Marge Adler | Balm in Gilead: 12 Meditations for Piano

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Classical: New Age New Age: Meditation Moods: Featuring Piano
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Balm in Gilead: 12 Meditations for Piano

by Marge Adler

Honored as UNSIGNED RECORDING ARTIST of the MONTH by KEYBOARD Magazine. \"Beautiful, like nothing else out there\" raves JIM BRICKMAN. Relax, be inspired by a stunning mix of classical/traditional/Broadway done flawlessly by a pianist with at least 3 hand
Genre: Classical: New Age
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  Song Share Time Download
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1. In Evening Air
7:55 $0.99
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2. As If I Could Reach Rainbows
3:56 $0.99
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3. Rock My World
8:54 $0.99
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4. Which Would Also Include Spain
2:20 $0.99
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5. The Haze of Romance
5:30 $0.99
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6. Lost in the Stars
4:55 $0.99
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7. Audio Filter
2:26 $0.99
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8. Where or When
6:38 $0.99
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9. Sweet Wilderness
4:54 $0.99
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10. For My Dad, of Blessed Memory
6:47 $0.99
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11. All Through the Night
8:11 $0.99
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12. Non Sto Comportandomi in Modo Errato
3:05 $0.99
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.

ABOUT THIS ALBUM


Album Notes
WHERE ELSE CAN YOU HEAR a wonderfully creative, critically-acclaimed pianist playing \"IN THE WEE SMALL HOURS OF THE MORNING\" (the theme from SLEEPLESS IN SEATTLE), inspirational melodies from around the world, songs of (musical theatre composers) STEPHEN SONDHEIM and JACQUES BREL, quotes of J.S. BACH and RAVEL, and more, all woven together on the same CD?

\"I\'m blown away by this CD -- beautifully conceived and stunningly performed -- I don\'t know when I\'ve loved a solo piano album more!,\" raves BILL RUDMAN, nationally syndicated radio personality.

\"BALM IN GILEAD: 12 MEDITATIONS FOR PIANO\" inspires a re-energizing calm in the midst of our busy days, and I PROMISE YOU WON\'T FEEL LIKE YOU\'RE STUCK ON AN ELEVATOR, LISTENING TO MUSAK. The CD will remain fresh every time you listen to it.

MORE ABOUT THE CD, from MARGE ADLER, pianist/arranger: Telling a new story without words is great fun. As an arranger and improviser, I\'m fascinated by ways that I can be inventive with sheet music, to make it \"say more.\"
To choose the music for this CD, I opened up my whole library, to create musical bridges between styles, between old and new, sacred and secular. You\'ll hear the music to well-known songs and those lyrics may run through your mind; if you\'re a Musical Theatre or Classical music buff, you\'ll hear some of those works done in new ways; and you\'ll hear some music that I just discovered too.

Back at the piano, I can change the chords underneath a melody to make it seem more magical. I imagine myself being an orchestra, and that gives me lots of colors to play with, through the whole range of the keyboard. I can expand on one song\'s message by connecting it with others in a medley. By combining music of different styles and traditions, I can say something to bring people together or I can go for some lighter comic relief.

Sometimes I can put a quote from one piece of music on top of another. Think of \"STARS AND STRIPES FOREVER\" (parody lyric by Glazer) at the big moment when the \"BE KIND TO YOUR FINE-FEATHERED FRIENDS, FOR THAT DUCK MAY BE SOMEBODY\'S MOTHER\" melody is matched with the famous piccolo line bouncing up and down. Fireworks go off, players stand up, the big American flag is revealed. Well, no such pageantry when the music is calmer, but I became dangerous when I realized, in a performance, that I could \"improve on\" the stately Pachelbel canon by superimposing \"Jolly Old Saint Nicholas.\" (And impose does seem the right word.) Try it at home on your piano -- it works! (WARNING: this is not generally welcomed by brides-to-be.)

It\'s a wonderful moment for me when an arrangement -- and a whole CD -- take shape, like a writer says of a story that is somehow written by its principal characters.

ABOUT MARGE ADLER, pianist/arranger ----
Critics have called MARGE \"a treasure with at least three hands\" [a trait which amuses her audiences as well as her husband] and \"worth the price of admission all by her lonesome.\" Some days take her from writing horn charts for Motown bands to being featured as pianist/arranger/cabaret performer on public radio broadcasts. Classically trained, Marge is an Award-winning Music Director of hundreds of musical theatre and cabaret shows.

When she served as Organist for the CLEVELAND INDIANS BASEBALL TEAM, she saw snow falling on the field, played Christmas carols and had 50,000 people singing; then she was interviewed on ESPN. There were days that season when on the freeway Marge literally changed hats for her next gig as harpsichordist in a Baroque chamber orchestra. (The theme from THE ADDAMS FAMILY might work at both, I suppose.)

