Prolific Connecticut pianist Sharon Ruchman has released four CDs of chamber music in four years' time, and Textures is a switch from her usual trio and quartet pieces—she's now focusing on duets and solo piano. Ruchman extracts prime classical performances from cellist Mary Costanza, violinist Janet Boughton, and flutist Kim Collins as they weave through her sophisticated, original compositions. A former music teacher who earned a master of music degree from Yale School of Music and a bachelor's from New England Conservatory of Music, Ruchman has stated that her greatest desire is to have an audience emotionally connect with her compositions. She delivers such an array of feeling on this recording that she's sure to gratify lovers of classical melodies and harmonies.
Most of the six pieces on Textures are in two or three movements that are separated onto different tracks. "Meditation," the only piece claiming a single, lengthy track, is Ruchman immersed alone in her keystrokes in a melody so fluid and ever-changing that it almost sounds improvised. Her Sonata for Cello and Piano in F Sharp Minor, Op. 8, is in three movements that progress from passionate to tender to exuberant, while the Duet for Flute and Cello in D Minor, Op. 11, oscillates between pensive and lively. Her Piano Sonata in B Flat Major, Op. 10, is a gorgeously poignant piece in three parts that finds Ruchman solitary again on her instrument. Staying true to her fertile creativity, Ruchman has just released yet another CD this past March; this time it's music for weddings.