A Stately Affair
2008 / CDBaby
13 tracks; 67:27 minutes
Reviewed by Tobin Mueller
We all know Paul F. Page is a marvelous pianist. What Macjams’ members may not know is that he is also a wonderful arranger. Paul follows his solo piano album, A Corner Of My World, with an equally soothing album of orchestrated instrumental songs.
Paul’s melodies are always singable, lyrically floating chromatic and balanced lines that cry out to be wedded with the human voice. A Stately Affair uses warm and simple orchestrations, mostly employing well chosen MIDI strings and solo woodwinds.
Paul has a very satisfying grasp of the Pop Classical genre, and this collection would be well suited for background material in any setting. And, although there are several moments I wished real players would be bringing his soaring melodies to life, there are many more moments when the subtle emotions and nostalgic grace overtakes you and you are lifted, without knowing it, into quiet reverie.
I have highlighted two tracks below, but every track is equally balanced. This album is for anyone who enjoys the quiet places or truly warm background music to serve as a musical oasis.
Much of Paul’s original music has been published by J. Paluch/World Library Publications, Mark Foster Music, Curtis Music, The Oregon Catholic Press, Hinshaw Music, Lorenz Music, and CynMar Publications, his own production company. A number of his works have been performed and recorded in Europe and Canada, the former Soviet Union, Japan, and extensively in the U.S.
For his contributions to liturgical music—including 33 years as organist, vocal soloist, music, and choir director—he was honored by the Diocese of San Jose with the Benedictus Award. His composition In Celebration was accorded top honors in a national competition and many of his liturgical works have been published and are performed in schools and churches throughout the U.S. He has had a great deal of success with other sacred music.
For the last six years, Paul has been annually awarded stipends from ASCAP through its ASCAPlus program for his unique work in composing and performing new liturgical, classical, and art music.
A Stately Affair - a review
author: Robert Prince
I’d been waiting for my shipment of Paul F. Page’s new CD, “A Stately Affair”, for a couple of weeks. When it arrived I was, as seems to be the case A LOT, lately, ridiculously busy. So I put it aside for the time being, opting to wait for a quiet period in which I could really give it a listen. This morning, the first day of summer, 2008, I went for an absolutely beautiful ride on my bicycle. Picture perfect day. Prospect Park, in Brooklyn, is really sweet. Four times ’round paradise… Came home, put Paul’s CD on, and then began to do my stretches. Followed by a delicious breakfast. Washed the dishes, wiped the counter clean, then sat quietly as the songs reached an end… As the last note faded away, I just sat there for a few more minutes and absorbed the complete beauty of the moment. The sort of pocket of time that I live for… I very highly recommend “A Stately Affair” to anybody who enjoys Paul’s style of music. I love it and will happily listen to it many, many times. It’s very relaxing and so easy to sail away on. Reminds me a bit of Satie at times (who I love)…but not so much that it becomes a distraction. Paul’s style is his own.
Bob Prince (aka: guitapick)