Love in London
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On the second release from his new own-label Instrumental Records, the inimitable James Rhodes performs live in an intimate concert recorded at the Arts Theatre, London. With no formal academic musical education or dedicated mentoring until the age of 14, and suffering health setbacks that curtailed his education, playing and recording for a period, it was not until 2008, when pianist James Rhodes met his present manager, Denis Blais, that he was encouraged to record his first album. This enabled him to bare his soul and put many of the ghosts of the past to rest. With Blais, Rhodes created a distinctive and unique approach to how the classical piano repertoire should be presented. Uncomfortable with the austere and traditional white tie and tails recital they decided it was time for the performer to communicate directly with the audience. Rhodes would introduce his own program notes and share what it takes to perform using anecdotes about the composers and his own life experience. Delivered in his unique trademark stand-up style he creates an immersive experience that has won him and classical music a dedicated new following.
***** - 'His performances are not perfect, but deeply felt and beautifully introduced. The loveliest melody of the Baroque period-an arrangement of the melody from Orfeo by Gluck-is a highlight, as is the first of two encores... Like the chamber music concerts in bars and cafes movement, Rhodes is creating a whole new audience for classical music' --Audiophile Audition
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Kudoos to James Rhodes for being yourself and playing what you have a special affinity for. I recommend this and have purchased numerous copies as gifts...