A Winter's Solstice II

A Winter's Solstice II
A Winter's Solstice II A Winter's Solstice II (click images to enlarge)

A Winter's Solstice II

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Manufacturer Description

No Description Available
No Track Information Available
Media Type: CD
Street Release Date: 09/01/1989

The Winter Solstice series from Windham Hill is an appealing souvenir from the label's early days, when guitarist Will Ackerman still served as its chief guiding light and fount of original thought. For years Ackerman shunned the overt commercial trappings of traditional Christmas recordings and instead offered odes to a broader season that, like his artists' music, is compatible with periods of sustained, hushed contemplation. Winter Solstice II, released in 1988, mixes original and traditional compositions (none that specifically brings Christmas to mind) and is adorned with classical overtones from front to back, conveying the high-minded earthiness associated with the label's then all-acoustic format. A few pieces on the 50-minute disc clock in at under than two minutes, and a couple others are duds, yet several selections make this quiet disc a worthy listen: a handsome interpretation of Bach ("Prelude to Cello Suite No. 1") on harp-guitar by Michael Hedges, plus gorgeous, yearning piano solos by Philip Aaberg ("The Gift") and Michael Manring. Better known as a bassist, Manring's reworking of one of his own works, "Sung to Sleep," may be the disc's highlight. Ackerman's contribution, "Abide the Winter," and "Medieval Memory II" by the sadly disbanded duo of pianist Ira Stein and oboist Russell Walder, float through the air as beautifully as winter's first snowfall. --Terry Wood

Key Product Details

  • Artist: Various
  • Genre: New Age

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