Michael Dulin


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Pianist and composer Michael Dulin's original work has been characterized by an admirable ability to appeal to the new age crowd without descending into empty-headed fluffiness or sentimental bathos. On this album (which is subtitled, not very promisingly, "Classics for a New Age"), he takes some familiar melodies from the 19th and 20th century piano repertoire and gives them rather new age-y interpretations, for better and for worse. Leading off the program with a "unique new realization" of an Erik Satie piece was maybe something of a tactical error, since of all the composers represented here, he's the one whose work lends itself least well to this type of treatment; it seems vaguely perverse, somehow, to take the fine grit of Satie's musical intellect and smooth it over this way. But the Chopin waltzes and nocturnes, the Schubert serenade, and the snippets of larger works by Bach, Beethoven, Liszt and Schumann all fit the concept much more readily, and they combine to produce a listening experience that may not be challenging, but is pleasant and soothing without being too saccharine. Recommended.

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