I thought I had my Favorite CDs list for the year just about finished when along came Christian Lindquist with Solo Piano Diary II. Believe me, this is not a complaint! I loved 2008‘s Solo Piano Diary, but the follow-up is even better. Elegant, very smooth, and overflowing with emotional expression, this is an album that can provide a quiet backdrop for other activities, soothing music for relaxation, or an incredible 80 minutes of gorgeous solo piano music to get lost in (“hoping to never be found,” as I wrote in my review of the first Diary). In the spring of 2007, on a quest for self-discovery, Lindquist started sitting at the piano before breakfast, playing “something,” and recording the results before heading off to work. The only edits or changes are the addition of some strings on a couple of tracks, which is astounding considering their cohesiveness, polish, and style. Solo Piano Diary ended on 6/6/08, and Diary II picks up the thread on 8/18/08 and goes through 6/3/10 with the twenty-six tracks presented in chronological order and titled only with the dates they were created.
With twenty-six tracks, it’s difficult to pick out favorites - I love ‘em all! Although each piece is distinctive and unique, the pace and tone of the music create all overall mood of quiet reflection. Some pieces are very melancholy and some are tranquil and contented, but all are extraordinary gems that gracefully flow from one to the next. There are very strong classical influences in Lindquist’s music as well as occasional jazz and new age elements, but this is music that flows directly from his heart to his fingers, seeking his own personal truth without fear or inhibition - art in its purest form. The absence of titles allows the listener to imagine what Lindquist was thinking or dreaming of when he created the music or to let the music spark the listener’s imagination without any hints of what specifically inspired the pieces. The dreamy quality of many of the pieces makes this an exceptionally relaxing collection as well as an incredibly beautiful one. I give it my highest recommendation.