"Peace & Quiet" is pianist/composer Janice Faber’s second collection of original piano solos, following her 2011 release, "Carried Away." Faber released three albums in 2016: this one, "Simple Gifts" (a solo piano Christmas album), and "Restore My Soul" (a collection of solo piano hymns). "Peace & Quiet" was nominated for “Album of the Year” by Whisperings Solo Piano Radio, and very deservedly so! A very accomplished pianist, Faber’s composing, arranging, and playing styles are all very fluid and graceful, focusing on the melodies and emotions behind the music rather than dazzling with showmanship. As the title suggests, this album is very quiet, peaceful and soothing, providing the listener with a calming place to escape the stress of everyday life, a gentle backdrop for reading or relaxing (or other quiet activities), or simply an hour of very beautiful solo piano music. I love Faber’s arrangements, but her original compositions are incredible. "Peace & Quiet" is definitely my favorite of the three 2016 releases.
The album begins with “Oak Leaf on Water,” a beautiful piece that describes the graceful, easy movement of a leaf floating on water and the changing rhythms of that motion. “Patches of Light” is a favorite with its bittersweet melody and hint of mystery. “Fresh Wind, Tall Grass” is something of a springtime teaser as I sit here and watch it rain. The “Fresh Wind” is a gentle breeze that bends the “Tall Grass” as it pleases, but always with grace and elegance. “Petals” is equally graceful, but is freer and even more delicate - like a painting done in soft pastel colors. “Amber Adagio” suggests the freedom of improvisation - reflection at the piano while allowing the piece to shape itself as it is born (another favorite). “November Moon” is so peaceful and dreamy - if this one doesn’t take the kink out of your neck, something is wrong! I love “Sienna’s Lullaby” and how it expresses tenderness yet becomes intense without breaking the soft mood - gorgeous and deeply-felt. I hope there will be sheet music for this one! The title track is also very free and spare with the notes themselves becoming the “peace” and the space between them the “quiet” - another favorite! “Waves” is the piece Janice Faber performed at the Whisperings Awards Concert this past January and I immediately fell in love with it. I live near the ocean, and Faber has done an excellent job of capturing the ebb and flow of the water in this wonderful piece. A bit more uptempo than the other tracks, it brings this outstanding album to a peaceful and very satisfying close. Where is that “repeat” button?
"Peace & Quiet" is pure piano pleasure from the first note to the last! I hope it won’t be five years until Janice Faber’s next album of original piano solos! It will very likely be a Favorite Album of the Year! Very highly recommended!