Review: Malcolm Fisher – Balm Summer Music

Some may mock that a Scotsman wouldn’t know what Summer is but Glasgow-born Malcolm Fisher is now based in Italy and this latest instalment of seasonal homages celebrates what should be the sunniest time of year. True to form, the ex-French Impressionists man delivers his usual quota of piano-based melodies with customary class.

The general impression is music of a surprisingly melancholy nature, although it’s usually quite pretty too. The mood is gentle and soothing and promises the same amount of impending danger as a Yellow Pages advert. Neverthless, the ‘Prism’ sequence (which represents roughly half of nearly eighty minutes of instrumental music), contains a variety of extra touches to accompany the piano; a few tracks are filtered through or separated by a hazy shimmer and there’s plenty of times when you wish these miniatures would flourish into lengthier pieces. The second half of the CD, entitled ‘Theme And Variations’, is less cohesive and consequently some momentum is lost.

Despite the limited framework, Fisher still gets a lot of mileage out of his compositions. What surprises most, though, is the sad, reflective nature of the music given that this is traditionally the brightest time of year.

Web Sites:
Malcolm Fisher Official Site
Malcolm Fisher MySpace

Further Listening:
The French Impressionists, Erik Satie

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