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Album Review: All The Days Of My Life
Vicente Avella
Cover image of the album All The Days Of My Life by Vicente Avella
All The Days Of My Life
Vicente Avella
2013 / Pandora's Boombox Records
56 minutes
Review by Kathy Parsons
All The Days Of My Life is the Will Ackerman-produced debut solo piano CD by Vicente Avella. Born and raised in Caracas, Venezuela, Avella has been writing and performing internationally since 1998. He has scored numerous independent films, orchestrated and worked on music production for major network television shows including Family Guy (FOX) and American Dad (FOX), and written music for worldwide advertising that includes Intel (Saudi Arabia), Red Bull Air Race World Championship (Brazil), and official branding for FPC Sports Channel (Colombia). He has also provided the music for hundreds of weddings and found a serious need for updates to some of the classical wedding piano repertoire. All The Days Of My Life is a collection of eleven arrangements and original compositions that reflect on Avella’s own wedding day. He wanted to capture every moment and hold onto the memory of that very special occasion as well as providing a treasured keepsake for other couples. The music is dignified without being stilted, arranged in a new age/contemporary classical style that should fit in beautifully in church as well as less formal settings. (A companion sheet music book is also available, providing pianists with faithful transcriptions of the music on this CD. Individual sheet music downloads are also available from Avella’s site. )

The album begins with a lovely arrangement of Bach’s “Jesu, Joy of Man’s Desiring.” This version is uncluttered and has an easy flow that allows the gentle melody to really sing. “Dressed In White” is a love song that overflows with tenderness and longing and would be a graceful prelude to the ceremony. “Romanze (Canon in D)” has snippets of the venerable Pachelbel Canon woven throughout the piece, but you have to listen for them. Wagner’s “Bridal March” has to be one of the most-recognized pieces of music in Western culture and can be cloying in the wrong hands. Avella has given it a graceful contemporary setting that works beautifully, keeping the traditional melody intact while updating it with a fresh new setting. The intro to Beethoven’s “Ode to Joy” contains the melody of this classic, but after that, phrases from the original piece pop up here and there. A bit more lively than some of the other tracks, it is subtle enough to use as a quiet background piece during the ceremony. The title track is another original composition, this time conveying the promise of wedding vows with confidence and deep emotion - a favorite. “Romanze (Reprise)” clocks in at just over a minute, restating a few of the themes from the first “Romanze.” “The One I Love” has a slightly haunting quality, alternating between major and minor modes - I like this one a lot, too. Schubert’s “Ave Maria” is another universally-recognized theme, and Avella’s update is a fitting and appropriate treatment of one of the most beautiful melodies ever composed. His arrangement of Vivaldi’s “Spring” is lively and joyous, but still gentle and quiet. Mendelssohn’s “Wedding March” is often used as the recessional to the wedding ceremony, and the traditional arrangements are usually very big and triumphant. This one is slower and much quieter, building slowly to a peak and then fading back to a subdued ending. It’s different, but also quite lovely.

All The Days Of My Life is an impressive project, and I can see why Will Ackerman (founder of Windham Hill Music) was enthusiastic about producing it. The album is available from www.vicenteavella.com, Amazon, iTunes, and CD Baby. Recommended!!!
May 13, 2013
This review has been tagged as:
Debut Albums