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Album Review: Holiday
David Tolk
Cover image of the album Holiday by David Tolk
David Tolk
2001 / North Star Records
55 minutes
Review by Kathy Parsons
Pianist David Tolk’s Holiday is a warm, inspiring, and expertly-crafted collection of nine Christmas favorites and three original pieces. Tolk is joined by several other musicians on various acoustic instruments rather than doing all the parts on synth, giving the music a much more vibrant and lush feel. Most of the arrangements have a very peaceful tone to them, but several have a burst of musical energy that is infectious. Some of the traditional pieces included are “Good King Wenceslas,” which starts out as a piano solo and builds momentum with guitar, then oboe, and then strings; it dances its way to a close with the piano leading the way playing a lively version of “The Holly and the Ivy” - a truly delightful arrangement! “What Child Is This?” is a soulful arrangement with cello, piano, and subtle vocals; oboe comes in later, adding to the beauty of the ensemble work - gorgeous! Tolk’s arrangement of “Silent Night” is as gentle as they come. Piano, English horn, and wordless vocals make this another stand-out. I really like Tolk’s unusual solo piano arrangement of “We Three Kings”. The melancholy melody is speeded up a bit and given a lively left-hand accompaniment on piano. Other titles include “Bring a Torch, Jeanette Isabella,” “Angels We Have Heard on High,” and “O Holy Night.” Tolk’s three original pieces are excellent, and I’m really looking forward to hearing more of his work. “By the Hearth” is a piano and guitar duet that is both “folky” and contemporary, and full of good cheer. “Through Her Eyes” is a beautiful and loving piano solo for about half of the piece, and then the duo is joined by cello to totally melt the heartstrings. “A Winter’s Tale” returns to piano and guitar in a relaxed and cheerful duet; about halfway through it becomes a full ensemble piece which allows each of the musicians to shine. This is an outstanding collection that is sure to brighten the holidays for even the most hardened Grinch. Very highly recommended! Holiday is available at amazon.com and cdnow.com.
December 1, 2001
This review has been tagged as:
Holiday Albums
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