While other new age-oriented pianists like Jim Brickman are much more in the mainstream, musicians and composers like Kater represent the many who have been making the music longer with less acclaim but no less artistic merit. Many in this category sell recordings as a supplement to film and television work, et al., and here Kater gathers a magnificent collection of tracks that were originally created for TV, dance, theater, the 1999 World Ski Championships, and the 2000 Summer Olympics. The individual cuts, then, are designed as soundtracks -- but here, listeners are seduced into creating their own mental images. The sweeping majesty of "Ascent" -- a booming, rising orchestra increasing in intensity behind a swirling, percussive piano melody -- leads to images of skiers high on the slopes. "Eclipse" is a much gentler ivory reflection, with Cecil Hooker's graceful violin inspiring romance. Other pieces like "Candlelight Waltz" are all about intimacy and candlelight. Kater's classical roots are firmly on display, but his melodic pop sensibilities create a unique balance and aim for a wider appeal.
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AllMusic Review by Jonathan Widran