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Album Review: Christmas At Home
David Wahler
Cover image of the album Christmas At Home by David Wahler
Christmas At Home
David Wahler
2018 / David Wahler
25 minutes
Review by Kathy Parsons
Christmas At Home is a five-song EP by piano and keyboard master/musician David Wahler. As he has done with his previous “soundscapes that tell a story,” this award-winning composer/arranger takes us to a place of soothing peace and beauty that the stress and craziness that often come with the holidays can’t reach. Piano, keyboards and synths blended with occasional wordless vocals create a sparkling atmosphere of calm and quiet magic. The five pieces include one original composition called “Snowflake” and four traditional carols that are updated but still offer those with a more traditional ear a fresh take on old favorites.

Christmas At Home begins with “God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen,” one of my favorite carols and one that lends itself exceptionally well to a wide variety of musical styles and treatments. Behind the melody, Wahler’s arrangement leans toward the ambient side with strings plus other electronic instrumentation and effects that sparkle and swirl in a magical musical wonderland. In “O Holy Night,” Wahler uses harp and oboe-like instrumentation to carry the melody and gentle accompaniment. A bit into the piece, angelic voices and strings combine with the harp to create one of the most beautiful arrangements of this song I’ve heard. “Silent Night” expresses the stillness of gently falling snow on a moonlit night. Wahler keeps his arrangement spare and very effectively conveys a feeling of tranquility. “Snowflake” is the liveliest piece in the collection and expresses childlike innocence and excitement. Piano and strings create a lighthearted dance - perhaps in a light snowfall. It’s a sweet charmer that can stir the child in all of us! The haunting melody is the focus of “What Child Is This?” Keeping the background instrumentation simple allows this ancient song to really sing. It’s a lovely close to an enchanting Christmas album!

Christmas At Home is available from www.DavidWahler.com, Amazon, iTunes and CD Baby.
October 27, 2018