Philip Wesley | In a Lifetime

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New Age: New Age Easy Listening: Mood Music Moods: Featuring Piano
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In a Lifetime

by Philip Wesley

Solo piano music for the soul. If you love the music of David Lanz, or Jim Brickman, you'll love this cd.
Genre: New Age: New Age
Release Date: 

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1. Comfort and Joy
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3:34 $0.99
2. Equestrian Dream
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5:01 $0.99
3. Friends
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2:42 $0.99
4. Greensleeves
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5:20 $0.99
5. In a Lifetime
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3:04 $0.99
6. In the Eyes of a Child
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7. Love Remembered
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8. Nights in White Satin
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9. Ode to a Composer
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10. Pursuit of Passion
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3:23 $0.99
11. State of Grace
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12. Sunday Evening Inspiration
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13. Windows to the Soul
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14. Wings to Freedom
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ABOUT THIS ALBUM


Album Notes
Philip's second release is pure piano bliss! It includes 11 original works and three cover songs including Greensleeves, Nights in White Satin, and an improvisation based on the popular Cannon in D. A must have for fans of solo piano music!

“For me, playing the piano is the most gratifying form of self expression. Where words fail there is music.”

The road to the piano for Philip Wesley has not been a straight path. You could say the piano actually found Philip Wesley. Born and raised in St. Louis, MO, Philip Wesley grew up in a middle class household heavily involved in sports both soccer and football. An avid fan of music during his youth, Philip surprisingly did not begin playing music until the age of 16 when he received his first guitar as a Christmas present. Enraptured by rock music, Philip dove headlong into independent study. He taught himself to read and write guitar tablature, then poured over guitar books, learned songs note for note, and perfected blistering guitar solos.

When Philip entered college a few years later, he decided to major in Music Therapy. During his studies of music and music theory, he was serendipitously introduced to the solo piano music of David Lanz and was instantly mesmerized by it. At the tender age of 20, Philip began his long relationship with the piano. Once again, Philip poured over music books, this time… the piano. “People hear that I didn’t start playing the piano until age 20 and they are almost always amazed. I tell people that it’s not too late to learn something new. When you have the drive, the passion, the dedication and the curiosity to learn something, new doors will open for you.”

Upon graduation from college, Philip worked as a board certified psychiatric music therapist for nearly 10 years. During that time he began writing his own soulful piano music, developing his musical voice, and subsequently releasing his albums. To date he has released 5 albums of solo piano music including…

'Hope Endures'

‘Dark Night of the Soul’

‘Comfort & Joy’

‘In a Lifetime’

‘Finding Solace’

“The piano continues to challenge and inspire me; I can play my whole life and still not master this magnificent beast. I’m not a virtuoso pianist by any stretch of the imagination, just an artist that takes great satisfaction in having a positive impact on people’s emotions.”

Philip Wesley’s music has been featured in radio, TV, and print, and has been nominated by various publications including ‘Wind and Wire’, ‘Solo Piano Publications’, and ‘Mainly Piano’ as some of ‘the best of’ solo piano albums.


Reviews


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Mike Debbage

Wesley continues to astound me with his original compositions!
Released in 2003, Philip Wesley's debut album Finding Solace was one of the surprises of 2004. Granted I was a year behind on the album but better late than never. The album was so impressive that I was not sure how Wesley planned on maintaining his captive audience. Instead of completely reduplicating his efforts Wesley took a courageous move and gambled a little with In A Lifetime. The question that still lingers is whether it paid off.

I was looking for solace and I was able to retrieve this emotion courtesy of In A Lifetime as Wesley continues to rely utterly on his piano with no additional embellishments. It opens in the very fine tradition of its predecessor with the melodic yet soothing "Comfort and Joy" reminiscent of the immediate accessibility that Jim Brickman brings to his playing. But Wesley keeps us guessing a little with the more classically influenced "Equestrian Dream" redolent of the David Lanz style during his Paul Speer era. Further tender moments are followed by the lush and warm title track that along with "Comfort and Joy" helping to reacquaint myself with the simple beauty of Wesley's music. Speaking of exquisiteness, the most reflective moment is found courtesy of the softness in "Love Remembered".

