2012 / Kendra Springer
Review by Kathy Parsons
Faith is the follow-up to Kendra Springer’s 2009 debut, Hope. As much as I liked her first album, I like Faith even better. All thirteen original pieces are solo piano this time (no vocals or keyboard embellishments) and have an elegant, graceful flow designed to be uplifting, soothing, and healing. The influence of classical composers such as Beethoven and Tchaikovsky are apparent in the complexity of the music, but this music is firmly rooted in the 21st century. Produced by fellow pianist Michael Logozar, the piano sound is velvety yet crystal clear - no harshness and no mush - perfect! The freedom in Springer’s playing style suggests extensive improvisation, and it suits her music well, giving it a freshness and spontaneity that is hard to beat. Hope was an exceptionally promising first album, but Faith is certain to establish Springer as an artist with enduring staying power.
Faith begins with “Skagit Valley,” named for an area in the northeast corner of WA state known for its tulips. Springer’s light, dancing touch on the piano keys makes this a wonderful opening piece that provides a warm welcome and enticement to see what follows. “Every Spring” has a gentle fluidity that meanders a bit, but never gets off-track. Spontaneous yet cohesive, this piece is a favorite. “Figurine” reminds me of the fantasies I used to make up about the various figurines my grandmother had all over her house, collected from her travels. Simple and very graceful, it’s funny how it triggers a long-forgotten memory from my childhood. The title track is a bit more energetic - strong and confident. “Kathleen’s Lullaby” is as soothing as a cup of hot cocoa by a cozy fireplace fire - another favorite. “Sonora” is very slow and spare but breathtakingly beautiful. The middle section takes on a Spanish/Mexican flavor that makes the piece even more intriguing, and then returns to the original theme. “Prism” captures the delicate flash of colorful reflected light, sometimes slow and sometimes quick, moving at the whim of a breeze. WordReference.com defines “Spelnienie” as the Polish term for “fulfillment,” and this piece seems to be all about contentment and satisfaction - light, gentle, and very warm. “Illumine” is my favorite piece. Very fluid and free, the graceful melody conveys passion mixed with longing and a sense of peace. Love it! This exceptional album concludes with “Through a Glass,” which is also a favorite (I know - I have a lot of favorites on this album!). Very dreamy and peaceful, it floats you along on a fluffy cloud of sound - sigh!
Faith is a beauty from the first note to the last. It is available from Amazon, iTunes, and CD Baby. Very highly recommended!
June 4, 2012