12 Songs, 1 Hour


Ratings and Reviews

Great album from Pianist Heidi Breyer!


Moonlight In Empty Rooms
(A Music Study of the Art of Alexander Volkov)
Heidi Breyer
Reviewed by Judson Hurd of Enlightened Piano Radio

The album “Moonlight In Empty Rooms” is the new album from acclaimed artist Heidi Breyer. Listening to this album I was transported by the beautiful sounds and I learned about the art of Alexander Volkov. Alexander is a talented self taught artist who composes majestic landscapes that ‘evoke powerful emotions that create harmony’ according to the biography at his website. Discovering this truly talented artists’ creation has been a real delight and I recommend listening to Heidi’s pieces and meditating on the art by Volkov.
The first track that really stuck out to me is the opening track called “Unfinished Conversation”. It is a beautiful piece that begins with an introduction that contains strong chord elements with a strong, lingering melody. A gentle, solo violin joins the piano setting the mood of the piece and the instruments begin having a conversation with one another. The feeling of this composition sets the scene in my mind of two people having a conversation for the last time in a faraway place. Heidi’s voicings have hints of the stylings of Debussy and Impressionism that really complement this piece well.
The next piece that was wonderful was “Winter Rose”. The beautiful, musical textures made me imagine a single red rose in the middle of a field with snow flurries coming around. While checking out Volkov’s artwork I noticed that many pieces are based on winter themes and the paintings are truly lifelike and gorgeous.
The song “Faith” begins with solemn strings playing the Doxology (Praise God From All Blessings Flow). Heidi has an interesting take on this sacred classic while keeping the music tasteful and interesting. The piece is over eight minutes but held my attention throughout with the back and forth between the strings and piano.
“Moonlight In Empty Rooms” has 12 tracks and it is a high recommendation. I also recommend checking out the art of Alexander Volkov which I believe would be an excellent addition to anyone’s art collection. I look forward to hearing more beautiful music from this artist in the future!

From MainlyPiano


There are a lot of new albums released every year, but once in awhile, one comes along that is truly an artistic event. Heidi Breyer’s "Moonlight in Empty Rooms" is one of those. Subtitled “A Musical Study of the Art of Alexander Volkov,” the set includes a CD of the music, a DVD that includes all of the music plus visual images of the paintings that inspired the music (plus other images), and a 28-page booklet that includes photos of the paintings and thoughts about the artwork written by both Volkov and Breyer. (The music is available to download by itself, but the experience is so much richer with the visuals!) The music was produced by Breyer, Will Ackerman and Tom Eaton, and was engineered, mixed and mastered by Eaton. The twelve tracks are a combination of solo piano (Breyer) and piano with violin (the always-brilliant Charlie Bisharat). The video was designed and produced by Breyer and Volkov.

Heidi Breyer was born in Great Britain and was conservatory-trained at the Trinity College of Music in London. Her albums have been among my favorites for several years, but this one is truly amazing. A true artist herself, Breyer’s composing and playing styles are elegant and graceful, with strong classical influences. The twelve pieces on the album are warm and peaceful, but there is a depth of emotion that expresses the beauty and simplicity of the paintings in a way that words could never match. Breyer has been composing music in response to Volkov’s paintings for almost ten years. As husband and wife, they live with each other’s artistry, creativity and passion for their work as no one else can. I’m thrilled to read that they plan this as Volume One of a series of collaborations that will evolve over the years. The paintings that are included express feelings of quiet peacefulness, as does Breyer’s music, bringing with it deep insight.

Alexander Volkov emigrated to the US from St. Petersburg, Russia more than twenty-five years ago. His realistic paintings appear to be somewhat influenced by Andrew Wyeth’s work in that he takes everyday scenes and makes them extraordinary in their simplicity and beauty. Volkov’s paintings often make wonderful use of light - through windows, cracks or holes in walls, in nature, etc. - and makes that light a vibrant part of the subject. One of my favorites is “Eastertide,” which shows a toy stuffed rabbit on a comfortable chair, bathed in light. A simple vase of yellow flowers is also shadowed on the back of the chair. Such a simple idea that expresses so much. “Unfinished Conversation” is two wine glasses, neither of which is completely empty. Between them is a candle that was very recently extinguished because there is smoke rising from the wick. A window with sheer curtains is on the left side, but on the right is darkness. The only color in the otherwise black, gray and white painting is the red wine in the glasses and a tiny spark at the end of the candle wick. It’s a peaceful but very powerful image.

"Moonlight in Empty Rooms" is nothing short of a masterpiece and I give it my highest recommendation.

Cozily intimate, romantic and even nostalgic at times


Music and imagery have long complimented and even depended upon one another, with both artistic expressions often enhancing the perception that one has upon the other. Titled Moonlight in Empty Rooms, the latest album by pianist-composer Heidi Breyer beautifully embodies this wonderful creative synergy. Inspired by the fine art of acclaimed painter Alexander Volkov, the album is comprised of twelve pristinely elegant and emotionally reflective compositions. Each piece is accompanied in the liner notes by one of Volkov’s gorgeous paintings, while Breyer is joined throughout by distinguished violinist Charlie Bisharat, who lends an additional classical element to the compositions. Both Breyer and Volkov wrote the album’s poetically beautiful liner notes, while the album itself was produced by Breyer, Will Ackerman and Tom Eaton, with Eaton having engineered, mixed and mastered the final recording. Also included is a DVD of music and paintings that can be further appreciated in tandem.

The opening piece, “Unfinished Conversation”, seemingly begins like an ending, or perhaps that of picking up at some point from where having left off. Wrapped in a sentimental poise, the lovely composition is tenderly carried along by the graceful pairing of piano and violin – each lingering note like a gentle brushstroke upon an aural canvas. The next couple of pieces, “Autumn Snowfall” and “Autumn in Bruges”, make for a lovely pair – both rendering sonically their respective paintings that are detailed in the liner notes. “Autumn Snowfall” – a composition centered upon the seasonal transition of Fall to Winter – conveys a more contemplative, solitary mood – while “Autumn in Bruges” comparatively relates a feeling of personal interaction and romantic companionship with its serenading semi-waltz motif.

The album’s title piece, “Moonlight in Empty Rooms”, is a pinnacle moment of compositional beauty and emotional expression. One of my favorites, I especially love the wistful touch of the violin which beautifully compliments the flowing dynamism of the piano, as the piece ebbs and flows with alternating currents of languor and liveliness. Transitioning into the Spring season, “Eastertide” aptly captures a sense of joyful peace as sparkling notes convey sunshine rays and blossoming fields. The following piece, “Rainy Day”, feels both contemplative and leisurely, with its languidly-paced piano and solemn procession of violin.

Another favorite composition is the second-to-last track, “Faith”, which is also the lengthiest at just over eight minutes. A song of searching and steadfastness, this distinctly classical-flavored piece is comprised of four variations that give it a metamorphosing and journey-like quality. Likewise showcasing some of Heidi’s most impressive piano work, cascading keys are brushed lightly by tender violin throughout – ultimately resulting in a memorably heartfelt and prepossessing composition.

Cozily intimate, romantic and even nostalgic at times, Moonlight in Empty Rooms is a calmly introspective album that feels connected to the home and its immediate surroundings of seemingly quaint towns and natural countryside. In addition to Heidi Breyer’s own compositional gifts and command of the piano, Charlie Bisharat’s enchanting performance on violin takes these lovely pieces to another level of appreciation – with the marriage of these two instruments proving all that was needed to make musical magic happen!