Now, MORE ABOUT EACH OF THE 12 MEDITATIONS FOR PIANO:

1) PROLOGUE -- tunes of AARON COPLAND set the mood of a calm, clear night outdoors. \"THERE IS A BALM IN GILEAD\" helps to inspire the healing of a good night\'s rest. A prelude by J.S. BACH ties the medley together with a flowing line underneath.

2) \"AS IF I COULD REACH RAINBOWS\" -- this piano piece by DAVID BENOIT invites me to travel up and down the keyboard, and occasionally to encounter a double rainbow, in the form of other \"rainbow\" songs that I add in.

3) \"\'ROCK\' MY WORLD\" -- Keyboard works of J.S. BACH connect lullabies from different cultures (\"LULLY LULLAY\", \"RAISINS AND ALMONDS\") and also a tune from an American folk opera (\"THE TREES ON THE MOUNTAINS\" from CARLISLE FLOYD\'S SUSANNAH.)

4) \"-- WHICH WOULD ALSO INCLUDE SPAIN\" -- The POULENC \"NOVELETTE ON A THEME BY DE FALLA\" flows under a traditional Spanish/Hebrew cradle song, \"DURME DURME\".

5) \"THE HAZE OF ROMANCE\" -- \"I LOVED\", a French cabaret song by JACQUES BREL, tells of memories of a grand love affair, but finally the lover\'s name is forgotten. \"AFTER A DREAM,\" an art-song by GABRIEL FAURE, brings to mind the same blurry line between memory and fantasy.

6) \"LOST IN THE STARS\" -- this beautiful song by KURT WEILL is the only \"stand-alone\" song on the CD. Someone can enjoy a bright starry night but still feel isolated and vulnerable as they look up towards that vast wide-open space.

7) \"AUDIO FILTER\" -- Time for a 7th-inning stretch, time for some fun. (I won\'t give away the joke here -- it would spoil your fun of listening to it.)

8) \"WHERE OR WHEN\" -- this romantic ballad by RODGERS and HART, and \"ALL THE THINGS YOU ARE\" by JEROME KERN, each become more urgent when combined with more intense rhythms of STEPHEN SONDHEIM. Finding the ideal match in the Big City is a challenge -- everyone\'s hectic schedules, all the congestion, all the competition. \"LONELY HOUSE\", a song by KURT WEILL, and \"IN THE WEE SMALL HOURS OF THE MORNING\" describe the bleak feeling of being alone there late at night.

9) \"SWEET WILDERNESS\" -- this is a fable about learning to soar in one\'s own way \"A NIGHTINGALE SANG IN BERKELEY SQUARE\" is combined with SONDHEIM\'S \"GREEN FINCH AND LINNET BIRD\" (from SWEENEY TODD), to express the joy of singing rather than the frustration of being caged in. A quote from the MOTHER GOOSE SUITE by RAVEL helps me build to the moment of discovery in \"ANYONE CAN WHISTLE\" (also by SONDHEIM), to feel enough at ease that anyone can air their own voice.

10) \"FOR MY DAD, OF BLESSED MEMORY\" -- in \"IF I SING\" (MALTBY and SHIRE), a young pianist/composer can say thank you to his ailing, elderly father, also a pianist but one who prefers older Broadway tunes. Using this song as an instrumental, I can make it more personal -- I\'m the daughter of a great music lover, but Dad wasn\'t a piano player. He continues to be a voice to inspire me, and I\'m comforted to know he will \"never let me go.\"

11) \"ALL, THROUGH THE NIGHT\" -- I\'ve been so touched by the power of music to build bridges, between races, generations, cultures, faiths, even between denominations of the religions themselves. Finding musical common ground, I hope for healing and peace.

12) A BONUS TRACK -- again I won\'t spoil the fun by giving it away. Let\'s just say I change styles -- a lot.

SORRY, NO PACHELBEL on this CD -- but I promise you some GERSHWIN next time! THANKS FOR LISTENING, ENJOY THE CD.
AND THANK YOU FOR SPREADING THE WORD --WHICH MAKES YOU PART OF, YES, THE \"BALM SQUAD\" --- MARGE ADLER

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Reviews


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Kathy Parsons

An Auspicious Beginning!
“Balm In Gilead” is pianist Marge Adler’s debut CD, and is quite simply the most fascinating and well-played group of medleys I’ve ever heard. Combining classical music, show tunes, hymns, and just about anything else you can think of, Adler is ingenious, clever, and sometimes laugh-out-loud funny with her combinations and “layerings,” and yet all of the music fits together seamlessly and sounds completely right. A classically-trained pianist and award-winning music director for more than a hundred musical productions, Adler has even served as organist for the Cleveland Indians baseball team. She also plays harpsichord in a Baroque chamber orchestra, writes horn parts for Motown bands, and is a featured pianist/arranger/cabaret performer on public radio broadcasts. Her playing has the grace and naturalness of someone most at home in front of a keyboard, making this a standout CD from beginning to end.

