A Delicate Joy (2011)

A joyful solo piano album that celebrates life, faith, family, and living every moment to the fullest! Need encouragement? This is the album for you. Includes twelve original compositions plus David's arrangements of "Down by the Sally Gardens" and his colorful "Jesu Joy Canon in D." Nominated: "Best Instrumental Piano Album of 2011" by Zone Music Reporter.

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Album Liner Notes by David Nevue...

Nothing has made me more aware of the swift passage of time than watching my two children grow up before my eyes. It seems like not all that long ago, I was holding my newborn son in my arms, and yet here he is, eleven years old already and just moments away from becoming a teenager. My daughter Noelle, who makes me smile every single day, is eight now. If it were possible, she’d gladly choose to grow up even faster than her older brother!

Life moves so quickly. Months pass like days, and years like weeks. I have become so aware of how very precious every single moment is that I have with my children. I make every effort to listen - really listen - to what they are saying and feeling. I watch and treasure every delightful thing they do. I do my best to teach them what a life of joy means, not only through my words but also by my example. When they grow old and think of me, I want them to remember laughter, love and what it truly means to be a child of God, trusting in Him.

But Joy is a very delicate thing. It’s so much easier to worry… to stress out about finances, health concerns, politics – all things that in the scheme of eternity don’t really matter much. I have to constantly remind myself not to get overly caught up in such things.

Joy, like Love, is more than a fluffy feeling, it’s something you do. It’s a decision you make and an action you take. Yes, life is sometimes difficult to navigate – especially when dealing with issues of health or grieving for the loss of the ones we love – but we often make it harder on ourselves than it needs to be. We carry the weight of the world on our shoulders and allow ourselves to be swallowed up too easily by our troubles. That steals away our joy.

That’s not what God, our creator, wants for us. He wants us to set our minds on things above, not on earthly things. He wants us to focus on the eternal, on love, on relationships, both with Him and our fellow man. He wants us to rely on Him, to truly put our cares on His shoulders. Yes, it’s easier said than done, but it is a noble and Godly pursuit.

The music on A Delicate Joy is about living fully and joyfully. It’s about freedom from worry, and about walking in faith, knowing God has all things in His hands. It’s about love, family, and spending precious time together enjoying God’s creation. It’s about making the most of every single moment, because there isn’t a moment to lose. Every moment matters. Life is a treasure to be enjoyed.

Psalm 66, 81, 95, 98 and 100 all exhort us to make a joyful noise unto the Lord. This album is my joyful noise, or at least, one part of it. It is my expression of gratitude for the great blessings God has given my family. I will not take them for granted, and I will not let the dark clouds I occasionally pass through in life take my joy away.

Celebrate life, choose joy, and in doing so not only will you live in peace, you’ll inspire those around you to live joyfully as well.

- David Nevue, April 2011

Album Reviews...

Industry Reviews...

I am a huge fan of David Nevue's work, so I was delighted to see the release of this album. While I enjoyed his two previous albums ("Adoration" and "Revelation"), those were arrangements of traditional hymns in a contemporary piano style. The current album, on the other hand, is the first of Nevue's to highlight original compositions since his 2005 "Overcome" album. Just comparing the cover art on the two albums makes it clear that Nevue is in a different place, emotionally and musically, with "A Delicate Joy" than he was with "Overcome," which had been written following the death of Nevue's father and was darker in emotional tone.

The cover of "A Delicate Joy," on the other hand, features Nevue's daughter, Noelle, walking in a field of tulips under a glorious blue sky, and the pieces on the album reflect a similar atmosphere of joy and a delightful feeling of being alive. This is "feel good" music at its best, lilting and jaunty and full of the promise of a bright new day. I listened to the album repeatedly over a period of several days, trying to identify my favorite tracks and realizing it would be a tough task after I had jotted down the titles of over 8 potential "favorites." Continued listening finally let me narrow the list down to "The Garden Swing" and "A Vision in White."

If you like the music of such artists as David Lanz, George Winston, Michael Jones, and Einaudi, you will no doubt enjoy this album and the rest of Nevue's discography. Listeners who are also pianists will be happy to learn that Nevue makes the sheet music for most of his pieces available for purchase on his website, and the sheet music for "A Delicate Joy" should similarly be forthcoming."

