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In the Wake

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Customer Reviews

Review excerpt from Music and Media Focus

In a recording career that has spanned 14 years and includes 9 best selling albums and 2 Italian compilations, Ann Sweeten has managed to achieve a level of success that many musicians only dream of. In addition to her music consistently placing high on the charts, receiving extensive radio airplay, and winning numerous awards, she holds the prestigious title of an official “Steinway Artist/ Composer,” placing her in the company of some of the most distinguished pianists in the world.

Her latest release, “In The Wake,” is a showcase for the skills that have elevated her to such lofty musical heights. The album is co-produced by Windham Hill Records founder and Grammy award winning producer Will Ackerman, who also plays guitar on two tracks. Additional instrumentation includes flute, English horn, oboe, violin, violoa, and cello, all of which are used sparingly to lightly season and subtly enhance the flavor of her rich piano compositions. Among her inspirations she lists one of my all-time favorite pianists, Suzanne Ciani, as well as composers Stephen Sondheim, Erik Satie, Tchaikovsky, and Debussy, revealing her classical background and new age influences.

As I put on the CD to listen, the heartfelt warmth of the opening notes, inspired me to draw in a deep breath and settle back to luxuriate in the elegant music that was unfolding. Delicate acoustic guitar by Will Ackerman shadowed Ann’s playing with graceful understatement on the first song, Mid-way through, an airy flute soars above the rising and falling melody like a sea bird gliding just above the waves. On the solo piano composition, “Metamorphosis,” I appreciated the contrast between spaciousness and Ann’s tinkling harp-like glissandos that adorned the arrangement. On the wistful “Love Remembered” violin and viola add a poignant touch to the ambience. The last song on the recording, “Now, and Again,” makes a fitting finale as oboe and cello intertwine with Ann’s exquisite piano artistry in a piece that would make an enchanting film soundtrack. Her music is both contemplative and emotionally evocative, providing a world-class listening experience.

Biography

Genre: New Age

Years Active: '90s, '00s

Ann Sweeten displayed an early interest in the keyboard, and her mother gave her a Hammond organ when she was six. Three years later, she received a Baldwin piano for Christmas. She studied privately with David Sokolof, then attended Smith College, from which she graduated cum laude with a degree in foreign languages. Next, she took vocal lessons and founded a rock band called Fall Out. After two years, she returned to academia, attending the Boston Conservatory where she studied music, acting, singing,...
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In the Wake, Ann Sweeten
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