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Preludes to a Century

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Album Review

The instrumental albums of the latter half of Wakeman's career have tended to be divided between piano albums and synth-driven efforts. Although the rather unexciting synth of "White Rock II" came out around the same time as this release, "Preludes" shows that Wakeman is still keeping his lushly Romantic piano chops in fine order. "Preludes" is certainly among his better piano efforts, and is much in the same vein as the "Heritage Suite" or, even closer still, the pensive work on his "Airs" trilogy. It helps, too, that Wakeman got off the Isle of Man to record this one; the engineering is a clear improvement over many other efforts from the last decade. The lovely lilting opening track, "Prelude to a Millenium," and the brittle ascending scales of "Reflections of a Winter's Day" alone should guarantee this album a permanent place in the Wakeman canon.


Born: May 18, 1949 in London, England

Genre: Rock

Years Active: '60s, '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

Born in Perivale, Middlesex, England, Rick Wakeman's interest in music manifested itself very early, and from the age of seven on he studied classical piano. At the age of 14, he joined a local band, Atlantic Blues, the same year he left school to enroll in the Royal College of Music. He had his eye on a career as a concert pianist, but Wakeman was dismissed from the college after it became clear that he preferred playing in clubs to studying technique. By his late teens, he was an established...
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Preludes to a Century, Rick Wakeman
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