Life's Journey 2013 (c) Salvatori Productions, Inc.
Solo Instrumental Grand Piano Compositions - Heartfelt and Melodic. If ever you seek a place of solitude for reflection and respite, listen to Iris’ music. It will elevate your spirit and bring peace to your heart.
Life’s Journey Iris Litchfield 2013 / Salvatori Productions, Inc. 44 minutes
Life’s Journey is the latest solo piano release from British pianist/composer Iris Litchfield. This collection of fourteen original classically-styled pieces is relaxing, uplifting, and a joy to listen to. Six of the tracks are new compositions and eight are newly-recorded versions of pieces previously released. Iris’ style is direct and sincere without a lot of flash and fanfare - heartfelt musical interpretations of nature’s beauty, new experiences, and reflections on a life well-lived. The music is immediately accessible and very melodic, with layers of depth that reveal themselves the more you listen. Fellow pianists will be delighted to know that a companion sheet music book is also available.
Life’s Journey begins with “First Steps,” a delicate confection that expresses the tentative emotions of doing something completely new. Graceful and hopeful, it’s a lovely opening. “Dancing Dolls” is light and carefree with the sweetness and innocence of a child captivated by her imagination. “Clear Waters” is a favorite, evoking images of sunlight dancing on a rippling stream as it gently flows to no particular destination - so peaceful! I also really like “Dancing Shadows,” a lively minor-key waltz with a bittersweet Russian flavor. “Nature’s Serenade” first appeared Litchfield’s 2007 award-winning album with Tom Salvatori, When Evening Falls, and this new version has been expanded a bit - another beauty! “Colours of the Rainbow” has the warm and wistful feeling of a pleasant daydream. “A Mountain to Climb” is another favorite, conveying gentle strength and determination. I love the way the piece picks up momentum as it evolves and develops, always moving forward. “Reminiscing” recalls the joys and sorrows of life, softened by time and distance. “Summers of Long Ago” is more bittersweet and melancholy, but oh so beautiful! I love this one, too! “Twilight Time” brings this wonderful collection to a quiet and dreamy close with a melody so clear you can almost hear the piano singing lyrics.
Iris Litchfield has composed a very impressive body of music over the past several years and just keeps getting better. if you are new to her music and looking for some gentle, sweet solo piano, be sure check this one out. If you are a longtime fan, you won’t be disappointed with Life’s Journey. It is available from Salvatori Productions, Amazon, iTunes, CD Baby, and Tutti (UK and Europe). Recommended!!!
- Kathy Parsons, MainlyPiano.com, 8/10/13
Romantic Interludes 2012 (c) Salvatori Productions, Inc.
Iris Litchfield and Patrick Meehan
Classical Piano Duets for Piano Four Hands featuring works from Elgar, D'Ourville, Vaughan Williams, Moszkowski, Faure and Schumann
Romantic Interludes Iris Litchfield & Patrick Meehan 2012 / Salvatori Productions 54.8 minutes
Romantic Interludes is a collection of nineteen classical piano duets performed by British pianists Iris Litchfield and Patrick Meehan. Litchfield has released several CDs of original compositions over the past decade or so, both solo and with guitarist Tom Salvatori. Her lovely, heartfelt music has touched many a heart all over the world. She started her piano studies at the age of five, but her life’s career was in teaching mathematics. When she retired, she found more time to devote to her music, resulting in a steady stream of charming and optimistic piano music. On this latest release, Litchfield teamed with her own piano teacher, mentor and friend, Patrick Meehan, performing an impressive selection of four-hand piano music from Edward Elgar, Leon D’Ourville, Ralph Vaughan Williams, Moritz Moszkowski, Gabriel Faure, and Robert Schumann, most of whom would be considered Romantic composers of the late-19th and early-20th centuries. None of this music is particularly flashy or difficult to comprehend, making it accessible to all listeners with an appreciation for classical piano music. The pianists are a great match, as the music is seamless and it isn’t obvious to the ear that these are duets.
The first of the Romantic Interludes is Elgar’s lovely “Salut D’Amour,” a sweet love song without words. I had never heard of Leon D’Ourville and very little information about him is available online, but the four selections from his Soirees Musicales are positively delightful in their brevity and lighthearted expression. The two pieces by Ralph Vaughan Williams are quite different from each other. First is “Prelude Rhosymedre,” a graceful composition with a strong Baroque influence. The second is his “Fantasia on Greensleeves,” a fascinating and thoroughly enjoyable theme and variations on this ancient and very familiar folk song. The five “Spanish Dances” by Moritz Moszkowski are bright and effervescent (I love #2!), and I’m sure it’s quite a triumph when both pianists end at the same time! Faure’s “Sicillienne de Pelleas et Melisande” is a stunning beauty - elegant and more than a little melancholy. Robert Schumann’s “Six Etudes en Forme de Canon” are quite a tour de force and demonstrate Schumann’s versatility as a composer as well as the versatility of these two excellent pianists. I’m thinking I’m going to have to pull out some of my four-hand music and try some of these!
