Cory Reese | Silent Night

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United States - Utah

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New Age: New Age Classical: New Age Moods: Featuring Piano
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Silent Night

by Cory Reese

Gentle and moving piano arrangements of traditional Christmas songs by composer Cory Reese.
Genre: New Age: New Age
Release Date: 

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Tracks

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1. What Child Is This
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3:33 $0.99
2. Oh Come All Ye Faithful
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3:45 $0.99
3. The Gift
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3:38 $0.99
4. The First Noel
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4:13 $0.99
5. Eyes Of A Child
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3:32 $0.99
6. O Holy Night
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6:29 $0.99
7. Silent Night
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6:22 $0.99
8. Far, Far Away On Judea's Plain
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4:04 $0.99
9. We Three Kings
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4:00 $0.99
10. Away In A Manger
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3:38 $0.99
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ABOUT THIS ALBUM


Album Notes
Silent Night - Instrumental Music for the Christmas Season is the 2005 re-release of Cory Reese's classic Christmas album. The re-release features songs recorded on a rich Yamaha piano, the accompaniment of world-class musicians, and enhanced arrangements, making this Reese's most complex album to date.

Cory Reese wasn’t exactly a child prodigy when it came to playing the piano. In fact, he never took a piano lesson in his life, and is still unable to read music. The family piano did more to collect dust than to fill the house with music during his childhood years.

Reese grew up in Sandy, Utah, and was much more interested in playing sports than in sitting down at the piano. It wasn’t until the age of eighteen that he determined that he was going to teach himself how to play. After countless hours of learning how to play the music of other composers, he slowly began to write music himself. Five years later, he recorded his first CD, Moment of Peace, at Spiral Studios. Referred to as his “musical autobiography,” his record Moment of Peace is a chronicle of the young man’s life. Personal moments such as the anticipation of the birth of his child, and the death of his father are played through the notes of his music.

In 2002, Reese released his second album of original music, Heart To Heart: Instrumental and Solo Piano, as well as a live CD recorded during a concert in southern Utah. The following year marked the release of his much-anticipated Christmas CD titled Silent Night: Instrumental Music For The Christmas Season. The CD contains arrangements of traditional Christmas songs as well as two original pieces.

2004 marked the release of Reese’s album, Witness, and is a spiritual testimony of what he holds to be true. The CD is comprised of solo piano arrangements of Christian hymns, as well as two original pieces. A bonus vocal track is included of Kenneth Cope’s song “Face To Face” featuring Pearl Award nominee Sam Payne.

Reese’s music captures the essence of moving solo piano music. Often compared to the music of George Winston, David Lanz, and Paul Cardall, Reese’s music builds on that of his mentors to create a unique, touching, and melodic sound. It is clear that Reese’s personality is in the music. Each note is deliberate and intentional as he weaves a picture in the mind of the listener. He signed a distribution deal with Granite Publishing and Distribution in October of 2003, which has placed his music in stores across the country.


Reviews


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Kathy Parsons

Nice Instrumental Christmas CD
This second incarnation of Cory Reese’s 2003 release of the same name is much improved in that he recorded on a grand piano rather than an electronic keyboard, removed a vocal track, and added mostly “real” musicians rather than keyboard samples. The first album had twelve tracks and this one has ten, including a new addition of “Away In a Manger.” The first album had three original pieces, and this one has two, so this really is a new version of the first recording. The arrangements are very quiet and subtle, and all reflect on the spiritual side of Christmas. Reese tends to stick to the traditional melodies, adding broken chords on the left hand. He doesn’t vary this method too much, but I know a lot of people like straight-forward arrangements of their Christmas music, and this CD should fill that bill very well.

The album begins with a lovely arrangement of “What Child Is This?” for piano with keyboard washes (strings). Warm and thoughtful, this is a nice start. I still like the original compositions the best on this album. Reese’s “The Gift” is an elegant, soulful piece for piano and (sampled) strings that obviously really comes from the heart. “Eyes Of a Child” is the other piece Reese composed. Joined by Dennis Zwang on flute and Ted Jensen on light percussion, this is a very effective piece. “O Holy Night” presented here as a piano solo with light keyboard embellishments is much stronger than the vocal on the first album. “Silent Night” begins with an ethereal keyboard prelude that suggests a dark, peaceful calm. The piano carries the main parts of the song, with keyboard sounds in the background - a very lovely arrangement. I also really like “Far, Far Away On Judea’s Plain,” a piece I’m not familiar with (other than from Reese’s first album). Dennis Zwang returns on clarinet, making this a gentle duet with Reese’s piano. My favorite of the traditional carols on this album is “We Three Kings.” A little more improvisatory than the other songs, Reese sounds completely at ease with the piano, and adds some interesting touches to the familiar melody. It is also the only piece that is piano only, and it sounds great all by itself! Reese’s arrangement of “Away In a Manger” utilizes one of the song’s lesser-known melodies (there are at least forty melodies for this song!), creating a simple, loving lullaby to close the album.

So, if you prefer your Christmas music played simply and without a lot of fanfare, “Silent Night” should do it for you. Cheers!