Chalk up two more enthusiastic and perceptive RAVE reviews (along with 5-star ratings) of Mark Abel’s The Dream Gallery at Amazon.com. All four customer reviews posted there thus far have been relentlessly positive – and for varied reasons (click to see my recent post about the first two).
One of the two latest reviewers, Martha Larkin, observed that Abel’s work stretches not only the “conventional definitions of ‘classical’ ” (quoted from the liner notes), but also noted that it “stretches the very concept of art-song, and in a most innovative way.” She goes on to suggest that “Abel’s vivid and poetic lyrics … are so resonant, in fact, that they may overshadow his musical achievements” – which she describes in turn as “consistently interesting and at times grabs you by the lapels” – certainly no faint praise.
But perhaps the most telling commentary comes from another musician: Dave Bass, a well-respected jazz pianist (also a lawyer and deputy California Attorney General). I think it’s a reasonable assumption that the work of any musician can be best understood and appreciated by other musicians — and it shows in Bass’s commentary. After stating that the “challenge to combine sophisticated music and words by a single composer has seldom been successfully met,” he names a select short list of major artists who have met that challenge (Richard Wagner, Irving Berlin, Cole Porter, Bob Dylan, the Beatles, Stephen Sondheim and Leonard Cohen, among others) — while speculating that “Abel may well join their ranks.” He then proceeds to lay out a limited musical analysis of one of Abel’s songs, using specific musical characteristics (key relationships, intervals, stylistic devices, etc.) that most musicians can take to a piano and hear for themselves.
But don’t just take my word for it. Check out the complete reviews, right HERE – and see for yourself how authoritative and convincing the best reviews can be. We at Delos knew all along that we had found something totally original and extra-special in Mark Abel’s wondrous work. Still, it’s great to find that the musical public (AND accomplished musicians) agree with us – and that they have said so with such eloquence and resounding conviction!
So then…several well-qualified and sensitive reviewers have spoken. When are you going to break down and get YOUR copy?!?