- reviewed by Monika Kern, on 9/26/2011

"A Delicate Joy" is the twelfth release from pianist/composer David Nevue and his first album of original piano solos in about five years. From the heartwarming cover photo of Nevue's daughter Noelle in a field of tulips to the last notes of Nevue's medley of "Jesu Joy of Man's Beholding" and "Canon in D," this album celebrates the simple beauties and joys of life. Nevue's liner notes describe it perfectly: "The music on "A Delicate Joy" is about living fully and joyfully. It's about freedom from worry, and about walking in faith, knowing God has all things in His hands. It's about love, family, and spending precious time together enjoying God's creation. It's about making the most of every single moment, because there isn't a moment to lose. Every moment matters. Life is a treasure to be enjoyed." All but two of the fourteen pieces are Nevue originals. The other two include the medley mentioned above and Nevue's arrangement of the traditional Irish song, "Down By the Sally Gardens." I have to admit that I've always been partial to Nevue's darker music, but these pieces sparkle and dance, radiating the happiness of a peaceful heart and soothing our cares away.

"A Delicate Joy" opens with the title track, a reflective and gently flowing piece that could be a prayer or meditation set to music. "Traveling Light" has a lighthearted lilt that hasn't a care or worry in the world. The simple melody and left hand rhythm pattern in "The Garden Swing" create a tranquil interlude - effortlessly kicking back and doin' nothing. "A Vision in White" was inspired when Nevue saw his toddler daughter in a white dress as a flower girl in a friend's wedding and thinking about how she would be walking down the aisle in her own wedding sometime in the future. Bittersweet and introspective, this is one of my favorites. "My Happy Dance" was inspired by Mike Strickland's "foot-tappin' music" and is quite different from most of Nevue's other music. It fits this album perfectly both theme-wise and musically - free-flowing fun. "A Tiny Heartbeat" conveys the wonder and awe of hearing a baby's heartbeat for the first time. The swirling and carefree "Happily Ever After" is a more-restrained yet effusive happy dance. "Hand In Hand" is a simple, heartfelt love song - slow, melodic, and honest. Love it! "Under the Setting Sun" is my favorite track. I love the gentle ebb and flow of the peacefully rolling rhythm and sensitive melodic line. I can't wait to play this one myself! "Jesu Joy Canon in D" is an effervescent ode to joy that combines the two classics with Nevue's improvisations and interpretations, ending the album with a happy smile.

David Nevue has created another gem with "A Delicate Joy"! Recommended!

- reviewed by Kathy Parsons, for MainlyPiano.com, on 10/3/2011

In his formative days as a musician, David's biggest influences came from the progressive rock of the 1980's with groups like Pink Floyd, Rush, Jethro Tull, and Queen. However, upon hearing the impressionistic piano music of George Winston while in college, David was taken by what he heard and began to move in that direction. In fact, his sound on the piano has been described as "somewhere between Chopin and George Winston."

The title track is appropriately named in that it illuminates a delicateness like sunlight on a spider's silken web. I appreciated the way he would often pause between phrases to let the composition breathe, and give the listener a brief respite to savor the moment. Of the fourteen tracks on the album, twelve are originals and two are arrangements. Track three, "Down By the Sally Gardens" is one of the later - a sweet and lovely Irish tune that is one of David's favorites.

The mood shifts a bit on "Day's Gone By" and "A Vision In White" eliciting a more wistful air, that highlights the emotional range David brings to his playing and composing. However, the pendulum swings back again on the exuberant "My Happy Dance," making me aware of how much a simple melody or piece of music can tap into our feeling nature and affect it so profoundly. The CD draws to a delightful conclusion with the second of the two arrangements entitled "Jesu Joy Canon in D" which David refers to as "a mish-mash of Bach's Jesu Joy, Pachelbel's Canon, and my own improvisational riffs." "A Delicate Joy" is an exquisite collection of solo piano music that is moving, heartfelt, and life affirming, offering a timely and touching reminder to stop and smell the roses.

- reviewed by Michael Diamond, for Music and Media Focus on 1/16/2012

This album marks pianist David Nevue's first collection of mostly original compositions in over five years, and it has been well worth the wait.

The CD contains twelve Nevue-penned tracks and two adaptations/rearrangements of traditional tunes. But they all flow smoothly one after another and equally display Nevue's talent for balancing virtuosity, elegance, taste, and restraint.

The result is an album that is an absolute delight to listen to. There is no single track or group of tracks that I found myself wanting to skip to and play over and over. They all fall easily on the ears. However, if I could only listen to one track, it would be Nevue's masterful interpretation of "Jesu Joy Canon in D." Also, "The Garden Swing," "Just Because I Love You," "Hand in Hand" and "Goodnight Sweet Angel" are particularly affecting.

A truly amazing aspect of not only this CD but also Nevue's music in general is the fact that he does not write or notate any of his original compositions or covers of other people's works. He plays everything by ear and memory.