Romantic Interludes is sure to please classical music lovers and fans of four-hand piano repertoire. It is available from Amazon.com. Recommended!
- Kathy Parsons, MainlyPiano.com, 8/21/12
Dream Clouds 2012 (c) Salvatori Productions, Inc.
Heartfelt Solo Instrumental Grand Piano Compositions that will Relax, Delight and Envelope you with Warmth and Tenderness.
Dream Clouds Iris Litchfield 2012 / Salvatori Productions 44.9 minutes
After two highly-acclaimed duo releases by pianist/composer Iris Litchfield and guitarist/composer Tom Salvatori, Iris Litchfield has released Dream Clouds, her first full-length solo piano CD - and what a joy it is! The fourteen original compositions have a very strong classical influence, but they also have the easy, graceful flow of the best “new age” piano music. A retired math teacher in England, Litchfield has been composing music for about twelve years, although she has been playing the piano since she was five. Salvatori Productions is again the producer of this album, and the sound quality is perfect. Recorded on a Steinway A (6’2”) grand, the piano has a warmth that beautifully conveys all of the nuances and subtleties of Litchfield’s lovely compositions. The title, Dream Clouds, very accurately describes the overall mood of this album - light, gentle, and optimistic. It’s not musical “fluff” by any means, but spending some time with Litchfield’s music will definitely elevate your mood and calm your spirit.
The first track is “A New Beginning.” The opening melody has a haunting, bittersweet flavor - reflective and nostalgic. It resolves to a major key which is tentative, but very beautiful, returning to the minor key with more confidence - a lovely start! “Passing Memories” is a graceful and wistful daydream. Several themes weave in and out, creating a wonderful tapestry of musical memories. The title track is very free, moving at the whim of a gentle breeze. I love the visual images this one evokes! “Joy of Summer” is a delight. Dancing lightly and freely in the warm sunshine, it’s a heavenly “ode to joy.” My favorite track is “Dancing Dreams,” a minor key waltz that has just a slight edge to it - not menacing, but not all sweetness and light either. Two graceful major key themes alternate with the main theme, making it a colorful and fascinating piece. “Promise of a New Day” overflows with hope and optimism, providing a soothing musical antidote to the stresses of a long day. My other favorite is the poignant and graceful “Falling Leaves,” which conveys so much emotion so simply and honestly. “End of the Day” is a warm and peaceful lullaby that provides a healing massage for a tired mind and body. “Morning Mist” brings this wonderful album to a dreamy and wistful ending.
I really love Iris Litchfield’s two collaborations with Tom Salvatori, but I really like that this album is just Iris at the piano. It gives us more of a chance to really hear her music and to enjoy the soothing atmosphere she creates with her compositions. Dream Clouds is available from Amazon, iTunes, and CD Baby. Very highly recommended!
- Kathy Parsons, MainlyPiano.com, 5/5/12
Ever Ever On 2010 (c) Salvatori Productions, Inc.
