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.
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.
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.