This wouldn't be so remarkable if this was jazz improvisation, where general thematic and chord structures usually serve as a launching pad for free-form solos. However, every one of Nevue's originals or covers is intricate and detailed, especially a piece such as "Jesu Joy Canon in D," making Nevue's prowess on the piano even that more extraordinary.

Whether you are a piano aficionado or a casual listener, this is one album that can be enjoyed by fans of all musical persuasions.

- reviewed by Raj Manoharan for The RajMan Review on 12/4/2011

A Selection of Buyer Reviews posted at Amazon.com...

"The day `A Delicate Joy' was released I immediately purchased the digital download, before placing my multiple cd order ~ I just could not wait another day to listen to my favorite pianist/composer's new compositions! Being a passionate flower gardener, sky watcher and enthusiastic dog walker (who is eager to be shown the world through the eyes of a Sheltie) I felt an intimate connection to David Nevue's new material. Having no children I cannot realize the joy of parenthood, yet I do indeed live a life filled with the love of creation.

Listening non-stop to `A Delicate Joy' for two weeks I discovered each piece to be fresh, original and played with the familiar "Nevue touch". The tracks are amazingly varied yet consistent with the theme. With no titles to read from the cover and choosing not to peek online at the track list, I created my own descriptives to match the joys I'd experienced for each beautiful composition. I entertained myself while being entertained! ~:)

As "The Garden Swing" played I marveled at a monarch butterfly dance at my verbena. "Happily Ever After" can be the soundtrack to the exuberant greeting I receive from my Sheltie when I walk in the door (the sentiment is mutual)! I hear "A Vision in White" while taking in the ray's of the dawn sun filtering through the mist in the trees in my backyard. "Tiny Heartbeat" is so expressive that it can bring me to tears since I feel David is playing MY heartbeat. It's my ultimate favorite! In the bluesy & hauntingly beautiful "Under the Setting Sun" the prevailing melody of the composition transforms and becomes dramatic & bold. David captures the essence of a gorgeous sunset - the drama & splendor occur AFTER the sun sinks below the horizon!

When my cd order arrived I was disappointed ~ not with `A Delicate Joy', but with the recording industry for having eliminated the vinyl LP as its standard. Being an aficionado of album cover art, I was denied the pleasure of appreciating the detail in the superb cover - which is absolutely perfect for the subject matter in `A Delicate Joy' - on so many levels!

David Nevue's genius is in composing absolutely beautiful melodies. He is also a perfectionist in his art. `A Delicate Joy' will leave the listener relaxed AND energized. Every piece is uniquely beautiful. Might I add that I love the final chord played on the last track, "Jesu Joy Canon in D"? It's played as if David was tipping his hat to the fabulous piano he played for this recording!

Thank you, David ~ your music has filled THIS fan's heart with joy!

- reviewed by Daria Murphy on 12/7/2011

"I am a new Nevue fan!!! The talent the man has is inspirational, the music is upbeat and relaxed and charming on this cd. Soft, and unobtrusive for an afternoon at home, or warm enough for an evening when you need to chill by yourself. Love it! Have purchased one other of Mr. Nevue's cds, and this purchase is encouraging me to get them all. If you like the solo piano, yes. Get this!!!!"

"I am not capable of writing a technical critique of this piece, but rather the feeling evoked is that to which I respond. This music is so joyful, liberating and full of light that it simply dazzles me each time I play it."

"David Nevue had an impressive body of work even before his recent release of A Delicate Joy. This CD is a brilliant set of compositions: beautiful melodies, interesting theme development, very well played, and the piano has an excellent tone quality. The very first song in the album lets you know that you are in for something special. The third song, Down By the Sally Gardens, and the ninth song, Just Because I Love You, are examples of simple, elegant melodies that will stick with you for days after you hear them. David has been sharing his music with the world for a long time now, and it is inspiring to see that he continues to grow as a composer and to hone his craft as a musician. "

"I heard David on Pandora at The Comstock House Bed and Breakfast in Vermont and knew I had met a musical soul mate. I felt the peace and serenity of his music. The dictionary defines joy as "gladness and wellbeing". I purchased "A Delicate Joy" and was led along a path of gladness and wellbeing. My husband and I took this CD last week as we drove along Skyline Drive to look at the fall leaves and we listened to the tracks for the whole four hour drive! We'd try to switch to other CD's but kept coming back to this music because of the quietly positive and happy sense that the music brought. Blessed are they who listen to this CD."

More Customer Reviews of this album at Amazon.com.

Track List / Album Preview...