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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
on 19 February 2013
"Long awaited" is very true in this case given that Godfrey's only previous solo album dates back to 1973. It's also an accurate description given that this disc of piano music was originally supposed to have been released a year ago. The end result is very satisfying and much, much better than his recent collaborations with the other members of the Enid.
Cogenhoe Gallivant is partly new material, partly Freelance Human from the Enid album Tripping the Light Fantastic, and all wonderful. English Rhapsody is an arrangement for piano and orchestra of Nocturne from White Goddess and in my opinion (despite some rather brash orchestral sounds) surpasses the original. The Mirror of Love is really The Lovers, with one of Godfrey's almost obligatory name changes. Five Gemstones consists of short piano solos which have not been developed into longer pieces. We are back to piano and orchestra with Intermezzo, which is an arrangement of The Biscuit Game from Light Fantastic. A piano version of The Art of Melody from Journey's End completes the new material and all bar the Gemstones are absolutely first class.
So why no fifth star? Partly because if you discount the final two pieces on the disc, which are live versions of tracks already featured and were previously released on the Enid/CBSO double live CD, the running time is under 40 minutes. More importantly excellent though the pieces are there is not much in the way of new compositions here which suggests to me that RJG is not writing much these days; his hand has been decreasingly evident on the last two Enid studio albums.
The Art of Melody is trailed as the first in a series of RJG piano albums. Let us hope the next one features not only magical reworkings of the glorious past but also modern day compositions to rival them.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on 20 February 2013
Having heard a few clips and a couple of early mixes I was prepared for a good listening experience, and this album delivers, but so much more than that too.

Simply described, it's a masterpiece.

Robert's composition and playing is technically brilliant, but whilst they are at this standard, it's the emotional roller-coaster experience of listening that really takes hold.

You forget that in classical arena, Robert is a relative unknown, and just immerse yourself in the melodies, the themes, the counterpoints, and the crescendos.

To say that this album has been delayed for a year it is very worth the wait and you can tell the care and attention to detail that has gone into the whole production.

The covernote says that it is the first of a series, so the rest are now eagerly anticipated.

In the meantime Art of Melody will be listened to at home, in the car, wherever. Friends and family will also be subjected to it too.

If this gets the Classic FM/Radio3 airplay with the right promotion and coverage, it should bring Robert much more into public appreciation and swell the coffers suitably - as is totally deserved.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on 19 February 2013
We have been waiting a long time for Robert John Godfrey to release an album of his piano compositions, but The Art of Melody proves that a good thing is well worth waiting for.

RJG has taken some themes familiar to his followers and expanded on them to bring an album of rare beauty. His accompanying orchestrations perfectly compliment his piano playing. Hopefully this will gain him a wider audience and establish him once and for all amongst the greatest composers of his generation with the Classic FM and Radio 3 afficiandos.

This is a must-have for everyone who loves piano music and for all fans of Robert John Godfrey and his band The Enid.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on 20 February 2013
I was introduced to the music of The Enid about 21 years ago when I heard `Chaldean Crossing' from the Godfrey & Stewart album "The Seed and the Sower". I was immediately smitten with the quality of the composition and orchestration of the music which was achieved by this often overlooked musician, who is Mr Robert John Godfrey.
Although not too fond of The Enid's more raucous pieces, I have maintained that Godfrey's compositions lend themselves to being played by piano and orchestra. I refer to the beautiful rhapsody "The Mirror of Love" (previously known as `The Lovers'), a piece which I think Sergei Rachmaninov would be pleased to call his own. It is noticeable that when you compare the studio version to that when played with the CBSO, the emotions evoked are markedly increased.
It was delightful to hear the re-worked versions of some of my favourites such as `Freelance Human', `Nocturne' and `The Biscuit Game', as well the five new short motifs which no doubt will be developed in due course.
I would certainly recommend this album to any serious music lover.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on 20 February 2013
It's been a long time coming, but now we can understand why.
Robert John Godfrey has been painstakingly honing this album to perfection.

What we now have is a splendid album of note perfect piano music with some wonderful orchestral accompaniment.

Described as romantic, this is no Richard Clayderman type effort. Far from it.
Robert performs his own compositions, a mix of reworked themes from his music with The Enid along with influences from the classical greats.

Listen to this and discover how the intensity and passion of romance can be interpreted musically.

Pure genius.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on 17 February 2013
Magnificent. Utterly Brilliant. Moving. Heartfelt. Passionate. Subtle. Retrospective.

Is that enough words yet, because this album needs words like fish need bikes. BUY NOW.....

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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on 20 February 2013
Yes, we've waited a long time, but this cd was well worth the wait. O.K. many of the tracks are indeed re-workings, but this has improved the music immeasurably. Some stunning orchestral arrangements lift this to where it should be - a fine example of an under-rated British composer who should now be appreciated more. Can't wait for BOOK 2 !
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on 14 November 2015
Grated a bit; nowhere near as "melodic" as his earlier work with The Enid (especially "Aerie Faerie Nonsense"). I get the feeling that Robert is taking himself a bit too seriously - and probably wants everyone else to. Incidentally, there is a phrase in track 7 ("The Mirror Of Love") that's been lifted from an "Enid" album (this time, "The Lovers" from their first, "In The Region Of The Summer Stars" where each track takes its title from a tarot card). Fans will recognise it, but they'll have to sit through a lot of heavyweight keyboard exercises before they get to it. Godfrey is a good pianist but, as I said, is perhaps taking himself a bit too seriously.
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on 16 September 2014
Simply brilliant. Robert thoroughly deserves his place in the classic fm hall of fame.
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