Sunday, December 8, 2013

REVIEW: Kathryn Toyama and Renaud Schmitt - "Silent Night"

"Silent Night"

Pianist Kathryn Toyama, working with Renaud Schmitt (orchestrations and arranger), have given holiday music lovers an early Christmas present–a free download of a wonderful version of "Silent Night." In Kathryn's words "We offer our rendition of 'Silent Night' with heartfelt intentions to raise vibrations throughout the world… may there be peace and harmony among all living beings." With music this lovely as inspiration, perhaps that hopeful vision is in sight. Toyama's sensitive piano performance is enhanced by Schmitt's orchestral embellishments (strings, horns, bells, percussion). Opening with an exquisitely serene first verse, the carol moves into a more dramatic passage with a choir and timpani adding even power and passion, before reverting to the gentler motif, the carol's melody carried by piano, bells, and strings. The track's magic makes me wish for a more fully realized holiday album by these two talented artists, so I guess that will have to be one of my wishes for the New Year. The track can be downloaded at Kathryn Toyama's bandcamp page here:

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