Wesley continues to astound me with his original compositions and closes the album with five consecutive original songs that helps us focus on the simple yet subtle sophistication of this very impressive piano man. Of these the most prominent ones are the songs "Pursuit of Passion" and "Windows to the Soul" that musically embody their titles.

The slight kink in the album are two of the three cover songs that overall appear to weaken the album versus strengthening it. "Ode To Composer" is the better of the three, which is another variation on Pachelbel's Canon, which amalgamates well with the restful and gentle style of Wesley that I have grown to love. Unfortunately, the same cannot be said for "Greensleeves" as well as the Moody Blues composition "Nights in White Satin" that was previously covered by David Lanz. Both of these tracks are heavy handed and disjointed and they simply distract from the mood of the album.

This album holds to the truth that less is sometimes more in that excluding two of the three cover versions would have made this a stronger and better-focused project. That said, In A Lifetime is still another fine album from this young artist who next time around should relax and rest in the confidence of knowing that his own compositions are the most inspiring.

Doug Schneider

Some Added Drama
After giving us his first CD full of gracious melodies, Philip Wesley goes on to add some drama and sweep in his second CD. The CD reminds me of a movie soundtrack: disparate pieces that keep true to an overall sound and feel. My favorite is "Sunday Evening Inspiration", showing off Philip Wesley's ability to write tunes that absorb your full musical attention.

Kathy Parsons

Great original pieces!
“In A Lifetime” is Philip Wesley’s second solo piano release, and contains eleven original pieces and three covers. In the liner notes, Wesley proclaims that David Lanz is his “piano idol,” and that composer’s influence is very strong on several of the pieces. The overall feel of the album is of warmth and contentment. The opening track, “Comfort and Joy,”
expresses the feeling of anticipation at the approaching holidays and all that goes with them. “Equestrian Dream” has such a strong Lanz influence that, at first, I thought it was a cover of one of his earlier pieces. I couldn’t pinpoint which one, though, and tdiscovered that it was a Wesley original. The piece is beautiful and has that peaceful, flowing quality that is so prevalent in Lanz’s work. “Greensleeves” is an interesting arrangement, with changing time signatures and moods in the variations. It starts out simply with the melody, and builds with each variation, ending up at a galloping pace complete with a big glissando. The later variations are a bit too heavy-handed for these ears - I love the delicacy of the melody and its poignant feeling, and while I can appreciate a new take on the piece, it’s not my favorite version of this immortal tune. The title track is one of the best on the CD, I think. Both reflective and optimistic, this seems to be Wesley’s true voice. “Love Remembered” is a lovely, bittersweet ballad. Tender and nostalgic, this is another favorite. “Nights in White Satin” is a cover of David Lanz’s wonderful arrangement of The Moody Blues’ classic hit. A lot of liberties are taken with the arrangement - it is definitely not a note-for-note performance. I play and teach Lanz’s arrangement all the time, so some of the changes bother me a bit. The more complex passages are simplified, some of the timing is changed, etc. I know that 99% of the people who hear this version will never notice, but I did. And then there’s “Ode To a Composer,” and yet another interpretation of the venerable “Canon in D.” It’s a very nice improvisation, but this piece has been done to death, and I have a tendency to push the “skip” button on the CD player when it appears. Again, this is job hazard in being a reviewer and a piano teacher; most folks are probably thrilled to hear a new version. “Pursuit of Passion” is a beautiful piece with a gentle, simple melody. “Windows to the Soul” is another favorite. Warm and sincere without flash, this piece comes from the heart.

Overall, “In a Lifetime” is a very soothing and enjoyable follow-up to “Finding Solace.” I definitely prefer Wesley’s original pieces to his covers, but I realize that many people look for familiar music when they are shopping.

Sarah

Excellent CD
In a Lifetime is an excellent follow-up cd to Finding Solace, and the songs have a slightly more dramatic feel. I think its most poignant track is Love Remembered, which is dedicated to a young woman whose life was tragically cut short. My other favorites are In a Lifetime and Ode to a Composer, which is a variation of Pachelbel's Canon in D. If you are a fan of Philip's first cd, or are a lover of soothing piano music, this cd is definately a must have.