The first medley is titled “In Evening Air (Prologue),” and contains a Bach prelude, “There is a Balm in Gilead,” and themes from “Appalachian Spring” and Humperdinck’s “Hansel and Gretel.” An utterly charming beginning, Adler’s quiet ease with these very diverse pieces piques the interest as it soothes the mind. “’Rock’ My World” uses a Bach sarabande and a minuet to connect “Lully Lullay” (“Coventry Carol”), “The Trees on the Mountains” from “Susannah,” and “Raisins and Almonds,” a Jewish lullaby. Very dark and Baroque throughout, this gorgeous and haunting medley is one of my favorites. “The Haze of Romance” is an elegant, heartfelt pairing of “I Loved” by Jacques Brel and “Faure’s “Apres un Reve.” “Dreamy and nostalgic, the two pieces complement each other perfectly. “Audio Filter” is an unlikely combination of “Stars and Stripes Forever,” the Brahms lullaby, “The Anvil Chorus,” and “The 1812 Overture”! Plotted as revenge for the thumping bass from a nearby car while stuck in traffic, this piece is a bit of genius that makes me smile each time I hear it. “All Through the Night” is a wonderful combination of eight pieces from a variety of cultures and traditions, compiled from a search for common ground. Blending the title song, “Shalom Rav,” “Dona Nobis Pacem,” “Silent Night,” “Sheep May Safely Graze,” a Bach prelude, “Threefold Amen,” and a reprise of Copland’s “In Evening Air,” Adler has created the ultimate lullaby, full of tender grace and peace. The closing “bonus track” is “Non Sto Comportandomi in Modo Errato,” which is Italian for “Ain’t Misbehavin’,” Fats Waller’s classic. Combined with a Chopin etude, and a little Mozart attitude, it’s a glorious way to end.

“Balm in Gilead” is indeed an auspicious debut, and is the most inventive collection of medleys I’ve ever heard. A delight for the ears and the soul, I highly recommend this CD.
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Margie Haines

Wonderful and calming. I loved it!
I am very glad I got this CD. It brings peace in this hectic time. I can be stressed and I put it on and it lifts me up immediately. Whether I am relaxing and reading or cooking a meal it fits perfectly. Thank you.
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Jeff Hager

This CD is simply sublime! Could sell for triple the price!
Balm in Gilead is exactly that, a balm to heal the soul. The music is woven in a tapestry that will have the listener coming back to hear something new each and every time it is played. Excellent for people working in cubicles to escape the stress of a busy workday. Tell your friends!
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bill rudman

beautifully conceived and stunningly performed -- BALM, indeed!
I am blown away by this work. The recording is beautifully conceived and stunningly performed. This is truly a healing CD -- BALM indeed! Marge proves herself a solo artist and arranger of the first rank. This is a work of distinguished artistry.
BILL RUDMAN, nationally syndicated radio broadcaster, FOOTLIGHT PARADE
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Diane Horton

Extraordinary, brilliantly conceived solo piano album.
I don't remember ever hearing such an album - so much layering of melody one on top of the other, interweaving melodies the average person wouldn't even think of putting together! It soothes, inspires, surprises and delights. And the sterling abilities of Marge Adler shine throughout.
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Peggy Titus-Hall, CPCC, ACC, Johns Creek, Georgia


You simply have to sit and listen to every note of Marge Adler’s “Balm in Gilead” so as not to miss a single note or any of the delightful musical nuances that pervade each track. They make you smile, laugh, and cry with each tune you recognize. They’re wonderfully clever, you want to hear more!
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Neal Szpatura

Masterful performance. Gentle, powerul healing. An instant favorite!
It only took one listening for "Balm In Gilead" to become a favorite and a regular in my home and car ~ and I'm someone who's usually most likely to listen to old recordings of the Byrds, or Native American chant, or symphonic pieces by Faure, Debussy or Vaughan Williams, rather than to solo piano.

Balm in Gilead is exactly what it says: gentle, powerful comfort and healing through sensitive and masterful performances of medleys of standards and classical pieces. Marge Adler is a truly superb pianist, and she knows how much music can offer during times of stress and distress. This CD is a gift. It is a beautiful, helpful source of respite, comfort and joy. I recommend it very highly. ~ Neal Szpatura,Shamanic Practitioner
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