of "And then she was gone" - one of Gwilym's most memorable melodies to date, in track 6 "Can we still be friends?" - but this is not a criticism; it just places the music as that of the artist alone. Gwilym Simcock has a rare ability to bring to being melodies of haunting beauty, without resorting to schmaltz. He rarely strays into the atonal (maybe a bit in track 7, the very improvisatory "Wake-up call"), but certainly runs the gamut of all keys available (piano keys as well as tonal ones!), often in the same piece of music.

Gwilym Simcock is an all-round comsummate musician, steeped in the tradtions not only of jazz but of classical repertoire as well. If you know his work, you will love this album. If you haven't "met" him yet, and you love good music and fabulous piano playing, give this disc a go!

My one tiny, tiny gripe? Half the sleevenote is in English, and half in German, and my very limited German tells me that one is not a translation of the other, but totally different information.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By The Wolf TOP 100 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 30 Jan 2011
Format: Audio CD
"Nimble Fingers" doesn't quite define him! Gwilym Simcock
is a pianist with twenty fingers (or so it seems) and power
to spare! His new album 'Good Days At Schloss Elmau' finds
him playing on and around and inside the keyboard with
gleeful abandon, controlled fury and delicate whimsicality.

There are eight pieces in the set and given time to work
their magic it is hard to not respond to Mr Simcock's
persuasive musical world-view. This is music which
balances light and dark in equal measure. The rolling
arpeggios of 'Mezzotint', for example, sweep us along
on a tide of ever-evolving melodic mayhem. Although there
is very little overall dynamic development in the piece the
emotional hub of the thematic material holds us spellbound.

The subtle fluid blues of 'Gripper' delivers a mercurially
confident right-hand melody against a shadowy left-hand
ostinato. The resulting tension is beautifully sustained.

There is a wordless song of sorts at work in 'Northern Smiles'.
The percussive melodic lines slip and slide in the air like a
tense conversation between two lovers. The final crescendo builds
into a truly thrilling coda which desolves in the final bars into
an ambiguous and enigmatic resolution. Stirring stuff indeed!

'Can We Still Be Friends' is the longest piece in the collection.
An introspective and deeply melancholy series of reflections whose
reigned-in mixture of tension and affection touches the sublime.

Final track 'Elmau Tage' would not sound out of place among Leos
Janacek's magical solo piano compositions. Fluid, lyrical and
strangely affecting it brings the album to a bitter-sweet close.

Hands in the air please for Mr Simcock's radiant gift!

Highly Recommended.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Sheila on 15 April 2011
Format: Audio CD
I came across Gwilym Simcock whilst watching the Andrew Marr Show on the BBC.
He was the guest musician at the end of the show.
The piece he played was an old favourite of Stevie Wonders and I was totally captivated.
This prompted me to purchase his lateest CD collection and I wasn't dissappointed.
The varied tones and moods of the pieces was a pleasant surprise as very often I have found that a CD by one musician can be very samey.
As you take the journey with Gwilym you are transported to another world and can only envy him the time spent at Schloss Elmau.

I have recommended it to my son as he composes similar type of modern jazz to inspire him. His reaction was amazing and he is now an avid fan.
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Gwilym is a legendary pianist and this recording is amazing

you need to concentrate to make the most of it and then you a re taken away by the sheer skill
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