Prolific singer-songwriter Glen Hansard has enjoyed an illustrious career that boasts credits with The Frames, The Swell Season and a starring role in the motion-picture film, Once, for which he won an Academy Award. Rhythm and Repose, an album over twenty years in the making, is Hansard’s debut as a soloist. The emotion-provoking work is led primarily by piano and acoustic guitar. Standout tracks include “Love Don’t Leave Me Waiting,” “Maybe Not Tonight” and “You Will Become.” The album also finds Hansard collaborating with music greats, Brad Albetta, Ray Rizzo, Nico Muhly, Rob Moose, David Mansfield, Javier Mas and half of Bruce Springsteen’s current horn section. Rhythm and Repose proves why Hansard is widely considered one of music’s greatest songwriters.
ALthough not very famous, Jeno Jando is a marvelous pianist. He combines lyrical beaty with power and emotion. Both of these attributes are evident in this disc, which contains the piano concertos of Grieg and Schumann, both in the key of a-minor. In Grieg's concerto, Jando creates a perfect balance between Lisztian virtuosity and Grieg's own Norweigan nationalism. The Schumann concerto is my favorite piece on the album, and Schumann's raw emotion comes out perfectly in Jando's interpretation. A word should also be said for the wonderful orchestration of these pieces. This is a wonderful CD both to introduce these romantic piano concertos and to offer a wonderful interpretation of them.