Piano-Heaven Award Winner:

Exposure

Stephan Moccio

Bijou Records BR001

2006

www.stephanmoccio.com

 

 

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If there was an award for exemplary presentation of a CD, Stephan Moccio's debut album, "Exposure" would be a most deserving recipient. The stunning 24 page booklet contains contemporary, abstract pictures that capture the spirit behind each track. Accompanying the vibrant images, are lines of prose and poetry, which further enhance the listening experience, for the reader gains an empathetic understanding of the composer, and can therefore have a better appreciation of the often amazing music contained within the CD.

 

Of course, it would be no good at all if, after this build-up, the music was a let-down. Fortunately, the music itself is excellent. The CD opens with "October", the style of which very much reminds of the Italian pianist Ludovico Einaudi. It is a lovely, flowing piece, and gets the CD off to a great start. "Dukes" is another wonderful composition. Its slow tempo allows the music to develop in its own time, and the melody itself is very graceful.

 

The album's fourth track is a definite favourite. The slow melody of the curiously named "Ow" gradually reveals itself, and the music itself is of unparalleled beauty. It merges at the end with "Zephyr", illustrated with the following words of thought from the composer in the insert- "A soft gentle breeze that guards us from evil and allows hope to enter- We all need hope."

 

Track 6, "1972", is another popular choice when I am listening to this album. It has a very accessible melody. I also like "David's Whisper", and it seems that a figure from the past has offered a guiding hand in the creative process behind this track. It is a lovely piece.

 

f push came to shove, I think the CD's nineteenth track, "Gabrielle" would just about come out on top for me. The gorgeous, simple melody fades in, and the listener finds them self wishing the track would not come to an end.

 

Many of the tracks on this CD are short. It would be fair to say, each track is only as long as it needs to be. The standard is extremely high throughout. The compositions are recorded on a Yamaha piano, and the recording quality is excellent.

 

Kathy Parsons at MainlyPiano.com has also lavished praise on this outstanding musician. It is about time the world took notice.

 

Unbelievably, this is the Toronto-based pianist's debut solo album, although Stefan has been writing songs for the stars for many years. These include top-names such as Celine Dion ("A New Day has Come"), Sarah Brightman ("What You Never Know"), Josh Groban ("My Heart Was Home Again"), Olivia Newton-John and Hayley Westenra. From piano lessons at four, to winning music awards in his teenage years, to gaining a scholarship at the prestigious Berklee College of Music in Boston, it is little wonder that Stephan has achieved great success. He had a desire to return to his musical roots, and if this is the standard reached from a first attempt, it is fair to say Stephan Moccio's recording career looks very bright indeed. I give this album my highest recommendation.

 

Bravo, Stephan!

S.C.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Exposure

Stephan Moccio

 

 

 

 

 

 

Read a Piano-Heaven interview with Stephan Moccio by clicking here