Warner Classics 2564 67188-8 | Release Date: September 2011
In May 2010 I was invited to join Debbie at London’s Guildhall School of Music and Drama where she was a special guest at an end of year show by then-current students. As part of her appearance she took to the piano and performed her theme from the film Wilde. I had seen Debbie in concert as a conductor many times, but the experience of her performing her own music was rather special. It occurred to me that this might be the germ of an idea and I initially suggested a solo piano recital, which soon transformed into an idea for a solo piano album. The project stayed at the back of our minds for a spell and during this time I sketched out some notes on what this album might be. I knew it should be something with a commercial quality and recalled Debbie’s piano pieces ‘The Quiet Room’ and ‘Silver Stream’. These pieces remained at the forefront of my own ideas for how a Debbie Wiseman piano album should probably sound and feel. I listened through Debbie’s available back catalogue of commercially released music and selected possible pieces for inclusion and passed these to Debbie with some fairly detailed ‘thoughts’. Of course nobody knows the music of Debbie Wiseman better than Debbie Wiseman, and indeed her husband Tony who has worked alongside and lived through the creation of all of those melodies. Between them an initial long list was set and in the autumn/winter of 2010/11 Debbie began the process of preparing her compositions for solo piano and practising them to as near concert-level as her fingers could take. A few months and a few bruised fingers later, I found myself at Debbie’s house. It was my pleasure to sit in Debbie’s studio for a private piano recital as she played through the entire selection. Stopping to discuss various bits and pieces along the way and a few cups of tea later we had a good idea of what was definitely going to be included, and also a name for the album – ‘Piano Stories’.
A few weeks later the album was recorded, during an extended session at AIR Studios in North London, and released in September following an earlier press launch in London.
It’s a generous, gorgeous, intimate album and probably Debbie’s most personal recorded project. I’m really proud of her and chuffed to pieces with the album.
Michael Beek, Producer
Piano Stories – Track listing:
1. ISOLATION – Theme from The Hide | 2. PORTAL TO THE PAST – Theme from Tom’s Midnight Garden | 3. THORN TO THE HEART – Theme from The Nightingale and The Rose | 4. HIGH WALLED GARDEN – Theme from The Selfish Giant | 5. OSCAR – Theme from Wilde | 6. SILVER STREAM | 7. FIELDS OF HOPE – Theme from Land Girls | 8. JOE & DIANA – Theme from The Upper Hand | 9. RAY OF SUNSHINE – Theme from Children’s Hospital | 10. SUCCESSION – Theme from The Throne | 11. MISTS OF EDBROOK – Theme from Haunted | 12. JOURNEY OF A LIFETIME – Theme from Joanna Lumley’s Nile | 13. TRAVELS WITH UNCLE SAM – Theme from Stephen Fry in America | 14. AFFAIRS CURRENT – Theme from The Andrew Marr Show | 15. MAN OF LAW – Theme from Judge John Deed | 16. PEACEKEEPER – Theme from Warriors | 17. OCCUPATION – Theme from The Promise | 18. THE QUIET ROOM | 19. THE HONEYMOON’S OVER – Theme from Tom & Viv | 20. ECHOES OF CARMILLA – Theme from Lesbian Vampire Killers | 21. FALL OF THE LAST BARRIER – Theme from Flood | 22. CHRISTINA’S MINUET – Theme from Haunted