Anne Trenning’s new release «Beautiful Song» is a heart-warming album in every sense of the word. Anne and her talented friends welcome us into their world of music. Here the atmosphere is loving, playful and warm. There’s so much love in a beautiful song; love for music, creativity and friendship. What a wonderful message! It is only March, but Anne Trenning has given us one of 2018’s finest New Age music releases.
«Beautiful Song» is Anne Trenning’s fifth album. It was produced and arranged by Rick Dior and Anne at Acoustic Barn Studios in Charlotte, NC. Her previous album is the solo piano collection titled «The Sunflower Waltz». She debuted with «Suite Tea» in 1997. Her song «You and Me» from «Watching for Rain» (2009) is one of the most popular songs on New Age Stars Radio’s The Definitive New Age Music playlist.
There’s something very impressive with albums that have a well-made «in medias res» effect. As listeners we are immediately drawn into the music. No further introduction is necessary. Usually an artist needs 3 to 4 songs to build an atmosphere, but with «Beautiful Song» Anne accomplishes this in 30 seconds or less. Old fans will feel right at home, while new will be amazed. This is indeed a beautiful song, no doubt about that. Anne and her friends Jane Brendle (violin), David Meyer (cello) and Bill Leslie (Celtic flute) make this into something inspired, even magical.
Neil Young’s classic «Helpless» is the foundation and inspiration for the next song. That said, this arrangement has a life of its own – and you will probably not miss Neil’s voice. It follows in the same harmonious path as «Beautiful Song», and it adds some nice colors and atmospheres as well. The neo classical sound is amazing, underlined by a touch of Pachelbel’s classic «Canon in D». It is a highly original mix of classical, rock and New Age music.
You Will Know My Love
The song «You Will Know My Love» is about unselfish love, a love that keeps on giving – year after year, decade after decade. Anne dedicates the song to her children and her mother. It has a gentle sound. Harmony and melancholy are perfectly balanced. This is a love that you will know, right into the center of your soul. Here we get to hear David Meyer and James Todd on cello.
With «El Farol» the album shifts gear, and new layers of colors and expressions are added. This is a rendition of Carlos Santana’s song by the same name. Yet again I’m amazed by how Anne and her friends make a classic song their own. I would never have guessed that Santana’s «El Farol» would fit here, but it does. Could Peter Kater & friends, if they had decided to have a go at this song, have done it better? I doubt it.
It’s a great day to be alive
Christmas is about family and friendship. «Do I hear Christmas?» is a slow and contemplative song, perhaps reflecting on love and time gone by. It is not overly Christmassy, so it will not ruin a playlist strictly without Holiday music. Jeff Oster plays flugelhorn. He is, as always, magnificent. It is actually quite interesting. One of last year’s most important and successful New Age music releases was «FLOW». This is also the name of the group behind the release, where Oster is a member. It is easy to compare Anne Trenning’s and friends to them, and in terms of quality Anne is on par with FLOW. «Beautiful Song» is acoustic, genuine and 100 % heartfelt, and will appeal to FLOW’s many fans. If this was 1989, both albums could have been released by Windham Hill Records.
The next song is dedicated to a place in Avery County called Miller’s Gap. The song’s carefree vibe makes you think that anything is possible and that there’s not a single cloud in the sky. The song features Bill Leslie and Jane Brendle. The positive and upbeat atmosphere continues on «It’s a great day to be alive», which is based on Darrell Scott’s classic. It is impossible to feel down while listening to these songs.
A journey in music
Each track on «Beautiful Song» may be enjoyed as a single (listeners on New Age Stars Radio have already experienced this), but listening to it from start to finish makes you appreciate the great album design; here we’re really taken on a journey in sound. The classic «Hard times come no more» (Stephen Foster) and «Building the Barn» (Maurice Jarre’s song from the movie «Witness») are given a new life. Anne and her friends capture the spirit of each song beautifully, and they fit perfectly on the album.
The story behind «If I could be with you» deserves to be told. Anne writes: «I collect old sheet music, mainly compositions published between 1900 and 1920, for the wonderful artwork and graphics found on the cover pages. One piece I came across was titled «If I Could Be With You». I framed the sheets prior to checking over the content, and later wondered what the song might sound like. I wrote this composition imagining what the music might say.» I don’t know the original song, but Anne’s composition is magnificent, balancing the feeling of love, longing and loss.
«Go Light Your World» by Chris Rice is a wonderful conclusion to the album. Fred Hiscock’s tenor saxophone is amazing here. The song is only a minute long, but no more time is needed. Nothing remains unsaid, the album is complete.
In conclusion: The playwright Henrik Ibsen once said that «to write is to sit in judgment on oneself». Indeed, we are used to the notion that creation of great art (or should I say beautiful art) is about struggles and hardships. I think that «Beautiful Song» by Anne Trenning and her friends is a contrast to this. Here we have a piece of art that is about friendship and a deep love for music and performing. Under such condition, creation comes easily and naturally. The joy the album contains is infectious. Sample it for 15 seconds and you will be hooked too! That’s the power of a beautiful song.
Score: 95/100 – See how I rate music here
Be sure to visit Anne Trenning’s homepage, were you can sample and purchase the album.