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Album Review: Angels
David Hicken
Cover image of the album Angels by David Hicken
Angels
David Hicken
2007 / Enchanting Music
52 minutes
Review by Kathy Parsons
Angels is “Part 2” of David Hicken’s incredibly beautiful trilogy of original solo piano CDs that began with Goddess. Some of the music on Angels is a bit more complex than Goddess, and some is more classical in style, but it is just as soothing, uplifting, and relaxing. A new face on the solo piano scene, David Hicken has had extensive classical music training from a very early age on both piano and organ, and released several CDs of classical and original organ music over the past seventeen years. He has been a music teacher himself for almost twenty years. With a studio set up in the garden area of his Hawaiian home, the creative juices have been flowing and the results are a wonderful gift to those of us who love gently evocative solo piano. (I also love solo piano when it’s kind of wild and crazy, but that’s another story!) Hicken says in the liner notes, “My aim is to produce music that enriches the lives of my audience by helping to melt away the stresses of everyday life.” Mission accomplished - bigtime! And there is good news for the pianists out there - a companion songbook is on its way!

The twelve pieces on Angels are each named for a specific angel, and all of the compositions are exceptional. I wish there was a short “blurb” in the liner notes about each angel to identify who they are, but this is a very small missing piece remedied by a visit to Google, I’m sure. “Celeste” is the first of the “Angels.” Full of grace and sweetness, it provides an elegant beginning. The rhythm of “Michael” has a swirling motion to accompany the simple, heartfelt melody. “Seraphina” reminds me of the passionate minimalism of Michael Hoppe’s music. The melody for “Rosetta” is very simple and graceful, with a sparkling accompaniment - similar in style to Saint-Saens’ “The Swan” - gorgeous! “Indriel” has a flowing left hand that gives the piece a sense of motion that would lend itself well to ballet. I love the unexpected chord changes in “Akasha,” my favorite on this album. The rolling left hand and passionate melody are delicate and exquisite. “Aurora” is a bit more playful while “Raphael” is quietly reflective. “Gabriel” is darker and more melancholy - another favorite - ending the album on a haunting note.

David Hicken is off to a fantastic start with two incredibly good CDs, and a third on its way. (I’ve had a sneak peak, and Faeries is every bit as beautiful as Angels and Goddess.) Angels is available from davidhicken.com and cdbaby.com. Very highly recommended!
January 10, 2008
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Kathy's Favorites: 2007
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