Communion
  • Released: March 3, 2003
  • 8 track(s)
Listen to some samples:


Absolutely stunning for its beauty, honesty, and passion !
by Kathy Parsons, www.mainlypiano.com

“Communion” is the second of three mostly solo piano CDs by Swiss-born pianist/composer Ralph Zurmuhle. Like his other two recordings, this one is absolutely stunning for its beauty, honesty, and passion. Much of the music is quiet and understated, but when a piece requires speed, dexterity, or power, Zurmuhle’s effortless virtuosity shines through every time. I listen to hundreds of piano CDs every year, and it’s amazing how obvious it is when an artist really “has it.” Ralph Zurmuhle is one of those few who keep the barre raised for other pianists and who keep reviewers like me smiling. This is deeply personal music that comes straight from the heart. It works as relaxing background music, but is sublime to listen to with full attention.

“Communion” begins with “A Fairy Tale,” a classically-styled piece that is gentle and bittersweet. Some of the melody is played in the treble registers of the piano, suggesting lightness and innocence; in other parts, the right hand crosses over to play the melody in the bass, giving the piece weight. A middle section is more improvised and free, then it returns to the original theme. What a beauty! “Sublime Moments” is serenity set to music and played with a velvet touch. “The Train” picks up the pace with energy and enthusiasm. Ralph obviously enjoys traveling by train! If I had the difficult task of picking a favorite piece on this CD, it would be “The Ocean Beyond Time.” A more soulful and passionate piece would be hard to find. Sometimes delicate and fragile and sometimes strong and powerful, this is a piece that makes my fingers itch to play it! At just under eight minutes, it evolves organically and without rushing - incredible! “Alone” is minimalism at its most beautiful. Dark and soul-searching, it captures the mood of feeling both physically and emotionally isolated. The last three tracks are a trilogy of pieces motivated by the Communion of Love, an ancient ritual celebrated by the earliest Christians, the Essenes. “Ehyeh Asher Ehyeh” is very spare but evocative - almost prayer-like. “Quadosh, Quadosh, Quadosh” is more orchestrated with ambient and atmospheric sounds behind leisurely strings, piano, and organ. At close to 14 minutes, it creates a quiet, peaceful mood and sustains it beautifully. “Shalom” is also orchestrated, with organ, ethereal voices, and strings combining into a wordless prayer for peace.This is another lengthy work (11 1/2 minutes) that evolves and builds as it goes, sometimes shimmering and sometimes almost cinematic.

What an incredible album “Communion” is! I give it my highest recommendation.

Reviews

Rating: RatingRatingRatingRatingRating 4 reviews

  • Tania

    Tania October 18, 2010

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  • Rod

    Rod October 18, 2010

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    Definitely the ambience you need for calming, studying, reflecting. Heavenly tonality, supreme piano skills.

  • Sophie C

    Sophie C November 12, 2010

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    I first heard Ralph’s music on Whisperings (Live365) and everytime one of his pieces was played, I would come to the computer to see who on earth the composer was!  It kept turning out to be Ralph Zurmuhle.  I just fell in love with his music!  Pure, pristine…elegant.  I concur with the other reviewers here and whole-heartedly recommend any of his albums.  All of them are simply beautiful. 

    These pieces are wonderfully mature and seem to me full of awareness, and spiritual impulse.  After one of his compositions comes to an end, I consistently find that I am left sitting in a place of quiet, inner stillness.  Balance is everything and I think perhaps one thing I find so appealing (besides the elegance of the melodic lines) is Ralph’s intuitive balancing of the right notes (in the right place!) with the requisite, echoing silence to create a perfect alchemy.  ahhh! beautiful!  It is wonderful to have these deep breaths written into the fabric of the notes.

    I seldom write reviews, and when I do, it is because I find something to be particularly special. 
    Hope this review will encourage anyone to listen to, and collect, the music of this artist.
    Sophie C.

  • Rosa3333

    Rosa3333 October 12, 2013

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