Angel Above My Piano

Fiona Joy Hawkins

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Angel Above My Piano Review

by Jonathan Widran

Recorded with some of the finest string players in her native Australia, this soaring, dramatic set of romantic piano compositions could inspire peace and meditation, but also, as in the case of "Dance of the Penguins," a sense of joyous celebration in the listener. Fiona Joy Hawkins took the instrumental world by (winter) storm when Angel Above My Piano was released, winning the NAR (the international New Age Reporter) Lifestyle Music Award for Best Piano Album, a category that also included legendary solo pianist George Winston. A worthy follow-up to her 2005 debut Portrait of a Waterfall, the collection also came close to the top of the NAR World Radio Charts. "Dance of the Penguins," "Flight of the Albatross," and the moody and contemplative opening track "Crystal Desert" combine to form a sweeping musical travelogue of Hawkins' incredible journey to Antarctica. She later engages in a heartfelt soul search via the orchestration and soaring piano of "Opus for Love," a three-part exploration of "Love for Winter," "Love Forever," and "Love in Spring" which was written in response to the passing of her grandmother. Other key tracks are "Watching the Wind," a reflection of the beauty of her garden and its Japanese maples; and "Thinking of You (Australian Lullaby)," which she composed with her father. Hawkins also includes her interpretation of the Bach piece "Preamble: Partitia No. 5" in deference to her years of classical piano training. In the cynical 2000s, it is hard to say that an album could be divinely inspired. But this spiritually transforming disc makes a strong case for faith in that possibility.

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