Whichever point in the day you choose to listen to Medard Fischer’s Four Songs for the City of New York will simply be the most beautiful 18 minutes of your day. Moving neo-classical tinted with the soft light of ambient, these are graceful and gorgeous comments that, though brief, come through with strong, human resonance. This is one of those times when words won’t suffice. Fischer’s piano holds the lead on these songs, but it’s supported by an airy ensemble of sounds with a cinematic quality to them. The release opens with the delicate tones of “The Imaginary City,” said tones getting nearly drowned in a rising wash and distorted vocal drops. “Five Years Almost to the Day” comes in hesitant and perhaps a little sad, but brightens as it has its say. “Monument” has a soft, sequenced feel, a comforting pulse over long string pads. It ends on a note that is held like a mix of longing and expectation. “A Light That Doesn’t Go Out” took hold of my heart from the moment I heard it. For reasons I cannot explain, of the four tracks this one comes off the most like a love note to the city. In my head I see a montage of shots of empty city streets, the canyons between Manhattan skyscrapers, just after dawn, the city only thinking of waking. It is sunlight on high windows, a sparkle on the Hudson, the city glimpsed through the railings of a bridge as you reluctantly leave.
Enough from me. Get this. Listen. And listen again. Few things are this beautiful.
Available from Hidden Shoal.