Noteworthy Sentiments

Released: 27 May 2020

I am pleased to present Noteworthy Sentiments, my 11th album of original compositions for piano. All of the pieces were composed as gifts for people important to me, sometimes for celebration and sometimes to provide support or consolation. It was completed at the start of the COVID pandemic in 2020, a memorable time for us all.

Liner Notes

  1. Jeniality: This was composed for Jennifer Stojan, one of my colleagues at the University of Michigan Medical School. Many years ago, she was a student on my hospital service. Now, she is an accomplished clinician-educator who runs the “Doctoring” course at our medical school!
  2. Resolve: This piece is based on both the musical and the non-musical meanings of “resolve” and was a gift for Professor Ralph Williams, a proud Canadian and one of the treasures of the University of Michigan.
  3. Musical Hugs: This is a series of short, improvised pieces, intentionally simple and non-structured. They are a gift to two fantastic people: my sister, Anita, and her husband, Dan. In the COVID era, when in-person visits have had to be restricted, vicarious hugging has become especially important.
  4. Thompsonata: This piece was written to celebrate the marriage of my wonderful daughter, Ellie (Chaya), to Scott Thompson and to welcome Scott, with great affection, into our family. Eight measures of the piece are a callback to the piece I wrote for Ellie right after she was born.
  5. Joined Together: This composition celebrates the engagement of my delightful niece, Jessica Minard, to the also-delightful Jake Weisenburger. The initials, “JT” refer also to one of Jessie’s favorite singers.
  6. Reflections in Green: This is another series of brief improvised pieces, done in a darkened recording studio as I reflected on the life of our friend, Jane Green.
  1. Epsteinato: Professor Sam Epstein was one of my favorite people; he and I had so much fun making each other laugh! This piece employs a continuously repeated bass line made up of Sam’s three initials (All right, I cheated! Since there is no “S” pitch, I used the “A” from Sam’s first name). I improvised the treble clef part atop that bass line. The musical term for a continuously repeated phrase is “ostinato.” Because Sam loved word play, I named this piece “Epsteinato.”
  2. Celebrating Yosef: Karen and I welcomed our first grandchild in April of 2020, when adorable Yosef Thompson was born to Ellie (Chaya) and Scott! This is a “welcome to the world” gift to him from his Papa.
  3. The Stein Way: An additional series of brief improvisations, this time to honor and remember the wonderful Virginia Stein.
  4. Shared Moments, Shared Lives: Composed during the COVID work-from-home months for my son, Derek, and his girlfriend, Amber Gipson, who came to our home from different cities to spend time together and with us. On September 11, 2020, they got engaged!
  5. Epsteinato Revisited: Another few minutes of Epsteinato.
  6. AC Squared: A wedding gift for Amol Carvalho and Alexa Cichon, who will be sharing their lives AND their initials. Naturally, the main theme of the piece had to be A-C-A-C!
  7. More Musical Hugs: The title says it all.
  8. Grand Entrance: A song I wrote about our becoming grandparents, dedicated to Yosef and to any and all grandchildren who may join us in the future. This was the first time that my wife, Karen, joined me on a recording and I really enjoyed her participation. Neither of us is an accomplished singer, obviously, but our hope is that the sincerity will sell it.