Talk about a left turn. On Little Rockets, her previous disc (released in 2001), pianist Elea Plotkin sang and performed rock songs described in these pages as "down and dirty." Such descriptive terms can't be applied to Classical Dreamscapes, her latest effort, which is being introduced to the public during a CD-release party on Saturday, November 13, at Dazzle. As its title implies, the recording finds her surveying material by the likes of Chopin and Mozart.
Plotkin appears to be fully recovered from a hand injury that partly inspired her pop excursions. Her playing on compositions such as Claude Debussy's "Reverie" and Johannes Brahms's "Intermezzo in A Major Op. 118 No. 2" is skillful, if lacking in surprises. Rather than radically reinterpret these works, she performs them with an ear to romanticism and intimacy. The music's too shy to thrust itself into the spotlight, but it suits the background just fine.