Tuesday 28 June 2016

7 and a half visions of Love

Luke Navin 7 and a half visions of Love
Reviewed by Robert Hugill on Jun 21 2016
Unashamedly romantic and lyrical piano music

Luke Navin is a young composer studying at Oxford, and like many young artists nowadays he has produced a showreel. In Navin's case a CD recording his performances of his own piano pieces. Entitled 7 and a half visions of Love the disc consists of seven movements which tell the story of a love affair from first infatuation through the inevitable parting and acceptance.

Navin's style is highly romantic, and he describes his music as being influenced by late Romantic works from Italy and Russia. This is not an understatement, this is unashamedly tonal and romantic music, lyrical with a nice sense of melody. But there is also something filmic about the music, perhaps because each movement has a feeling of narrative (his notes in the CD booklet are quite detailed about each movement).

What we hear feels semi-improvised and at times I was worried that Navin did rely a little too much on some rather regular piano figures in the left hand to support his melodic ideas. You feel that the music would repay a little more development, and perhaps orchestration for ensemble. Definitely in the easy listening category, it certainly feels like the soundtrack to an unwritten film.

Listened to end-to-end, I wanted a bit less romantic yearning in the music and a bit more anger and grit; you felt that Navin could do with listening to a bit less Rachmaninov. But individual movements have real melodic charm.

The album is available on SpotifyiTunes and from Amazon.co.uk.
You can also get an idea of Navin's style from his YouTube channel.

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