Somewhere in Romance

Dorothy Axelrod

Genres: Contemporary & Modern, Other

Somewhere in Romance
  • Released: November 23, 2009
  • 14 track(s)

Somewhere in Romance by Dorothy Axelrod is a flawless work of solo piano appropriate for any occasion, be it a formal wedding, or simply unwinding from a stressful day and is even smooth enough to sleep to, yet is inspiring enough to use as a theme for work. Versatile, elegant and beautiful.

Finding that special place, that special moment … “Somewhere in Romance” is the place to find it. This album has all of my favorite “Somewhere” songs. The arrangements and phrasing are breathtakingly beautiful.


Rating: RatingRatingRatingRatingRating 2 reviews

  • Dorothy Axelrod

    Dorothy Axelrod October 27, 2012


    What is romance?  Literally it was a form of adventure story, a hero on a quest with valiant intentions, a journey of epic proportions, but it has become so much more than that.  When stripped of words, romance can persist like a metaphysical force of nature, as though love was an element sculpting the world around us just as the forces of nature erode and evolve endlessly.  That is why we find passion in our craft, rending it from labor to art, if only we combine the love with hard work.  Dorothy Axelrod’s Somewhere in Romance is a work of sheer beauty that transcends conventional metaphor.  Despite being a collection of timeless piano pieces, her personal touch shows eminent passion for her music; near technically flawless, with just enough of her own style to make the album unique, classic, and astoundingly brilliant.

    From the first few notes, Somewhere in Romance grabs hold like an awe-inspiring dream that you don’t want to ever end.  Indeed, the entire album lives up to the fabulous rendition of Miss Saigon’s Sun and Moon where it begins and never lets go, gently progressing through old favorites and more modern fair, ending sweetly with an ingenious pairing of Somewhere Over the Rainbow and Somewhere from West Side Story.  The first time I put it on it got played six times in a row.  After the first four, my girlfriend got home and walked into the middle.  She remarked how beautiful it was and asked to see the song listings.  She then immediately skipped to “Somewhere Over The Rainbow”.  Dorothy Axelrod’s version is so marvelous that after the first couple of minutes, my girlfriend was in tears.  Not because she has some sort of abnormal sentimental attachment to it (though many do think quite fondly on it) but simply because it is played that well.  We immediately listened to the entire album through - again two more times after that.  Each successive time, towards the end she would get sentimental and need a few good hugs.  Music rarely has such a great effect on her, or me for that matter, so it is a little personal experiential proof that “Somewhere in Romance” is truly a masterpiece that we will listen to for years to come.

    The selection of music couldn’t have been better hand-picked or arranged.  Familiar favorites, such as Nat King Cole, Frank Sinatra, and even an Oscar Hammerstein II song, that all flow together well.  Axelrod’s particular flair sounds as though her fingertips have evoked the sense of a jazz scat vocal improvisation, filling the spaces between notes with nimble agility.  Her style shines through blending everything into harmonious romance, as though all of these songs were meant to be played together.  The only work I can find that even compares is some of the epic classical music being composed for fantasy, such as Kumi Tanioka’s work for Square-Enix, herself influenced by ancient stories and instruments, much of it solo piano, striking a familiar chord with Dorothy’s music.  Both have a rival like capability of impeccable timing, flawless performance, and love for epic music.  I could see Axelrod’s music working superbly well for heroic movies or maybe even fantasy gaming.  There is a surprisingly responsive audience to a sort of post-modern classical when associated with romantic literature, be it visual or virtual, which welcomes this genre with open arms.

    Axelrod even managed to help me like a song I previously didn’t enjoy:  “Somewhere Out There.”  I know, the original song is all right, but when I was young there was always something I hated about character actors singing in high squeaky pitches, and I rarely enjoyed the romantic duets that plagued the radio of the late 80s.  Stripped of rodent vocal styling, the song takes flight with the simple power of the piano, and now I can say I love Somewhere Out There.  This version, for me, puts the old versions to shame.  It is always incredible when someone’s insight is enough to take one’s emotions from dislike to love, and Dorothy has such rare insight, beyond doubt.

    Somewhere in Romance by Dorothy Axelrod is a flawless work of solo piano that when played has the passion to make any place “that special place,” and to make every moment “that special moment,” to quote the inside of her album cover.  It is appropriate for any occasion, be it a formal wedding, or simply unwinding from a stressful day and is even smooth enough to sleep to, yet is inspiring enough to use as a theme for work.  Versatile, elegant and beautiful, one would be hard pressed to find a comparable pianist in the world today. 

    My only single criticism is this:  I want to hear some original material, too.  Otherwise, perfection.

    By Julian Gorman:

  • Dorothy Axelrod

    Dorothy Axelrod October 27, 2012


    Pours her heart into it without going over the top.  Beautifully done!
    Somewhere In Romance is the solo piano debut of Dorothy Axelrod, a Southern California pianist and piano teacher with thirty years of teaching experience - even more than me! The fourteen selections are standards and film music that share the themes of love and romance, beautifully arranged and improvised by Ms Axelrod.
    Inspired at an early age by a concert performance by piano legend Liberace, Axelrod has had a lifelong passion for the piano that she shares with her students as well as her audiences. She performs regularly with her trio in Southern California, and releasing this album has been a lifelong dream.
    Passion and a very impressive playing technique imbue the music with a warmth that goes far beyond most CDs of solo piano cover tunes. It is very clear from her playing that Axelrod deeply loves this music and wants to share that love with her listeners. Fans of Robin Meloy Goldsby and Danny Wright will find a lot to like here.

    The album begins with “Sun and Moon” from Miss Saigon, a tender and heartfelt piece that builds to a passionate climax and then returns to a feeling of longing - a lovely start!  “Cinema Paradiso” isn’t as familiar as some of the songs on the album, but deep emotion and flowing beauty are in every note.
    “My Funny Valentine” and “Autumn Leaves” are two of my favorite standards, and Axelrod’s arrangements are just right. One of the most enchanting movie themes ever is “Somewhere In Time,” and Axelrod makes it her own - soft and gentle yet sparkling. I also really like “Legends Of the Fall,” a graceful, dreamy theme played with a velvet touch. “All the Things You Are” was composed more than seventy years ago, but Axelrod brings it up-to-date with style and heart. “Here’s That Rainy Day,” a jazz standard from the 1950’s, is given a sweet and lovely make-over for the 21st century romantic.
    “Somewhere Over the Rainbow” is the ultimate daydream song - wistful and yearning. “Somewhere” from West Side Story is the fourth song on the album with “somewhere” in the title - undoubtedly the inspiration for the CD title! Also a deeply passionate song, Dorothy pours her heart into it without going over the top. Beautifully done!
    By: Kathy Parsons   1/28/10

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