Piano-Heaven Award Winner:

20 Years of Narada Piano

Various Narada Artists

Narada Records

  2001

 

  

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If you are a newcomer to the wonderful world of New Age piano music, there can be no better introduction than that offered by this 2CD collection from Narada, totalling around 140 minutes. Narada used to have a fine roster of stellar pianists, and they all contribute to this compilation which celebrates 20 highly successful years of the American company.

 

Sadly, Narada are no more and have gone the way of their great rival- Windham Hill. For now, great piano recordings like this on an international label are a thing of the past, which makes this double CD even more of a treasure- and one which I hold close to my heart.

 

The vast majority of the tracks are soothing and beautiful to which to listen. Highlights in Disc 1 include Endings by Canadian Michael Jones, the lovely Sunrise by Russian Pianist Kostia, and Dark Eyes by American Wayne Gratz. I also very much enjoyed, "Minor Truths" by Fred Simon, the opening of which very much reminds me of the style of Italian composer Ludovico Einaudi. "Bethel", by Paul Cardall, is also a glorious piano piece, and I am also very impressed by Orcas and Good Question by Michael Gettel and Wayne Gratz respectively. "Flowers on the Water" suggests a gentle piece, and Kostia once again does not disappoint. The first disc is an extremely good collection in itself.

 

Disc 2 is also good. Once again, highlights are in abundance. David Lanz's "Before the Last Leaf Falls" is as beautiful and poetic as the title suggests Paul Cardall provides another inspirational track in "Diamonds for Stones". The ever reliable Michael Jones submits another beauty for the listener's delectation in "Evening". Relaxing and soothing might be the style of Michael Jones, but it is completely the opposite for David Lanz's "Vesuvius". A more frantic piano piece you would be hard pushed to find! Nonetheless, it is extremely enjoyable to listen to, capturing the ferocity of an erupting volcano. Lanz displays amazing technique on this piece. "The Glen" is a catchy composition guaranteed to have you tapping your fingers and toes by the less well known Bradley Joseph. It is a lovely track.

With no fewer than 34 tracks representing the "pick of the crop" from a 20 year history, this is really a fantastic purchase. It would be a surprise if New Age piano lovers did not find something to their liking within this impressive collection.

Highly recommended!

S.C.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

20 Years of Narada Piano

 

Narada Records