Waltzes, suites, airs, fantasies, inventions - these kinds of pieces have formed the Western classical-piano repertoire for centuries, as anyone who has ever wound a metronome knows. And as anyone who has ever heard Billy Joel also realizes, that studious tradition has always underlaid his music. So this collection of pieces for solo piano written by Joel and performed with highly extroverted skill by Richard Joo represents, in essence, Joel's roots album. As a restless rock & roller, and now as a composer, he restages the scarlet-hued nineteenth-century thrusts and taxing engagements of legendary Russian and German composers. But Joo begins this collection breathing Joel's "Reverie (Villa D'Este)," which exhales delicate French colorations and impressionistic dissolves. Elsewhere, Joo plays a number of showy waltzes, explores Verdian melodicism on "Aria (Grand Canal)," and climaxes the sequence with "Air (Dublinesque)," whose piquant folk-based strains almost meld this new Joel of scales and arpeggios with the always hummable Joel of popular song. Fantasies doesn't always jell this satisfyingly, but for the most part, Joel doesn't let his delusions get the best of him.
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Billy Joel starts the fire in Tampa / The Suncoast Post
The Piano Man started things off in Tampa on Friday night a little different this year. Instead of taking to the ivories, he came out on guitar to a rousing opener of "We Didn't Start the Fire". Billy brought something for everyone on this annual trip to Florida's west coast. There were the hits and there were some deep cuts for the diehard Joel fans! Billy Joel came out playing guitar at Amalie ...
Billy Joel celebrates 100th sold-out madison square garden show / ETCANADA
The Madison Square Garden Company (NYSE: MSG) announced today that in honor of Billy Joel's unprecedented achievement of 100 lifetime performances at The World's Most Famous Arena, Joel's piano will be displayed at The Garden. Joel's 100th lifetime performance comes 40 years after his first MSG performance, on December 14, 1978, and just four and a half years after he began his legendary ...
This mother's day, ask yourself what would Billy Joel do? / ULTIMATE CLASSIC ROCK
This Mother's Day, ask yourself a simple question: What would Billy Joel do? Send a card? Play a song? This year, you can team up with the Piano Man to do both. Sony Music, his record label, has created the website which allows you to create a Mother's Day eCard featuring your selection of one of 10 of Joel's songs. The site also lets you customize the card with your choice of colors, sizes, ...
Billy Joel set for 50th show of famed Madison Square Garden residency / Newsday
When Billy Joel first announced his residency at New York's famed Madison Square Garden, in 2014, he has broken one record after another. Joel has performed at The Garden more than any other artist in history, a feat that grows ever more insurmountable with each monthly show and each new banner commemorating the record that gets raised to the rafters. He has sold more than 1 million tickets at...
Floral Park natives John Williams and Billy Joel honored at NYC GRAMMY's / Newsday
Floral Park native John Williams and Billy Joel were both honored with Grammys in the pre-telecast ceremony Sunday. Williams received a Grammy for best arrangement, instrumental or a cappella for his "Escapades for Alto Saxophone and Orchestra from ‘Catch Me If You Can,' " marking the composer's 24th win in 68 nominations. The win for the "Tony Bennett Celebrates 90" album in the best t...
Billy Joel donates MSG proceeds to shelter animals
Beth Stern says Billy Joel is her "hero" after he donated the proceeds from his Madison Square Garden birthday show in May to help her build Bianca's Furry Friends, a facility at the North Shore Animal League America that will provide a cage-free home for shelter cats and dogs. Stern, who said Joel and girlfriend Alexis Roderick have adopted two dogs, told Social Life mag, "Billy is my hero. Howard a...
Billy Joel becomes 6th recipient of: Library of Congress 'Gershwin Prize for Popular Song'
Billy Joel has been announced as the next recipient of the Library of Congress' Gershwin Prize for Popular Song. Librarian of Congress James H. Billington, who called the 65-year-old performer "a storyteller of the highest order," broke the news on Tuesday, July 22. Billington went on to say: "There is an intimacy to his songwriting that bridges the gap between the listener and the worlds he sha...