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Album Review: Season Traditions
George Skaroulis
Cover image of the album Season Traditions by George Skaroulis
Season Traditions
George Skaroulis
1998 / Evzone Music
42 minutes
Review by Kathy Parsons
Season Traditions isn’t a new album this year, but it’s new to me, and it’s one of the most beautiful holiday albums I’ve heard. I just discovered George Skaroulis and his music earlier this year, and it’s been such a delightful discovery! This solo piano collection of thirteen Christmas and New Year’s songs includes two originals, “The Gathering” and “Coming Home,” as well as “Greek New Year Song,” all played with warmth and a wonderful depth of emotion. George Skaroulis brings such a fresh and honest approach to everything he does, and whether the music is original or composed by someone else, he has a marvelous ability to make it his own. An example is “O Tannenbaum,” which is a song most of my younger piano students want to play since it is easy and repetitive. It’s one of the first carols I get tired of during the holiday season, but somehow Skaroulis has made it new and beautiful again. One of my favorite tracks is “God Rest Ye Merry, Gentlemen.” It’s one of my favorite carols anyway, but this arrangement is hauntingly gorgeous. Some of the chord and rhythm changes are unexpected, taking the piece in new directions. I’m always amazed at how open “Carol of the Bells” is to a huge variety of approaches. This one is pensive, very rubato, and a bit haunting. “Silent Night” has a lot of open space, suggesting a quiet peace and perhaps stars twinkling in the sky and reflecting in a new layer of snow. Every track is a gem, played with George Skaroulis’ elegant and reflective style. Other titles include “What Child Is This?” “We Three Kings,” “The First Noel,” and “Angels We Have Heard On High.” Very highly recommended! Season Traditions is available from amazon.com, barnesandnoble.com, and evzonemusic.com.
December 1, 1998
This review has been tagged as:
Holiday Albums
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