Craig Urquhart | Songs Without Words

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United States - NY - New York City

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New Age: New Age Classical: New Age Moods: Featuring Piano
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Songs Without Words

by Craig Urquhart

A beautiful, mesmerizing meeting of Classical composition with New Age accessibility. Atmospheric, evocative tracks to stir the soul.
Genre: New Age: New Age
Release Date: 

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Tracks

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1. The Homecoming
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3:40 $0.99
2. The Prophet
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4:08 $0.99
3. The Acquisition of Wings
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3:55 $0.99
4. Lullaby
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6:09 $0.99
5. Waves
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3:38 $0.99
6. Gentle Wind
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4:22 $0.99
7. The Prairie
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3:27 $0.99
8. Fog Horns
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5:10 $0.99
9. Ocean Song
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7:20 $0.99
10. Vesper Hymn
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8:00 $0.99
11. The Dalliance of Eagles
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3:17 $0.99
12. Pas de Deux
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2:29 $0.99
13. Soliloquy
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3:02 $0.99
14. Radiance
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5:03 $0.99
15. Morning
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5:45 $0.99
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ABOUT THIS ALBUM


Album Notes
Composer/solo pianist Craig Urquhart creates rich melodic landscapes which blossom into dramatic journeys from the heart. Expressing his passion for the environment as well as a belief in the healing power of music, while drawing upon the influences of classical music's keyboard masters, Urquhart has become one of modern acoustic piano's most transcendent voices.

Urquhart's timeless sound and compositional focus has gradually shifted from academic classical music to a more lyrical personal voice. His music draws upon the influence of such iconic keyboard composers as Bach, Schumann, Mendelssohn, Chopin, Debussy, Satie and Copland, but Urquhart also considers pop/rock musicians Joni Mitchell, Laura Nyro, and Brian Eno as creative influences.

The composer's love of the piano began at age six, when he began taking piano lessons as a child growing up in Michigan; however he credits Leonard Bernstein's CBS series The Young People's Concerts with The New York Philharmonic as "literally educating a whole generation of kids about music, including myself."

Moving to New York City after receiving his Master's in Composition from the University of Michigan, Urquhart left some of his music with Bernstein's Manhattan doorman; the Maestro called Urquhart back, and the two became acquainted. In 1985 Urquhart was hired as Bernstein's musical assistant, and worked for Bernstein until the composer's death in 1990. He also served for ten years as a member of the music faculty at the Harlem School of the Arts, and was actor Tom Hulce's musical coach for the Academy Award winning film Amadeus.

Urquhart is also a well-known composer of American classical art songs, including musical settings of poems by Emily Dickinson and Walt Whitman. His songs have been performed and recorded by Thomas Hampson, Michael Slattery, Lauren Wagner, and other artists.

Urquhart has been actively involved in a wide array of social and environmental causes over the years, performing at the United Nations for National AIDS Awareness Day and Earth Day, as well as at benefit concerts for such organizations as the Tidewater AIDS Taskforce of Norfolk, Virginia, Momentum AIDS Project in New York and Bread & Roses AIDS hospice in Connecticut. His "The Wonder of Miracles" was choreographed by the Turtle's Dance Company for a memorial concert at the Cathedral St. John the Divine.

SHEET MUSIC of Urquhart's solo piano works is available for purchase through his website (www.craigurquhart.com).

PRESS QUOTES:

CRAIG URQUHART takes you even deeper into the possibilities of solo piano music... subtle as moonlight reflecting on ocean waves, yet [retaining] a thoughtfulness and elegance that betray [its] classical origins.
LINDA KOHANOV, Pulse Magazine

One of the finest independent pianists in America.
BRADLEY TORREANO, All Music Guide

One of new age's most transcendent voices.
PETER MANZI, New Age Voice Magazine

A beautiful addition to the collection of a fan who loves new age piano music.
JONATHAN WIDRAN, All Music Guide

A stunning collection of original piano solos, I give it my highest recommendation.
KATHY PARSONS, Solo Piano Publications

An inspiring listening experience that will touch your soul and water your eyes.
MICHAEL DEBBAGE, Wind and Wire

Wonderful!
RICHARD MAURO, Producer, Sacred World Music, KFCK-FM

Craig Urquhart's "On This Wondrous Sea" was especially effective.
ALLAN KOZINN, The New York Times
(From review of Lauren Wagner's song recital
at Carnegie Hall's Weill Recital Hall)

...notable for sensitive and knowing settings of the Whitman text.
David Hall
From STEREO REVIEW's review of Thomas Hampson's "To The Soul."

