Outstanding solo piano
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This is Dick Hyman's best CD because its repertoire allows him to show off his many skills as a pianist. Hyman has spent a lot of time delving into the piano styles and repertoires of the past. While a valuable historical exercise, this strategy has tended to minimize the range and depth of Hyman's talent. "In Recital" rectifies this problem magnificently. Hyman interprets a variety of material, including three Jerome Kern tunes ("The Way You Look Tonight," "The Song is You" and All the Things You Are"), plus compositions by Kurt Weill, Vincent Youmans, Richard Rodgers and James P. Johnson. But the best performance here is Hyman's interpretation of the traditional "Shenandoah," which is heartfelt and precious. Hyman was recorded on a concert grand Boesendofer piano in an acoustically designed room, so the sound is as outstanding as one is likely to hear.In the end, the combination of an outstanding pianist, an eclectic selection of quality tunes, a terrific piano and a recording produced under optimal conditions resulted in the best solo keyboard album that I heard during 1998 -- the year this one was released."
Skip this One
Geoffrey M. Stradling | Los Angeles, CA | 12/14/2002
(2 out of 5 stars)
"As a huge fan of Dick Hyman, I was unfortunately deeply disappointed in this CD. He plays beautifully as always, but the sound of the piano is awful. In the `hi-fi' world of recording there are sometimes strange ideas about how instruments should sound. On this particular recording the tone of what is in all likelihood a beautiful instrument is ruined by a poor job of microphone placement, and the poor taste to include far too much room ambiance in the mix. The end result is that of sonic mud. The piano sounds exceptionally bad in the mid range - clouded by disturbing phase problems, and being nearly unlistenable. One can only hope that someone will have the sense to re-record and release this, as the performances are apparently recorded to a MIDI system that allows playback of the piano without Mr. Hyman present. All in all this CD is a terrible waste of a great idea."