Ralph Zurmühle | Reflections

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Reflections

by Ralph Zurmühle

"Zurmühle’s music explores the sonority of the piano masterfully and reaches a technical and artistic dimension only achievable by the finest contemporary piano works." – YAMAHA Spain
Genre: Classical: Piano solo
Release Date: 

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  Song Share Time Download
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1. La Plana
9:15 $0.99
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2. My Father's Eyes
5:11 $0.99
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3. Deep Waters
10:09 $1.98
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4. The Oracle
6:06 $0.99
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5. Chimes for Tsuyo (Hibakusha, Nagasaki)
4:12 $0.99
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6. Under the Old Oak Tree
10:48 $1.98
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7. Mimou
4:22 $0.99
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8. Dreamesque
12:26 $1.98
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9. At the Threshold
5:53 $0.99
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.

ABOUT THIS ALBUM


Album Notes
Ralph Zurmühle, Swiss composer and pianist, discovered his natural ability for the piano at the age of five. He fostered his talent over decades with jazz and classical music training in Zurich and Liechtenstein. His 6 CDs, composed in the genre of contemporary post-classical piano, have been met with international critical acclaim and received multiple nominations and awards.

"25 years after the glory days of the solo piano genre sparked by artists like Keith Jarrett and George Winston, the solo piano album remains an elusive undertaking: very easy to do - very hard to do well. Swiss pianist RALPH ZURMÜHLE is one of those rare artists, who does it sublimely well, with great sensitivity to touch, melody, and ambience. Listen and you will find yourself in the hands of a master." Stephen Hill, Producer of Hearts of Space Radio

"As it is with great music, Zurmühle's music creates silence. We are left in silence, silence opens around us. And within this vast desert, a journey begins, a journey of adventure and discovery, but also a journey of return." - Andrés Ibáñez, classical music critic of ABC, Madrid

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Reviews


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Kathy Parsons

From MainlyPiano
Since I listen to so many piano recordings, I have a lot of favorite pianist/composers, but if I had to give a short list of my top ten favorites, Ralph Zurmuhle would certainly be on that list. The Swiss-born composer has the most expressive, magical touch on the piano keys and creates music that is equally expressive and magical. "Reflections" is Zurmuhle’s fifth album to date, following his 2011 "eQuinox." Zurmuhle has been composing film music for about twenty years, and his music can say so much with a minimum number of notes. Subtle yet very passionate, Ralph Zurmuhle simply takes musical artistry to its highest level. When composing, he combines the fluidity and freedom of improvisation with refinement and development, giving his music the best of both. Most of the music on Reflections is on the slow, introspective side, but when a piece requires a faster touch or more dramatic expression, it’s there. A one-word evaluation of this album would be “WOW!!!”

"Reflections" begins with “La Plana,” a nine-minute exploration that slowly and gracefully tells a story of great beauty and peace - a true reflection. This album is dedicated to Zurmuhle’s father and the second track is a loving tribute called “My Father’s Eyes.” Zurmuhle paints a musical portrait of a man with a sparkle in his eyes, a light-hearted good humor, and a zest for life (my own interpretation, of course!). “Deep Waters” is amazing. Clocking in at a bit over ten minutes, it tells a vivid story of vastness, dark mystery, perhaps an element of danger, and many other moods and motions of the ocean. A jazzy section could be light dancing on the water or lively sea life or maybe just the movement of the ocean current. The last couple of minutes become much more peaceful and calming - beautiful! “The Oracle” has a very Middle Eastern flavor that is both dark and intense. Zurmuhle’s incredible technique and mastery of the piano is especially apparent in this piece - what control and expression! “Chimes For Tsuyo (Hibakusha, Nagasaki)” has a mournful and tragic tone that continues to haunt long after the piece is over. “Under the Old Oak Tree” is a blissful daydream set to music. Warm, soothing, and very relaxing, it’s a gentle massage for the mind. The 12 1/2 minute “Dreamesque” is my favorite track. A repeated rhythmic pattern gives the piece a hypnotic pulse while the other hand is fluid and unpredictable - sometimes melodic, sometimes ethereal, sometimes barely a whisper. Breathtaking!

If you are new to Ralph Zurmuhle’s music, "Reflections" is a great place to start! Sure to be one of my Favorites for 2014, and I give it my highest recommendation. Again, WOW!!!
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Andrés Ibañez

An exquisite feeling of awareness, responsibility, contemplation, awe, nostalgia
“We cannot see our reflection in running water…” This old Taoist proverb is the motto of Ralph Zurmühle’s newest CD. But movement, a very swift, intriguing, flowing movement, seems to be the key motive in most pieces on this album. Take, for instance, the intensely beautiful “Dreamesque.” This piece seems to be turning, turning in front of our ears and eyes like a silvery ball which slowly, deliberately reflects our features and then moves on to shining lights, lost places, desolate spaces, imaginary landscapes, half-remembered rooms, and then to our faces again, turning slowly, always turning. This music transmits an exquisite feeling of awareness, responsibility, contemplation, awe, nostalgia. The whole CD is trembling with this feeling of nostalgia for a lost realm. It feels at times as if the piano was not really an instrument, but rather, a voice. It is impossible to express with words what this voice is saying, but it pierces the heart and heals the wound at the same time.
The pieces on this album are composed with intense care and refinement, obviously stemming from long sessions of improvisation at the piano and maintaining the intuitive feeling of improvised music. They possess the hypnotic quality of natural phenomena: a burning fire, a flowing stream, birches moved by the wind, and one listens to them as easily and devoutly as one would listen to or contemplate nature. Full of subtle changes of tempo and nuance, Reflections is Ralph Zurmühle’s strongest effort to date. A very personal statement, deeper and perhaps even more varied than anything Zurmühle has ever tried before. Listen to it and you will surely remember what you did not know you had forgotten.” (Andrés Ibáñez, classical music critic of ABC, Madrid)
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