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In Reverence

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Album Review

David Tolk has always shown a mastery of rich, introspective solo piano, dating back to his 1996 debut. So it should come as no surprise on this, his sixth album and second inspirational collection, that his poignant arrangements of favorite hymns continue to find him among the most talented and focused contemporary pianists. Lush, sophisticated orchestrations evoke vivid musical imagery of natural landscapes and sanctuaries in an acoustic folk setting. The only thing that could enhance his moving George Winston-style sound is the well-produced backing string ensemble that includes master woodwind player Daron Bradford, cellist Steven Sharp Nelson and others. The serenity of Tolk's arrangements is akin to the romantic interludes of Jim Brickman. But where Brickman would move a song along with simple chords, Tolk adds richer, more flavorful layers. It stays much to the left of commercialized new age; however, he prefers not to stray into a pulsating, synth-driven cacophony. He artfully presents hymns, but the title track and other originals like "Autumn Gold" and "The Garden" are the true gems on this record. Above all, Tolk performs with his characteristic grace, turning the piano into an instrument of healing.

Biography

Born: Mendham, NJ

Genre: New Age

Years Active: '00s, '10s

A gentleman unafraid to admit his mother's influence in his life, David H. Tolk is a pianist and keyboardist highly esteemed by his peers. The son of a mother who is a graduate of the Juilliard School of Music and a father with a doctorate in Physics, Tolk was exposed to an academic environment that included piano instruction by his mother. Talented enough to be a musician for a living, he instead chooses to balance a dual career as lawyer and musician. He admits enjoying both. "I very much enjoy...
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In Reverence, David Tolk
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