Chris Opperman


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Klavierstücke is an album of solo piano pieces by Chris Opperman, and much of the talent he showed signs of on Oppy Music, Vol. 1 is on full display here. The pieces are beautiful and sensitive, and the playing is strong and assured. Opperman really seems to have found his own style, which is truly a synthesis of his main influences (Satie, Stravinsky, Webern, Zappa) rather than emulation. The pieces occupy a music space somewhere between jazz and classical, like Frank Zappa meets Erik Satie, or Bill Evans crossed with Anton Webern. Most pieces are completely composed; some were written as early as high school. Others are improvised (some overdubbed, à la Conversations With Myself), but the line between improvised and composed never sounds that cut and dry (you'd be hard-pressed to determine that "Injun Joe" was improvised). Overall, a sense of calm and beauty pervades this album, even when the playing gets a little more intense. Despite the fact that some of these pieces were written at the same time as some of the material on his first album (and some from even before then), the difference between the albums couldn't be more striking. In many respects, Klavierstücke is light years away from Oppy Music, Vol. 1, yet they are clearly from the same mind. This is the mature work of a very talented young composer. Highly recommended.

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