REVIEWS NEW AGE

Un dedicado momento a Lanz!
In A Lifetime es el segundo álbum de solos de piano de Philip Wesley. Muy influenciado por David Lanz, Philip dedica este álbum a su amigo e ídolo. Un álbum cálido, compuesto por catorce tracks que ofrecen optimismo y hacen que se añoren momentos vividos, alegres y positivos. Al igual que ocurría en su primer álbum, Philip sigue apostando por melodías pegadizas, que difícilmente se olvidan y fácilmente pueden ser entonadas.
"Comfort and Joy" es la primera pieza del álbum, un tema sin pausas para el oído, con toque alegre y nostálgico. Donde la mano derecha dibuja una melodía no muy rápida pero hermosa y dulce, sin sobresaltos.
"Equestrian Dream", es un sueño en sí. Comienza con un vaivén de notas con la mano izquierda, mientras la diestra rasguea unos acordes, para más tarde hacer progresiones que acompañan al vaivén de notas dibujadas por la mano derecha. Una pieza que recuerda el galopar de caballos. Simplemente bellísimo!.
"Friends" es quizás la pieza más enérgica del álbum; comienza con rapidez golpeando el acorde Do, mientras la mano izquierda baila acompañando con los acordes Sol, Fa y Do. Un tema muy muy alegre y optimista, dedicado a aquellos que siempre están a nuestro lado en todo momento. Muy divertida de tocar!.
"Greensleeves" es la versión que Philip hace del popular villancico. Sin abandonar la melodía original y con ritmo enérgico en algunos momentos, ha conseguido crear una versión distinta pero fácilmente reconocible donde está muy presente el vaivén de notas de la mano izquierda y donde la mano derecha, con algunas variaciones, reproduce el popular himno.
"In A Lifetime" es el tema que da nombre al álbum, y quizás el tema más dulce y melancólico de este. Nominado por Swan Lake: Moving Image and Music Award 2009 e incluido en un álbum recopilatorio de la misma compañía, "In A Lifetime" no deja indiferente al oyente. Simplemente hermosa!.
"In the Eyes of a Child" es pura inocencia, una pieza que desde su principio a su fin, cuenta una historia, un juego visto desde los ojos de un niño. La melodía reproduce los pegadizos cánticos típicos en juegos de niños.
"Love Remembered" es el tema triste y melancólico del álbum. Su melodía gira entorno a un recuerdo, un amor pasado. Una melodía lenta y triste, pero emocionante, como si preguntara "¿Dónde estás?. Realmente emocionante.
"Nights in White Satin" es la versión que Philip hace del popular tema de "The Moody Blues" y donde está muy presente David Lanz, pues es más una versión de la versión que en su momento hizo Lanz de esta conocida canción. Juzguen ustedes mismos!.
"Ode to a Composer" es, sin estar reflejado en su título, una versión que Philip hace del popular Canon de Johann Pachelbel y que originalmente ha titulado "Oda a un compositor". De esta pieza clásica se han hecho innumerables versiones. La melodía en algunos momentos tiene variaciones, pero no deja ser la misma hermosa melodía de Pachelbel.
"Pursuit of Passion" comienza con un toque amable, que al igual que "In A Lifetime" no deja indiferente al oyente. La mano derecha dibuja un dulce eco de notas que es acompañada por el suave toque de la mano izquierda. Una pieza hermosísima!.
"State of Grace", ofrece fuerza y coraje. Su melodía no es muy rápida, pero no por ello deja de ser emocionante.
"Sunday Evening Inspiration" ofrece una melodía suave que recuerda a su primer álbum "Finding Solace", un tema lento y reflexivo. Se inicia con una melodía agradable, acompañada por la mano izquierda con sutiles progresiones de acordes. Sensible pieza!.
"Windows to the Soul" comienza con un hermoso toque misterioso, que posteriormente va tornando a melancólico. La melodía es dulce y suave; como en la mayoría de los temas que Philip compone, sus melodías se caracterizan por ser fácilmente recordadas. Hermoso!.
"Wings to Freedom", es un tema alegre que comienza con un toque continuado de acorde con la mano derecha y continua con un ritmo rápido. Ambas manos golpean notas para conseguir una frenética pero bella melodía. Sublime!.

In A Lifetime es un álbum lleno de optimismo y alegría con catorce originales solos de piano. Un álbum muy recomendable para aquellos seguidores del piano de David Lanz. Muy recomendable!.

reviewsnewage.com
30/3/10