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Album Review

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.

Customer Reviews

Simply Wonderful

For several months as I was listening to a classical piano station, every time a song would catch my 'ear' as being particularly good, it turned out to be one of Michael Dulin's. I bought this and his Christmas album, and have enjoyed both immensely. Wonderful music for the soul amidst the busyness of life!

Sounds More Classical, Less New Age

The first Dulin album that I purchased was "The One I Waited For." That album helps to define my expectation for what "new age piano" music is: relaxing, somewhat airy/dreamy, emotionally moving, and interesting yet not so interesting as to be distracting. Within two months it quickly became one of my favorite relaxation albums, and I've listened through it more than fifty times during that period. (Some of the songs on that album have received more plays than that.)

I was delighted to find "Timeless" after hearing "Simply Satie" come up on Pandora Radio. The album is made up of Dulin's rendition of classical tracks. "Simply Satie" was a wonderful rendition on the classical "Gymnopedies," which is a piece that is arguably already dreamy and new age-like. Dulin's treatment truly brought the piece into the "new age" genre. It is a delight to listen to, and perhaps doubly so for those who are already familiar with the original version.

My disappointment came from the rest of the album. The song selection is good and I feel that Dulin plays the pieces well. However, the pieces are seemingly not heavily modified. Whereas "Simply Satie" has a number of changes that make it sound like a signature Dulin work of new age piano, the rest of the pieces do not have anything added to them that would give me reason to believe that they were played by Dulin over any other classical pianist. If one is expecting a new age Dulin work, you need only purchase "Simply Satie" from this album. The rest of the pieces - while good - are more classical than new age, to my ears. Their "energy level" is lower than a new age piece: the tempo is slower; the softness of the piano is largely constant throughout each piece; and variation in play style overall throughout each piece is lacking. I do not believe that there is anything in these pieces that would upset fans of classical music, but fans of piano-based new age music may find the songs to be less emotionally moving and a little more boring.

In summary: if you are simply seeking calming piano music, this album is as good a choice as any. If you came here seeking piano-based new age music, or music that sounds unique to Michael Dulin, consider purchasing the first track and passing on the rest.


Love this album.

Timeless, Michael Dulin
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Customer Ratings