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Album Review: A New Creation
Paul Cardall
Cover image of the album A New Creation by Paul Cardall
A New Creation
Paul Cardall
2016 / Stone Angel Music
55 minutes
Review by Kathy Parsons
Steinway Artist Paul Cardall established himself quite a few years ago as one of the leading pianists in the new age/contemporary piano genres. He has also been a huge source of inspiration having been born with, essentially, half of a functioning heart, and the successful heart transplant that has given him a new life. Cardall has recorded many collections of hymns as well as his own compositions, several of which have charted on Billboard, but A New Creation is something entirely different. He explains: "I've wanted to do an album that offered a tribute to the Savior, like a soundtrack for the Bible, something that tells the story or teaches the plan of salvation in an indirect way.” Eight of the twelve tracks on A New Creation are fully orchestrated and performed by the Stone Angel Orchestra. Three of the vocal pieces are performed by Nathan Pacheco (Yanni’s Voces and Voices albums), Patrice Tipoki, and the Stone Angel Chorus. One song, “One By One,” was co-written with Elder David A. Bednar of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. This magnificent hymn is the centerpiece of the album and includes The American Heritage Children’s Choir and The Lyceum Philharmonic as well as Pacheco. Paul Cardall has created a spiritual as well as a musical masterpiece with A New Creation - his magnum opus for sure, at least so far!

A New Creation opens with the title song. Both peaceful and stirring, it’s a beautiful beginning! “The Fall” starts out with harp and flute backed by rather ominous-sounding bass strings. Dramatic and very powerful, this is my favorite of the symphonic pieces. “Into the Wilderness” tells the story of Exodus. “Wonders In Heaven” is gently uplifting as it paints a glorious picture of what lies beyond our earthly lives. “Son of God” is a gorgeous telling of the birth of Jesus sung from Mary’s point of view by Patrice Tipoki. The instrumental support to Tipoki’s expressive mezzo-soprano voice is minimal, and what an amazing voice it is! With another amazing voice, Nathan Pacheco’s contributions to the album are stunning. “Gethsemane” is sung in Italian (with the translation to English in the liner notes), but the passion in his voice needs no translation, telling of God’s love and forgiveness. The story behind “One By One” is worth mentioning. Cardall was already considering a gospel-focused album when he was invited to perform at a social event for the LDS Church's missionary department in 2014. Afterward, Elder Bednar pulled Cardall aside and said he had a song he wanted to get out, but he needed help. When they met to discuss the project, Elder Bednar explained that he likes to find unique phrases in the scriptures such as the many times the Savior personally ministers "one by one" to individuals. Once Cardall had a theme that inspired Elder Bednar, it all came together. This truly wonderful hymn is performed first by the Lyceum Philharmonic and an adult choir, later joined by Nathan Pacheco and The American Heritage Children’s Choir each soloing for a verse, followed by the amazing sound of everyone performing together to the end. A shorter version of this song, “Eden Za Drugim” (the Slovene translation of the title) is performed as a piano solo with light strings and is also extraordinary. The symphonic “Where There’s Love” brings this outstanding album to a serene close.

A New Creation is a work of art regardless of your religious beliefs and preferences. It is available from PaulCardall.com, Amazon, iTunes and CD Baby. Very highly recommended!
October 5, 2016
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