Tom Salvatori and Iris Litchfield
2CD Set - Melodic Nylon String Guitar (Salvatori) and Grand Piano (Litchfield) instrumental compositions scored with warm and tender Chamber Ensemble arrangements by John Catchings. CD1 features Piano and Guitar in Ensemble. CD2 features Solo Guitar and Solo Piano
Ever Ever On
CD 1 - Features String Ensemble Arrangements by John Catchings
You're With Me Still - in Ensemble 4:09
The Ghosts of Levigliani - in Ensemble 3:49
Cascade - in Ensemble 4:21
Escher's Lullaby - in Ensemble 2:57
Blue Horizon - in Ensemble 3:48
Whirlpool Song - in Ensemble 3:12
Fly With the Wind - in Ensemble 5:07
Dark Round - in Ensemble 2:38
To You With Love - in Ensemble 4:51
As the Nightshade Grows - in Ensemble 3:02
Windmills of Time - in Ensemble 3:33
Folk Dance - in Ensemble 6:17
CD 2 - Features the Solo Guitar and Solo Piano Pieces - as originally recorded
You're With Me Still - Solo Piano 4:09
The Ghosts of Levigliani - Solo Guitar 3:47
Cascade - Solo Piano 4:21
Escher's Lullaby - Solo Guitar 2:57
Blue Horizon - Solo Piano 3:48
Whirlpool Song - Solo Guitar 3:13
Fly With the Wind - Solo Piano 5:07
Dark Round - Solo Guitar 2:38
To You With Love - Solo Piano 4:49
As the Nightshade Grows - Solo Guitar 2:59
Windmills of Time - Solo Piano 3:30
Folk Dance - Solo Guitar 6:12
Ever Ever On Tom Salvatori and Iris Litchfield 2010 / Salvatori Productions 2 CDs, each 47+ minutes
Ever Ever On is the anxiously-awaited new album from Tom Salvatori and Iris Litchfield, following their award-winning 2007 release When Evening Falls. This new release is a 2-CD set with one disc featuring solo versions of each of the twelve pieces and the other featuring ensemble versions of the same twelve songs. The ensemble CD is not just a re-recording with someone playing keyboard instrumentation - these are live chamber musicians playing additional parts lovingly created by John Catchings in Nashville. The sound quality is stellar! The CDs alternate between piano pieces composed by Iris Litchfield, a classically-trained pianist and retired math teacher from England, and acoustic guitar pieces by Tom Salvatori, a classically-trained American guitarist. John Catchings appears with his soulful cello on all of the ensemble tracks. The rest of the chamber group includes violins and viola, bass, oboe, and French horn. The music itself is classically-styled with a contemporary attitude - gorgeous and heartfelt. It is difficult to choose which CD I like best. I love the simplicity of the gentle tunes played solo, but the additional musicians on the ensemble CD create so much depth and color that I love that one, too. The good news here is that no one needs to choose a favorite and the only decision to be made is which one to slip into the CD player first! Lucky us!
Ever Ever On begins with Ms. Litchfield’s “You’re With Me Still,” a tender love song that is haunting as a piano solo and becomes achingly beautiful with the addition of cello. What a way to start! Next up is Salvatori’s elegant and mysterious “Ghosts of Levigliani,” arranged for nylon string guitar and string quartet. “Escher’s Lullaby” is a fascinating trio for guitar, cello, and oboe - an unusual combination that really works with each instrument’s unique voice. I love both versions of “Blue Horizon” - solo piano and piano with string quintet - graceful, melancholy, and full of longing. “Whirlpool Song” returns to the guitar/cello/oboe trio - enchanting and soulful! “Dark Round” is a lovely slow, somber duet for cello and guitar. “To You With Love” is another favorite, this time a trio for piano, cello, and bass. Tender and gentle yet passionate, it soars while touching the heart. The closing track is the dark and mysterious “Folk Dance” for guitar, violin, cello, and bass. It is a slow and serious dance with a distinct Renaissance flavor. A gorgeous ending to an outstanding album!
Ever Ever On is certain to be on my Favorites list for the year! Give your ears and your mind a real treat and check this one out! It is available from Amazon and CD Baby. I give it my highest recommendation!
- Kathy Parsons, MainlyPiano.com, 9/14/10
When Evening Falls 2007 (c) Salvatori Productions, Inc.
Tom Salvatori and Iris Litchfield
Contemporary instrumental album of soothing and melodic music showcasing original Piano (Litchfield) and Classical Guitar (Salvatori) compositions, gently entwined together and supported by warm and tender Cello arrangements (John Catchings).
When Evening Falls
Autumn Colours 4:42
Sleepy Eyes Lullaby 3:41
Breath of Spring 4:04
Guitar Lament 3:17
Nature's Serenade 3:17
Reflecting Absence 6:51
Song of Hope 3:59
Majestic Interlude 2:13
Gentle Breeze 2:54
Church Song 2:57
Labyrinth II 2:08
Come Stay a While 4:14
Quiet Reflections 4:44
ABOUT WHEN EVENING FALLS:
While history itself brings us the give and take, the rise and fall, and the ebb and flow...the history of music can chime in anytime with a comparable contrast of its own...namely the Piano and Classical Guitar. Although both instruments have been celebrated over time for their powerful delivery of multi-voiced composition, each is nestled comfortably and deeply in its own musical circle, championing and then tending to its own unique audience.
