Saturday, July 16, 2022

Album Review: A Southwest Story by Elizabeth Naccarato

Review by Lissette Cascante

I enjoy discovering new-to-me artists, music and places. Elizabeth Naccarato is a seasoned and accomplished pianist who has been perfecting her craft since she began piano lessons at the age of six. An example of a truly dedicated, focused and gifted musician, Elizabeth has numerous successful recordings and award nominations to her credit, garnering international critical acclaim. She has been active in theater, voice, acting, producing, composing, directing, and as a piano instructor.

Elizabeth Naccarato’s latest CD, A Southwest Story is her seventh album, released in July 2022. It was inspired by her love of the landscape and history of southern Colorado where she resides with her husband, the legendary New Age pianist and composer Michael Gettel (whose music I have also loved and enjoyed for many years.)

If you like listening to music that transports you to different places; immersing yourself in the culture and history, you will enjoy A Southwest Story as Elizabeth’s piano compositions take you on a guided tour of this culturally diverse and rich region of the Southwest United States of America. The album also features a variety of instruments such as Native Flute, English Horn, Bass, Violin, Accordion, Mandolin, and Guitar.

The first track on the album is titled “San Luis”, a gentle melody for piano against a backdrop of exquisite Spanish guitar and nostalgic mandolin accompaniment, honoring the oldest continuously inhabited town in Colorado established in 1851. The town has retained much of its religious, cultural, and artistic traditions from long-ago Spanish settlers. The beauty of the mountains and the fertile valley reminded them of Spain and beckoned them to stay.

The San Luis Valley is home to some of the country’s remaining wild horses. The strength and grace of these majestic creatures is fancifully portrayed in “Wild Horses“ the second track, a delightful allegro embellished with skillful piano fingering and featuring vibrant percussion which add a dramatic flair.

“Sacred Land“ is a lovely ensemble for piano, violin and featuring Nancy Rumbel on Native Flute; quietly recalling the spiritual depth and ancient history of the Native American people and their reverence for the land.

More creative, delightful tunes follow such as “Mi Hito, No!“ (although I respectfully suggest a correction on the spelling of the second word to “Hijito“), and others highlighting the region’s unique blend of cultures, music and peoples through the ages.

From whimsical tunes to waltzes to classical covers of Spanish composers to reverent pieces honoring religious traditions of old, and slow dreamy solo piano sequences reflecting on the region’s beauty and the natural elements, A Southwest Story offers a relaxing and uplifting “auralscape“ to a fascinating place.  

~Lissette Cascante for Auralscapes 

For more information please visit the artist's website. A Southwest Story is also available at Amazon, iTunes, and more.