The Everlasting Light
In the middle of winter we are gifted a very important time, we have a few days to relax, unwind, reflect on the year gone by, and if we are fortunate enough to have them, we may be able to spend precious moments with family and friends at a time of year called Christmas. The energies of those days past are filled usually with fun, laughter and love, and of course memorable music that will travel with us over our lifetime, as will those ever enduring memories. Here on this latest album Lynn Tredeau expresses her love for this time of year, through her latest release called The Ever Lasting Light.
The opening piece is a classic and entitled O Tannenbaum; I am going to start with the praise early here, as this I do believe is one of the most delightful representations of this composition I have ever heard, Tredeau plays with a softness and deftness of touch that is so heart-warming to listen to.
This leads us nicely to our next offering called Away in a Manger; here lies a melody we will know only too well from our childhood, the almost lullaby style here on piano is like watching each twinkling of a star opening to caress a winter skyline, however if you listen deeply you may pick out a few reflective nuances within this very clever rendition.
We Wish You a Merry Christmas is our next present to open, here the pianist will emphasize an arrangement that can be sometimes looked over on the standard Christmas music album. Her soothing performance illustrates just what a beautiful arrangement this creation is.
O Little Town of Bethlehem is now upon us, but be careful how you remove the packaging, as this in my view is one of the most delicate manifestations of this well-known religious offering of all time, listen if you will to the piano heaven created within this arrangement, it is fluently masterful.
Pines Dressed in Winter has to be one of the most musically fragrant and most pleasing winter manifestations I have heard through the medium of piano for simply years. Tredeau’s magical performance is sublime, if ever a piece took you to the snow-capped forests of a late December afternoon, this is most certainly the one, and in my view one of my favourites from the album.
We move now to the half way marker of the album and as we do so we come across a very familiar piece indeed, and one I personally remember from opening the door to carol singers, and of course called The First Noel. This for me is a prime example of Tredeau bringing memory, reflection and echoes of a happy past into the proceedings.
We can now see the lights of a Christmas tree through the cabin window as we draw nearer, and perhaps we can even hear those same carol singers expressing the tones of another well-known historical piece called God Rest Ye, Merry Gentlemen. This one made me stop and listen repeatedly, there was a sumptuous reflective energy about it, the emotive textures were strong; once more I have to say, this is probably one of the finest versions I have heard from the piano genre.
One of the many things I like about the album, is the willingness of the artist to explore the Christmas narrative, which she does perfectly on this next piece called Toyland; here she has captured that sense of mystery and imagination with such style and tenderness, one can almost see a child opening its eyes as they dream of a world of magical toys, ah but for those days of such sweet innocence.
With a gentle stroke of the hands upon the keys, we move into the deep snow drifts of the album with this next offering entitled Christmas Paper. Here is another fine example of memory and the past coalescing; Tredeau’s performance is as if she is wrapping up the last few presents for the big day. The presentation is palpable and building into a semi crescendo of excitement, this is one much crafted performance indeed by the artist.
O Come, O Come, Emmanuel has to be one of the most original arrangements I have heard with regard to this classic Christmas song, there was also a depth within this composition that was not only very compelling, but deeply moving as well.
We find ourselves now at the penultimate doorway of our musical advent calendar, and as such out next gift is a bright and most pleasant version of Silver Bells from the pianist, this is the albums feel good composition and will no doubt be one of those tracks that will drift around many winter households in the snowy weeks ahead.
So it’s finally Christmas day and we can open our last gift from the musician and it is, Joy to the World. Always finish with a classic and leave the listeners fulfilled from the journey taken, in selecting a powerful and uplifting piece like this to end with that makes Lynn not only one of the best female pianists of her day, but also one of the most intelligent, a sublime conclusion to a fine album indeed.
The Everlasting Light by Lynn Tredeau was for me a very pleasant musical experience, as the years have rolled on new Christmas albums have become somewhat of a rarity, but here is most certainly one that should be taken seriously, for one thing it shows the growth and skill set of the pianist, for another it shows the talent of the artist to manifest her thoughts on this time of year, and allow us humble listeners, to walk the Christmas hall ways of her seasonal memory palace with her.