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Album Review: 20 Years of Narada Piano
Various Artists
Cover image of the album 20 Years of Narada Piano by Various Artists
20 Years of Narada Piano
Various Artists
2001 / Narada
Disc 1: 65 minutes
Disc 2: 75 minutes
Review by Kathy Parsons
This two-CD set is a compilation of previously-released material from past and present pianist/composers from Narada’s roster. A few of the selections are from the ‘80’s, but the vast majority are from more recent albums. Several pieces are from previous piano samplers, such as Piano Solos (1992), Romance: Music for Piano (1994), and First Light (1996), which seems a little like cheating, but the collection plays extremely well and it’s fun to have a lot of favorite composers on one CD. The styles are varied, and the positioning of the pieces within the collection is exceptionally well done. In the 80’s and early ‘90’s, Narada featured a virtual “Who’s Who” of so-called new age pianists - David Lanz, Spencer Brewer, Kostia, Wayne Gratz, Ira Stein, Michael Jones, Michael Gettel. Many have gone in other directions or to other labels, but is interesting to see how strikingly individual their styles are. Some of the more-recently signed artists are also featured, including Mia Jang, Michael Whalen, Paul Cardall, and Keiko Matsui. David Arkenstone isn’t known as a pianist per se, but his contribution to the Romance CD is included. The majority of the pieces in this collection are solo piano, but some of the selections include synth or acoustic ensemble. I find this collection to be exceptionally enjoyable to listen to, and it also serves as a reminder of what an incredibly talented group of artists have graced the Narada label. I highly recommend 20 Years of Narada Piano for an outstanding collection of easy-going but sophisticated piano music. Great stuff!
May 5, 2001