Rebecca Kragnes

Reviewed by
Kathy Parsons

Rebecca Kragnes' debut album is a very impressive collection of original piano solos. Drawing inspiration from a variety of emotional experiences, the loyalty of a Seeing Eye Dog, and a love of classical music, "Golden" is an intimate glimpse into the inner life of a very talented composer and pianist. "Golden" is named for and dedicated to Kragnes' first Seeing Eye Dog (nicknamed "Golden Boy"), and was executive-produced by David Lanz. David expressed to me that he feels Rebecca Kragnes is "one in a million", and he could be right. The CD is warm, flowing, and melodic throughout, with a directness and simplicity that reminds me at times of Robin Spielberg's music.

My favorite piece on the CD is "Faithful Shadow", which is about the retirement of Rebecca's husband's Seeing Eye Dog, Andy. I have always been deeply moved by the nobility of these dogs, and this piece captures that feeling so well. The closing and title track, "Golden" is about Rebecca's own dog, and is much more upbeat and free-flowing, describing the emotions attached to a faithful and loyal companion. "Bittersweet Good-bye" is almost wrenching in its simple beauty and longing. Not all of the songs are melancholy, though. "Liberation" opens the album with "a dance of triumph and survival" — a twinkling, swirling little gem. "Jester in Green" is kind of a jaunty tango about a frog. "Dancing on Aire" describes one of those days when it just feels great to be alive.

I strongly recommend "Golden" to those who enjoy uncluttered and heartfelt piano solos with a variety of emotions expressed.

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