Title - 'A Soft Message To You'
Artist - The Napa Valley Duo
A Soft Message To You (out now via IAC Records) is the debut album of The Napa Valley Duo, a cello/piano duo that resides and performs throughout the famous Napa Valley wine growing region in the state of California of the United States of America.
Jeffrey McFarland-Johnson, violoncello and Terry Winn, piano had worked together previously for eight years as public school instructors teaching language arts and social studies to sixth grade middle school students.
The duo met and practiced for three years before recording this incredible album. Indeed, on the day of the recording session, January 18th, 2016, The Napa Valley Duo laid tracks to forty-three pieces in nine hours time; recording double takes of each title.
This album contains twenty tracks gleaned from that memorable day; spliced, edited, mastered, and brought to your ears and soul in the most refined way possible.
1. 'A Soft Message To You' (3:28)
2. 'Zion's Walls' (2:23)
3. 'Quiet Now' (3:26)
4. 'Prelude-Sleepless Night' (2:57)
5. 'Clair de Lune' (5:21)
6. 'Etude Op.10 No.3' (2:08)
7. 'Beau Soir' (2:36)
8. 'Intermission' (:55)
9. 'Romance' (2:07)
10. 'Vissi d'arte, vissi d'amore' (3:03)
11. 'Pagliacci - Camino's Lament' (3:11)
12. 'Chimera' (2:40)
13. 'Etude Op.10 No.6' (1:49)
14. 'Nuit d'Etoiles' (3:07)
15. 'Vocalise' (Rachmaninoff) (:51)
16. 'Page d' Album' (1:57)
17. 'Vocalise' (Messiaen) (3:01)
18. 'Sicilienne' (2:51)
19. 'Valse Triste' (3:06)
20. 'A Tender Time' (2:27)
The stirringly beautiful, if not purposely hesitant title track is first and a wonderful way to introduce us to the band. The piano-led 'Zion's Walls' is beautiful to its core, and is followed seamlessly in the same vein by other tracks such as 'Quiet Now,' the passive 'Clair de Lune,' the exquisite 'Romance,' and both 'Vissi d'arte, vissi d'amore' and my own personal favorite on this album, 'Vocalise (Messiaen),' among others.
The premise of A Soft Message To You is to present to you, the listener, twenty variations of “soft messages” from numerous composers, time periods, and scenarios, that delivers to your muse the healing power of music in motion.
For, music is the conduit of the spirit, a discipline that was first taught as one of the seven primary subjects in the early medieval university, known as the trivium and quadrivium.
Ergo, this delightful album contains pieces which reflect soulful passages by: Debussy, Gershwin, Rachmaninoff, Messiaen, Denny Zeitlin (Bill Evans), Puccini, Chopin, Gershwin, Paradis, Gliere, Leoncavallo, Jeff Wood; and two compositions from the cellist, Jeffrey McFarland-Johnson, in conveying the essence of a soft message to the soul. Your soul.
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