Moment At Dawn
2016 / Grumpy Monkey Music
Review by Michael Debbage
Apparently composer Charles Denler has been around for a significant time scoring films and television shows in what appears to date at least as far back as 2004. Apparently he was not on this reviewer’s radar which also includes missing some of his own solo recordings, the most recent release being Moment At Dawn. Recorded live featuring an 80 piece orchestra and a 100 voice choir the focus is largely his compositions and piano work.
While this is not the entire concert, Moment At Dawn still clocks in at 37 minutes and despite the grand scale participants, Charles Denler focuses on more reflective pieces that are not overwrought. This more conservative approach brings to mind the styling of arranger Jeremy Lubbock who collaborated with the famous producer David Foster on Foster’s infamous solo album The Symphony Sessions. While Denler has some way to go to match this inspiring recording there are certainly influences found on this highly impressive Moment At Dawn.
Do not let the phrase live recording alarm you as the production qualities are pristine and the audience is silent until the album comes to a conclusion with the stirring closer “Alium Diem”. Prior to that there are many emotive moments that vary from full blown orchestra collaborations of the previously mentioned equaled by the melancholy drama of “Eventide” to the other spectrum of elegant solo piano performances found on more reflective moments such as “The White Forest”. Somewhere in between these spectrums you will also find Denler’s dueting with violinist Yumi Hwang Williams such as the outstanding and alluring “Vivet I”.
Moment At Dawn is Charles Denler’s latest release and it was recorded back in May of 2013. His most recent compositions can be found on the equally beautiful 2015 Portraits In Season that is also alluring and intriguing. Whether you decided to sit for a portrait or share moments with a dawn either choice will be a resounding audio delight. Just make sure you chose one as that would be a total miss on your behalf.
September 4, 2016
Review by Kathy Parsons