1997 / Key Image Music
Review by Kathy Parsons
Winter Tapestry is a gorgeous collection of original piano solos, seasonal medleys, and children’s songs. The Christmas pieces are interspersed among the other music, making this a wonderful album all winter long and beyond. The arrangements are full and heartfelt without being overly flashy, letting the lovely melodies tell their stories in a straightforward, uncluttered fashion. A few tracks have some synth washes, but most are purely the piano, played in a soothing and gentle style that avoids being cloying or overly sentimental.
The opening track, “Expectations,” is full of hope and optimism with a touch of bittersweet nostalgia. My favorite piece is a medley of Brown’s “Winter Rain” and “Carol of the Bells.” “Winter Rain” sparkles as musical raindrops dance softly and then build to more of a downpour. As the showers taper off the piece melds into an excellent arrangement of “Carol of the Bells” that is both powerful and elegant. “First Snow” and “Aspen Breeze” are peaceful and delicate with lots of open spaces. “Silent Night” has the Brahms lullaby woven through it in a charming blending of two pieces I wouldn’t have thought to combine - it works beautifully. “Angel’s Lullabye” is another favorite, full of warmth and love. “Joy To the World” begins with a charming version of “Alouette” that becomes “Frere Jacques,” and returns to “Alouette” before evolving into the Christmas carol - very clever and inventive. “Firelight” is a bit darker with a feeling of introspection that I really like. “Holiday Spirit” is another great medley that includes “Kumbaya,” “We Wish You a Merry Christmas,” and “The First Noel.” The closing “God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen” is a peaceful and flowing arrangement that begins with an original prelude.
Winter Tapestry is a wonderful CD for any time of year, but will be especially loved during the cold months. It is available from [www.christinebrown.com] and cdbaby.com. Samples are available at the artist’s website.
December 9, 2004