Today I’m excited to share two new class CDs from UK pianist Christopher Hobson: Modern Ballet Studio Melodies, Volume 5 and Modern Ballet Studio Melodies Original Compositions. Each features 32 non-repeating tracks of crisply recorded solo piano music.
I’ve reviewed Modern Ballet Studio Melodies, Volume 4 on 4dancers, and Volume 5 does not disappoint. Hobson’s latest has some instantly recognizable favorites like “Hit the Road Jack” and “Can You Feel the Love Tonight” along with some more obscure tunes. The music is familiar but the tunes aren’t intrusive or distracting. One of my favorites is his Debussy-esque treatment of Irving Berlin’s “Always” for plies.
Original Compositions has all the fun, flair, and flavor of Hobson’s popular tune albums. The music here has a nice balance of peppy numbers and more gentle, lyrical pieces, all simply and gracefully played. The tempi are consistent, but within that frame the phrasing is very sensitive and playful. I know it will become a staple in my classroom of intermediate and advanced students.
As with the first four Modern Ballet Studio Melodies CDs, these two feature more adagio music than on most ballet class albums. The allegro tracks have a pleasing range of speed and length, and both discs conclude with a cool-down and reverence.