Steven Herbert Smith
"Trips for Piano is an ambitious, full-length set of piano pieces exploring musical moods..."
I’m glad to hear the recording and see the score of Martin Graff’s Trips for Piano. It’s an ambitious, full-length set of eight piano pieces exploring musical moods in a genre that is not exactly my own (traditional classical), but freely expressive. Full disclosure would add that Marty was my piano student some years ago at Penn State, and I am very pleased by his playing of these pieces, which follow the fully-notated score with precision and a full dynamic range. The style is tonal and the emotional range adheres especially to the calm and peaceful side, with occasional brilliance. It seems to me that the opening, “Prism,” the final piece, “Sonare,” and between those the understated fourth piece, “Meditative,” are the most successful compositions.
—SHS, April 21, 2021
Steven Herbert Smith is a classical pianist and recording artist who has performed throughout the world. He is professor emeritus of piano at Penn State University.