Thursday, October 27, 2022

Album Review: Isle of Shadows by Christopher Boscole

Review by Candice Michelle 

Kauai, Hawaii resident, pianist and composer Christopher Boscole first came to my attention with his highly-praised 2016 album Skipping on Daisies, which was soon followed up by his equally outstanding album Soul Dreams in 2017 – both of which were comprised of original new age-style solo piano compositions. His 13th album, Isle of Shadows: A New Age of Classical Piano, revisits the style and theme of his 2014 release, A New Age of Classical Piano, consisting of classical-style solo piano renditions of both renowned and lesser-known pieces by several classical composers.

Comprised of twelve compositions spanning approximately 56 minutes – including eleven renditions and one original composition – the pieces rendered on Isle of Shadows were selected from among composers Gabriel Fauré, Frédéric Chopin, Ludwig van Beethoven, Selim Palmgren, Claude Debussy, Johann Sebastian Bach, Scott Joplin, and Robert Schumann.

Opening with “Romance Sans Paroles in Ab major, Op. 17 No. 3” by French composer Fauré, the elegant piece creates a softly romantic mood that paints scenic images of rural cottages and pastel garden blossoms. Shifting into a more evening setting, Chopin’s delicate and airy “Nocturne in Eb Major, Op. 9 No. 2” follows with alternating waltzing and ballet-like twirls.

The fifth track, “Pavane Op. 50”, another piece by Fauré, is one of my personal favorites that will be familiar to many listeners. Lulling, mysterious and unquestionably timeless, it has enjoyed many stylistic reworks in modern times, spanning genres of trance, chillout, orchestral, and of course solo piano, as beautifully rendered here.

Equally enchanting is the seventh track, “Sonata No. 14 in C-Sharp Minor, Op. 27 No. 2 “Moonlight”: I. Adagio sostenuto” by Beethoven, or as it is more famously known: “Moonlight Sonata”, an unmistakably haunting, sensuous and somewhat somber piece.

Concluding the album is a Boscole original titled “Until We Meet Again”, which effortlessly bridges the classical with the contemporary for an expressively cascading and mellifluous performance!

~Candice Michelle for Auralscapes 

For more information, please visit Christopher Boscole's website. Isle of Shadows is also available at Amazon, Apple Music and more.