George Winston

The Velveteen Rabbit

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George Winston's spare but expressive style spans chilly pieces like the opening track and "Christmas," which borrows from "Carol of the Bells," to warmer, more contemporary-sounding compositions such as "Lullaby," the ripplingly lovely "Spring," "Summer Evening/The Rabbit Dance," and the twinkling "Loneliness/The Fairy." Meryl Streep's narration, delivered in a crisp British accent, is also remarkable, shifting from the Velveteen Rabbit and the boy's guileless characters to the cheeky wild rabbits to the gruff Nana without ever sounding overly theatrical. With just Streep's voice and Winston's piano, the duo creates a beautifully realized version of this story of love's transformative power. The second, instrumental half of the album spotlights Winston's restrained but lovingly crafted solo piano compositions. As both a refined children's album and a thoughtful collection of solo piano pieces, The Velveteen Rabbit remains extraordinary.

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