Notes and Editorial Reviews
"Levingston plays with a marvelous sense of pacing, emphasis, and balance. These renditions are full of thought; and, since he is completely beyond technique, he can express whatever he wants. The resonant sound of the piano is a pleasure to hear…."
--American Record Guide May/ June 2019
"Most of the music on this CD is slow, quiet, and spare, yet giving yourself over to it for even a portion of its 71-minute running time is profoundly cathartic. The piano recording has exceptional presence with an excellent sense of the instrument’s volume.”
MUSIC: FIVE Stars SONICS: FIVE Stars
--THE ABSOLUTE SOUND May-June 2019
Bruce Levingston writes of his new release: “The genesis of this recording was an invitation to perform for the opening of the Mississippi Civil Rights Museum, an event which inspired me to meditate on the complex history of my birthplace, Mississippi. A storied, culturally-rich state, it has produced some of our country’s most important artists – including William Faulkner, B.B. King, Leontyne Price, and Eudora Welty – but is also a place that has witnessed notably painful struggles with race, poverty, and equality. The scars are painful and deep. Here, among our colleges, churches, cotton fields and battlefields, contradictions abound. These disparate, but related, elements have long absorbed and confounded artists born in this mystical place. In recent years, I have come to see that my beloved state only reveals more intensely what exists in other places in our world: the struggle for people to come to terms with one another’s histories and differences. In this time of turmoil between peoples and nations, focused on issues of citizenship and patriotism, we continue this struggle. I chose to name this album “Citizen,” not only because it contains works that reflect upon actual citizenship and human rights, but also to highlight that we are all citizens of one earth, and in order to survive, we must find ways to respect one another’s differences, and strongly uphold each other’s right to exist with dignity and freedom. On this recording, I have gathered together works by composers who have contemplated these issues deeply. The voices of these artists plead for civility, humanity, and love, and each brings a sense of immediacy to the cause – offering not a clenched fist, but an open hand that reaches out with a welcoming embrace.”
An absorbing musical study of citizenship and human rights.
— Apple - iTunes A List
"The mix of compositions both contemporary and Romantic, American and European, old and new featured in this recording is brilliantly played, amply justified, and insightfully annotated in straightforward prose by the ever questing Bruce Levingston….This CD’s gathering of voices that celebrate the civility and brotherly love quintessential to what is American or more simply put, what it means to be a member of the human race, is a noble undertaking underpinned by the artistic excellence and commitment of its curator and pianist, Bruce Levingston, a notable artist who brings the album to an end with a profoundly touching AMAZING GRACE.
—All About The Arts Rafael de Acha
"Levingston’s playing is lithe and full-voiced throughout. He has an admirable ability to preserve the clarity of each strand in a densely woven contrapuntal texture, crafting a compelling whole without obscuring its parts. His phrasing is subtle, nuanced shadings of tone playing against each other to illuminate the underlying musical structure...expert control... Citizen adds to a much-needed conversation…."
--National Sawdust Log
The final tracks go to Price Walden whose Sacred Spaces is a profoundly moving remembrance of the countless churches where AfricanAmericans gathered and contributed to their sense of community. His arrangement of Amazing Grace closes the recording. It’s a straightforward structure that uses some extraordinary harmonic transitions to make this iconic hymn even more meaningful in the context of the disc. This recording by Bruce Levingston is far more than a simple CD. It’s a meditation on one of the central issues of our time and can only benefit from being heard and experienced in that way.
—The Whole Note ( March 2019 )