What does it sound like?:
Released by Esoteric in April 27th, this is a mostly instrumental 4 CD set – of the 87 tracks, only one (She’ll Be Waiting on the first CD) has vocals. These tracks range from 38 seconds to 17-and-a-half minutes in duration and, across the four CDs in this set, the sound varies hugely. Much of the music contained on these discs is very filmic or incidental music, and I have the feeling that quite a lot of the material from CDs 2 and 3 – in particular – were actually written as library music pieces.
CD 1 – Private Parts & Pieces Vol IX: Dragonfly Dreams – originally came out in 1996 and is the most immediately listener friendly disc in this set. Mostly classical/acoustic guitar pieces, it’s much more in-keeping with what the “casual” Anthony Phillips listener may expect.
CD 2 – Private Parts & Pieces Vol X: Soiree – was originally released in 1999. This is all piano music, quasi-classical if you will, and the reverb-drenched sound is not necessarily the most appealing to the ear.
CD 3 – Private Parts & Pieces Vol XI: City Of Dreams – originally issued in 2012 is a keyboard-based collection, mostly electronic but with some straight piano pieces, and by far the most “library music” of the discs in this set.
CD 4 – Private Parts & Extra Pieces II – is a compendium of additional, previously unreleased material from the eras of the three other CDs in the set – 18 tracks in total – and has some beautiful pieces of music included.
If you had bought any of the previous releases of CDs 1-3 in this collection, you’ll notice that a comparison reveals a much clearer and deeper sound this time around. That particularly assists the listening pleasure with CDs 1 and 4.
The box set comes with a lavish booklet, containing all the information you could possibly want, and a new essay by Jonathan Dann.
What does it all *mean*?
It certainly means the end of the Private Parts & Pieces re-releases.
Goes well with…
Might suit people who like…
Instrumental noodling, beautiful guitar work, and library music. Aside from CD1 and some of CD4, though, it’s not ideal background music for a dinner party, for example.