2014 / Kendra Logozar and Michael Logozar
Review by Kathy Parsons
Peace is the third solo piano album from Kendra Logozar (Faith 2012 and Hope 2009 were released under her maiden name, Kendra Springer). Over the past decade or so, there has been a trend to release quiet Christmas albums to relax and counteract the stresses of the holiday season, but I’m not sure anyone has succeeded in this endeavor quite as well as Kendra Logozar has. I have to admit that I also love the spirited, joyful side of Christmas music, but Peace is so graceful and beautiful that it’s already one of my favorite Christmas albums. Kendra’s elegant touch and musical sensitivity bring new life to these well-worn chestnuts, refreshing them and giving them a personal interpretation. Sometimes when music is referred to as “quiet and peaceful” it means that it’s very simple, but while this album can easily slip into the background, it merits repeated listenings with more focused attention - thirteen absolutely gorgeous arrangements including a duet of “Carol of the Bells” with her pianist/composer husband, Michael.
Peace begins with a lovely arrangement of “The Holly and the Ivy” that brings out the innocent charm of the melody. “Silent Night” starts out with a quiet “Joy to the World” before segueing into the main song, which is hushed and reverent. “Carol of the Bells” opens simply, gradually building energy as it evolves and becoming a sparkling duet with Michael Logozar - love this one! “Deck the Halls” and “Jingle Bells” are often uptempo and playful, but Kendra really brings out the beauty of both melodies, making the songs thoughtful and cozy. “Go Tell It On the Mountain” has a light, dancing rhythm that honors the original gospel style but gives an entirely new take on the song. “O Come O Come Emmanuel” is one of the very first Christmas carols and is one of my own favorites. I love Kendra’s haunting arrangement! The only other time I’ve heard “Los Peces en el Rio” was on a Mannheim Steamroller Christmas album, and I’ve always wondered why it isn’t included in more collections. Kendra’s arrangement is quieter and more subtle, but that wonderful melody is even more beautiful in her hands. I don’t think I’ve heard “There’s a Song in the Air” before, but what an evocative piece! The music goes back to 1905 - love it! This exceptional album closes with a heartfelt arrangement of “The First Noel” that again emphasizes the melody with sensitivity and deep emotion.
Kendra Logozar has created a true work of art with Peace - one that will be a favorite Christmas album for many years to come. It is available from Amazon, iTunes, and CD Baby. Very highly recommended!
November 13, 2013