Solo piano at its most personal and heartfelt.
KATHY PARSONS, Solo Piano Publications

... simply excellent music... an exceptional CD!
NORVEL TROSST, Producer, "Soundspace," KPBX-FM,

An incredible pianist and artist... so delicate and gentle that it almost feels fragile - very, very beautiful.
KATHY PARSONS, Solo Piano Publications

...sensitive piano playing....
STEPHEN HILL, Hearts of Space

An exceptionally expressive pianist, giving his music a broad range of musical colors.
KATHY PARSONS, Solo Piano Publications


Reviews


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a customer

A CD of beautiful and relaxing solo piano music
This a is great CD to put on for a romantic time in front of a fire,.. or to read the Sunday New York Times with coffee...or for writing email or reading. Thoughtful, engaging but not too demanding. Would be great for massage too.

A music fan

Get in Touch with the Universe
Besides being a great composer/performer, Mr. Urquhart must be a trained naturalist. His compositions elegantly reflect nature's beauty. I listen to "Songs Without Words" when I want to get in touch with universe.

A music fan

The Music of Urquhart: Sheer Poetry
Music is many things to many people. What it is to everybody is a balm for the soul. And, indeed, in this harsh, all too fast and impersonal world of ours, Craig Urquhart's SONG WITHOUT WORDS provides an island where the listener can truly pause and find his peace. Each work, lasting between 2 and 1/2 to 6 minutes, offers us exquisite, tranquil beauty. How we have needed Urquhart's blessed pen and touching music in our chaotic times!
The titles of each work extol the beauties of nature and, clearly, the composer's love for the world around him: The Acquisition of Wings, Waves, Gentle Wind, The Prairie, Ocean Song, Radiance, Morning. We also have the great bonus hearing these works played by the composer himself--and what a marvelous pianist he is too! Urquhart performs with great sensitivity and deeply moving expression, invoking a wide range of color, light and texture. This is music to make us pause, think, be at peace and unite with the world around us, completely detached from worldly strife.

A music fan from Los Angeles, CA

Beautiful songs! Wordless beauties! Songs that sing!
These songs are so beautiful, they don't need words! If you don't know the work of Craig Urquhart, you're in for that rare thrill -- the discovery of a major talent!

A Music Fan from New York City

For classic Urquhart, this is the album for you
By using the sounds and rhythms of nature, especially the sea shore, this album offers a very expressive and often dramatic portrayal of the planet we call home. Rarely does one hear music that is this poetic and beautiful.

A music fan

Breathtaking, utterly hypnotic. A must for connoisseurs!
Craig Urquhart is a master pianist and composer. This should come as no surprise to the world of music - and its environs - as he was Leonard Bernstein's assistant during the last five years of the great maestro's life. It is now time for Mr. Urquhart to receive his due: A consummate performer, his playing touches the heart and soul of the human spirit. I turn to his music when I need enlightenment. Indeed, for a tremendously beautiful listening experience, it doesn't get much better than this!

Kathy Parsons, Solo Piano Publications

Highly recommended
“Songs Without Words” was Craig Urquhart’s first recording of original piano solos. For the most part, this album is much quieter and more understated than Urquhart’s later work. The titles of most of the fifteen songs have to do with nature, and the mood of the album is very calm and soothing....Urquhart is an incredible pianist and artist. “Lullaby” is so delicate and gentle that it almost feels fragile - very, very beautiful. “Gentle Wind” is also tranquil and serene like a warm spring breeze. “The Prairie” is livelier, almost dance-like. “Fog Horns” captures the mystery of being near the ocean in the fog - everything is soft, cool, gray, and very quiet. “Radiance” is a sparkling, twirling crystal shooting reflected light in all directions. I also really like “Pas de Deux” and “Soliloquy,” which are both soothing and elegant. “Songs Without Words” is a gorgeous collection of piano solos, and I highly recommend it.

Karen Gibson Roc

A rich sound that clings to your heart
I've always loved the piano, but this cd takes me to another plane- both mentally and spiritually. Fantastic work. A definite purchase.

KJON99FM

Songs Without Words, but With Heart
There's soft, softer, and softest. They are all found on this album. "The Acquisition of Wings" and "Lullaby" are the two best in this set. Very soothing and comforting.