Friday, March 4, 2011

CD Review – Timeless II, by Michael Dulin

Pianist Michael Dulin’s follow-up to his CD Timeless features more covers of classical works, and as the title suggests, both the original pieces themselves and Dulin’s arrangements of them are timeless indeed.

Dulin primarily focuses on the compositions of Bach, Beethoven, Rachmaninoff, and especially Chopin, whose work dominates the album. Obviously, the tunes are beautiful. These composers are not considered great for nothing. One really can’t go wrong working with such high-class material. The only place to go is up, so artists can only do it one of two ways: either play it straight, or add a unique voice to it.

And Dulin certainly brings his own twist to the pieces. While Dulin’s piano playing itself pretty much sticks to the basics, Dulin embellishes it with orchestral sounds such as violin and cello (nothing new to classical music). However, Dulin really takes it up a notch by augmenting his piano melodies and harmonies with electronic synthesizer tones that add a veneer of eeriness and intrigue to the proceedings, giving the compositions a melancholic, darkly appealing edge.

As a result, Dulin’s treatment of these works takes them into New Age territory, which should make the album appealing to more than just purist fans of strictly classical music.

--Raj Manoharan

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