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From MainlyPiano.com

  • Mar 30, 2014
Rating:
+5
New Horizon
Minstrel Streams
2014 / Minstrel Streams
48 minutes

Are you looking for some sweetly uplifting instrumental music that harkens back to a more innocent time? "New Horizon" by Minstrel Streams might be exactly what you seek. This is the fourth release from Minstrel Streams, a husband and wife duo made up of Matt Stuart on the Steinway grand piano and acoustic guitar and Rebecca Stuart on a variety of flutes. Recorded at Will Ackerman’s Imaginary Road Studios, New Horizon includes the musical talents of Eugene Friesen on cello, Jill Haley on English horn, vocals by Noah Wilding, and others. All thirteen of the tracks are original compositions by Minstrel Streams and convey a sense of simplicity and warmth. While the melodies are gentle and uncomplicated, the performances are heartfelt and beautifully done.

"New Horizon" begins with “Ancient Mariner,” one of the more energetic pieces on the album. Cello, voice, and piano evoke a mysterious feeling that the flute dispels as it enters and creates a more optimistic atmosphere. This is one of my favorites. “Come To the Waters” has a more flowing style and again features the beauty of Friesen’s cello along with piano and flute. “Dawn Rising” is another favorite. Flute, guitar and cello make a delightfully earthy trio that is both peaceful and evocative. I also really like the haunting “Voices of the Wind,” a duet for guitar and Native American flute - very simple but emotionally very rich. “Passages” is the only piano solo on the album - a nice interlude between the ensemble pieces. “Celestial’s Rainbow” is a spirited flute and guitar piece that includes simple percussion and playful cheering in the background. Overflowing with love and longing, “Coming Home to You” is a sweet ballad and another favorite. The heart-tugging flute melody and gentle guitar rhythms in “Visions For Tomorrow” make this another stand-out that would be perfect for the closing credits of a movie. “Simple Pleasures” ends this lovely album with a light-hearted ensemble piece that includes most of the musicians who appeared on other tracks - charming and very satisfying.

"New Horizon" is the perfect antidote for the stresses and bad news we are bombarded with every day. Minstrel Streams endeavors to express the wonder and beauty of life and do an excellent job of it! "New Horizon" is available from MinstrelStreams.com, Amazon, iTunes, and CD Baby. Recommended!

Kathy Parsons
MainlyPiano.com

3/29/14

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About the reviewer
Kathy Parsons ()
Ranked #61
I have been a private piano teacher since 1981. I have been writing reviews for a long time, and have my own review and interview site, MainlyPiano.com. I teach piano in person and online, so now I can … more
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