Andy Long on 21/02/2003 [Other
reviews by Andy Long ]
In the tradition of his more classical works Wakeman has recorded this collection of traditional hymns in inspiring instrumental arrangements. It has taken him eight years from the initial concept to the finished album and the time and effort that Rick has put into the pieces gives this collection a feeling of commitment from the heart. Rick says this is 'one of the most satisfying recordings I have ever made' and as you listen to his variations on the traditional melodies you will begin to see the joy that this work gave him. Obvious inclusions had to be the version of 'Morning Has Broken' that Rick originally recorded with Cat Stevens and the current concert favourite 'The Day Thou gavest Lord Has Ended'. The album also brings together tunes that all will be familiar with, whether from a religious background or not. 'All Things Bright And Beautiful', 'Jerusalem' and 'Abide With Me' are amongst the well-known titles. Rick has recorded the melodies mainly on piano with a keyboard accompaniment. Fans of Rick's rock output might be surprised at the volume of classical, spiritual and ambient material he has released, as a visit to his website will reveal. 'Morning Has Broken' is a great introduction to another side of the rock legend. 9/10
Russ Parrish on 29/03/2001 [Other
reviews by Russ Parrish ]
This album is a masterpiece. Rick has chosen 14 of his favourite hymns, and what good choices. One normally associates such tunes with an air of simplicity, however Rick works his magic well and weaves his subtle intricacies throughout. Piano is the main instrument and this is a perfect addition to the "Christmas Variations" album. A timeless selection including "Morning has Broken" which can really be claimed as "Rick’s own" piece.