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.
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