Thirteen years after Margaret Leng Tan released her first solo toy piano album Art of the Toy Piano, she releases an even more unforgettable sequel album, She Herself Alone. It is clear that Margaret has collected a handful of gorgeous gems throughout the years that portray a dramatic and epic journey with the toy piano. Some of my favorites include the haunting Hymn to Ruin by Ross Bolleter that is written for ruined piano and ruined toy piano, Eric Griswold’s playful Old MacDonald’s Yellow Submarine and Laura Liben’s enchanting She Herself Alone for toy piano and toy psaltery. Other works include George Crumb’s Put My Little Shoes Away from his American Songbook VI (cleverly arranged for toy piano and toy percussion by Margaret), two pieces by Cage including the Suite for Toy Piano and an arrangement of Dream, as well as the tango-filled An American in Buenos Aires by Toby Twining. One of my favorite parts on the album is Margaret’s unrestrained performance of Jerome Kitzke’s The Animist Child for toy piano and voice. The kind of abandonment in this recording is unforgettable!
This CD is more than a toy piano recording but a great collaboration between imaginative composers and an incredible performer. She Herself Alone is also available on DVD on Mode Records. Find out more at Margaret’s site.