Christopher O’Riley, piano – Hold Me To This (Songs of Radiohead) – World Village 468034 CD ****:
This is the second record from Christopher O’Riley of solo piano
interpretations of recordings by Radiohead. All the music comes
from his own transcriptions of the songs. The first contained
personal favorites, while this record has rarities and tracks never
released on the bands full-length CDs. The CD insert contains
commentary from the artist on why certain songs were selected, musical
information about timing and style, as well as anecdotes about some of
the material. There is no doubt that O’Riley is an extremely
competent pianist; he’s hosted the classical music radio show From The
Top, toured with Academy of St. Martin, appeared with the Los Angeles
Philharmonic, won awards, and much more.
The sound of the music on this disc reminds me of a Windham Hill disc
or a George Winston recording. I always question the translation
of a song/songs made from one genre to another, although in this case
it is clear that O’Riley has such a passion for the music that no one
could doubt the intent. I don’t see Radiohead fans crossing over
to listen to this CD unless they are already fans of solo piano.
Recording quality is exemplary with low noise and nice tone, and I kept
looking around for the hors doeuvres (as the music seems as if it would
be quite at home in the art gallery circuit.) It will not be
everyone’s cup of tea, but nothing is. If classical piano is your
bag and you are looking to expand your horizons, this disc will make a
lot of sense.
Songs included are: There There; (Nice Dream); No Surprises;
Polyethylene Part II; How I Made My Millions; Like Spinning Plates;
Sail To The Moon; The Tourist; Cuttooth; 2+2=5; Talk Show Host; Gagging
Order; Paranoid Android; Street Spirit (Fade Out).