'When Evening Falls' is a collaborative music project that provides a friendly nudge to these two circles. It represents a give and take between Piano and Guitar as communicated by two kindred-spirited composers each adept in the art of conveying their music through their instrument of choice. Iris has never touched a Guitar and Tom has never played a Piano, yet both breathe life into their art through the delightful music that is produced on their respective instruments. As composers, they share a unique quality and style that not only renders a compelling theme, but then ensures it is soothingly nurtured through its rise and fall.
The Piano and Guitar...when Iris and Tom bring these circles together, a synergy occurs, a 'sweet spot' for lack of elevated patter...resulting in a calming ebb and flow of timeless and beautiful music chronicled in this CD release for our listening enjoyment.
*Mr. Catchings appears courtesy of Chapter & Verse Media, Inc., Nashville, TN, USA.
Notes: GREAT NEWS!
March 9, 2008
We are very pleased to report that our new CD release, When Evening Falls, has today been named Best Neo-Classical Album of the year as part of the prestigious 2007 NAR Lifestyle Music Awards. Broadcasters of contemporary instrumental music programs worldwide are responsible for the voting, so we offer a big THANK YOU to the Program Hosts for this special honor and for introducing our new music to their listeners.
Special thanks also to the folks at NewAgeReporter.com for creating a home for contemporary instrumental music! It is unbelievable that the NAR site received 2,950 new titles in 2007...obviously contemporary instrumental/new age music is alive, well and thriving - in large part due to artists from the independent music community. Someone should tell Billboard what they are missing. Better yet...don't. Let's continue enjoying our own independent journey.
Tom and Iris
"Take three talented artists, mix and match them in various combinations and who knows what will result. In the case of When Evening Falls, you end up with a beautiful collection of soothing and introspective instrumental pieces. Featuring the considerable talents of acoustic guitarist Tom Salvatori, pianist Iris Litchfield and cellist John Catchings (with some violin and viola assistance on one track and bass on another one), the fourteen selections on this album are divided up into solo numbers by Salvatori and Litchfield or assorted permutations of one or the other or both with Catchings.
The album is cohesive with a consistent mood maintained throughout. The two composers (Salvatori and Litchfield) were obviously simpatico when it came to the aim of When Evening Falls, the title of which aptly portrays the mood evoked by the music. Peaceful, somber, warm, nostalgic and reflective, the CD is emblematic of what I refer to as "autumn afternoon music," meaning it’s suited for grey skies, falling leaves, and a crisp bite to the air. Whether one bathes in this music while seated before a fire, or perhaps driving through rolling hillsides and small rural towns dressed in gold and red for the season, When Evening Falls weaves a comforting web of warm yet often sad or reflective music.
As if the music itself wasn’t enough, the CD’s artfully-designed Digipak [by Stephen Ravenscraft] is a veritable work of art as well. Hell, even the font choices are spot on (you’d be surprised how rare that is). From every perspective, When Evening Falls is a splendid recording and a must have for lovers of gentle "nighttime" acoustic instrumental music." Highly recommended. Rating: Excellent
- reviewed by Bill Binkelman, Binkelman's Corner, as featured on NAR
"When Evening Falls...is a wonderful, dusky dream-filled album with fourteen tracks of pastoral and contemporary tunes that will inspire, relax and alleviate stress.
Tom Salvatori and Iris Litchfield, both classical trained composers, have united on this contemporary album in the spirit of harmony in a figurative and literal sense. Tom is from Illinois and Iris is from Kent, England, but the miles could not separate the kindred spirits of these two gifted performers. Additionally, the music is far more mellifluous for the talents of cellist John Catchings who joins them on several cuts.
When Evening Falls is pensive, relaxing music that is enjoyable at any hour. The mating of guitar and piano with an infrequent visit by the cello makes for several agreeable duos, while the solos are as welcome as are old friends. For a soothing interlude of warm, peaceful music, you cannot do much better than Tom Salvatori and Iris Litchfield.
- reviewed by RJ Lannan, The Sounding Board, as featured on NAR
"He’s known as a guitarist’s guitarist, an expert at both classical guitar and the combination of classical with any number of musical genres. Tom Salvatori enchanted listeners with his last album from 2002, Late Night Guitar, which was a children’s album disguised as an excellent, meditative study in the healing power of the nylon string guitar.
In 2007 Tom joins forces with pianist Iris Litchfield for a gorgeous duet album of timeless instrumental music – supplemented by the cello arrangements of John Catchings. A seamless blend of vintage classical music and the curative vibes of the New Age meditation genre that was so popular in the mid-90’s. When Evening Falls is the most appealing outing yet from the versatile guitar imagination of Tom Salvatori."
- Robert Silverstein, 20th Century Guitar Magazine