Mark John McEncroe | Reflections & Recollections, Vol. 1

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Reflections & Recollections, Vol. 1

by Mark John McEncroe

 Musical Images For Piano, a collection of solo piano music for relaxation and easy listening to transport the listener on a journey of reflection and recollection.
Genre: Classical: Piano solo
Release Date: 

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  Song Share Time Download
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1. A Lazy Summer's Afternoon
5:11 $0.99
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2. Andante Moderato
6:40 $0.99
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3. Dancing in the Light
5:07 $0.99
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4. A Fish With the Blues
6:47 $0.99
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5. The Gargoyle Fountain
4:59 $0.99
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6. Ghosts from the Past
6:27 $0.99
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7. Introspective Moments
4:34 $0.99
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8. Ripples On the Still Water
5:00 $0.99
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9. Shades of Autumn
8:05 $0.99
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10. Shadows in the Water
5:05 $0.99
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11. Shadows of an Old Memory
6:08 $0.99
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12. The Calling
3:28 $0.99
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13. The Pendulum
4:13 $0.99
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.

ABOUT THIS ALBUM


Album Notes
Reflections and Recollections - Volume 1 is the first of several intended volumes of work. As a composer
I regard my pieces more like “musical paintings”, and have been greatly inspired particularly by the French Impressionist period. Like a lot of paintings, most of my material has existed as preliminary sketches which keep changing and developing over time. As Claude Monet was greatly inspired by his magnificent garden, I too have used my modest Japanese Koi pond/Bonsai courtyard garden as a setting for my pieces. Hence the references to water, shadows, climate, fish, etc. The idea behind these offerings is to express my recollections of my life experiences framed using garden setting references. These pieces are not intended to further the boundaries of musical innovation, or to showcase virtuosity, but basically to transport the listener/player on a reflection and recollection journey of their own.

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Reviews


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Meriel Owen

A melange of inspirations from folk-song to Satie
CD REVIEW: Reflections & Recollections Vol. 1 and Reflections and Recollections Vol. 2, Mark John McEncroe

These two volumes of piano music are presented by Wirripang in an attractive cover with biographical notes and dedications to those mentors who provided guidance and encouragement to the composer.

The titles of each item reflect the nostalgia of past experiences combined with nature. As teaching material, they are pleasant works suitable for "Own Choice" works in eisteddfod and examination programmes, from about 6th Grade standard and above. The scores are available to download from the Wirripang website [http://australiancomposers.com.au/authors/mark-mcencroe].

As models for compositional techniques they could also be valuable. Often improvisatory in structure, and even hypnotic as well as melancholic at times, they provide a range of imagery and expression to provide listening pleasure.

A melange of inspirations from folk-song to Satie and even 21st Century harmonic trends are recognisable in this collection.
The works are performed by Helen Kennedy; Volume 1 includes 13 works and Volume 2 includes 11 works.
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Kathy Parsons

From MainlyPiano
"Reflections & Recollections, Vol. 1" is the debut recording by Australian composer Mark John McEncroe and is promised to be the first of a series. Volume 1 contains thirteen original piano solos performed by Helen Kennedy, a pianist who has concertized internationally and who has been McEncroe’s piano teacher since 1999. Much of McEncroe’s music is inspired by the French Impressionist period, and while it is complex and free, it isn’t as demanding as the music of Debussy or Ravel. The idea behind McEncroe’s composing style is to express his recollections of his life experiences using a garden setting (his koi pond/bonsai courtyard) with references to water, shadows, climate, fish, etc. Without intending to “further the boundaries of musical innovation or to showcase virtuosity,” McEncroe hopes to transport listeners to a “reflection and recollection” journey of their own. While most of the music on this album is slow and graceful, there is a very interesting variety of styles and approaches from Baroque to blues. A retired chef, McEncroe does a lovely job of blending and balancing his sonic ingredients, creating a tasty and satisfying musical dish.

"Reflections & Recollections, Vol. 1" begins with “A Lazy Summer’s Afternoon,” a gently flowing piece that expresses a peaceful kind of warmth that refreshes both heart and soul - a beautiful start! “Andante Moderato” a multi-movement work with a strong Baroque influence in its structure and constant movement. This is one of my favorites to play from the companion sheet music book, and I really enjoy listening to it as well. I love the title “A Fish With The Blues” almost as much as I like the song! A variety of themes combine to make a descriptive piece that is fun to listen to while occasionally tugging at the heartstrings. “Ghosts From the Past” is another favorite. Reflective and haunting, it expresses many moods and thoughts with grace and deep emotion. “Introspective Moments” is a lovely slow waltz with a dreamy lilt. “Shades of Autumn” weaves a variety of moods, thoughts, and feelings into a tapestry of sound that expresses the beginnings and endings that occur in autumn along with the changes of season. “Shadows In the Water” moves slowly and expressively, never hurried or anxious - very soothing. “The Pendulum” has a free-form right hand over a repeated left hand pattern, reflecting on how time continues to move at the same pace no matter what we’re doing (my interpretation, anyway!).

Mark John McEncroe is off to a great start with his newest career as a composer! "Reflections & Recollections, Vol. 1" is recommended to those who like their solo piano music with a strong classical influence.
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