STYLE: Classical RATING OUR PRODUCT CODE: 125356-19369 LABEL: Music To Light The World Inc 884501527194 FORMAT: CD Album ITEMS: 1 RELEASE DATE: 2012-05-08 RRP: £9.99
Reviewed by Paddy Hudspith
Atlanta, Georgia-based pianist and composer Lanier offers us his seventh collection of music, his mission statement being to bring "peace and rest in a hurried world". 2011's 'A Thousand Years' aims for this laudable target via interpretations of famous classical pieces such as Pachelbel's "Canon In D" (on the Psalm 19-inspired "Across The Skies") and Bach's "Prelude In C", and hymns including "Amazing Grace" (on "World Of Wonders") and "All Creatures Of Our God And King" (see "Alleluias Dancing"). Lanier performs alone apart from the occasional touch of English horn (Jill Haley), guitar (producer Will Ackerman) or "angelic vocals" (Noah Wilding). Well performed and excellently produced, 'A Thousand Years' is a very pleasant and, yes, restful listen. The only sticking point (as it was for my musician wife) is whether or not one wishes such familiar pieces adapted too far; for example Lanier interprets "Prelude In C" in a romantic style, when in truth it is a baroque piece. At this point it all becomes subjective if you don't know your Bach from your Beethoven, but if you are seeking gentle sounds for peaceful moments, 'A Thousand Years' might well be for you.
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"The idea to interweave scripture-inspired piano compositions with unique arrangements of timeless classical and hymn melodies had been in my mind for several years. I wanted this recording to have the enduring simplicity and intimacy that comes through solo piano. In a few special places, I also wanted to feature the gentle presence of two of my favourite artists, Noah Wilding singing angelic vocals and Jill Haley playing English horn.
"The creative process was an amazing journey, as music from seven renowned hymns and five of the world’s greatest classical composers (Bach, Beethoven, Chopin, Mozart and Pachelbel) were blended with eleven original works. I was stretched out of my comfort zone more than ever before. Yet, at the same time, the studio became a refuge more than ever before. This resulted in fresh experiences of joy, peace and hope from deep down inside that I am excited to share with you." - Stanton Lanier