Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
Sweet Dreams - Piano Solos
Genres: New Age, Pop
Perhaps seeking to replenish its artist roster with fresh piano talent following the recent departure of David Lanz, Narada brings us a full-length debut recording from Taiwan native Mia Jang, an artist first introduced to... more »
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Perhaps seeking to replenish its artist roster with fresh piano talent following the recent departure of David Lanz, Narada brings us a full-length debut recording from Taiwan native Mia Jang, an artist first introduced to the public on a 1996 label sampler of unsigned pianists (First Light). Jang, who once studied at Taipei's Chinese Culture University under Yo-Yo Ma's father, now resides in the States and composes music unadorned with any noticeable cultural influences. Her 14 piano solos, pieces that had their origin as bedtime confections for her young children, are almost uniformly quiet, reflective, earnestly melodic, and easily digested. Jang perfumes her impressionistic compositions with a gentle spirit that endows them with an essence of instant familiarity; though to her credit, her musical structures convey an intelligence that elevates these pieces a notch above typical lullaby fare. In Jang's world, your dreams will be sweet, not sugar-coated. --Terry Wood
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From Wind and Wire, Issue 10
Kathy Parsons | Florence, OR United States | 01/26/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This gentle, elegant solo piano debut is a real beauty! Classically-trained in performance, composition, and conducting, Mia Jang lets simple, heartfelt melodies tell her stories, and the results are warm and moving. Jang first appeared on Narada's First Light compilation of five new piano soloists in 1996, and the three pieces on that album are included on Sweet Dreams. The emotional content is rich but accessible, and I sense Jang feels most comfortable communicating through the piano. The free use of rubato throughout her compositions is mesmerizing in its natural ebb and flow of emotion and rhythm. Complex enough to hold up to many repeated listenings, and yet simple enough to get into right away, this is a CD that I will come back to for a long time. Sweet Dreams maintains an even-tempered pace throughout, but each piece is a distinctive gem on its own. Several of the pieces were composed as lullabies for Jang's young children, which explains the tenderness of "Sleep Tight", "Night Song", "Sweet Dreams", and "Angel Hair". (I have to wonder if Jang's playing and composing style will become more turbulent as her kids approach the age of 12!) "First Spring Day" is a bit more up-tempo, and evokes visions of butterflies and fresh new-born flowers. "Remember When" is one of my favorites - still gentle and tender, but with just a slight nostalgic bite. "Sweet Dreams" is probably the most powerful of the 14 pieces - the use of rubato here is so effective in conveying the changing moods of the work as it crescendo's to its peak and then drops back into a peaceful reverie.There are no weak tracks on this CD, and I strongly recommend it!"
Kathy Parsons | 07/04/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This music is difficult to categorize but it is absolutely beautiful. I like solo piano music and this is some of the best. It is NOT minimal (spacey), NOT jazzy, and NOT saccharine. Mia Jang has created a unique sound that bears up to repeated listening. She avoids the simplicity that pervades this genre and writes beautiful and original melodies. Her performance feels sincere and thankfully devoid of pretension. I wish I could play piano like this."
bluecrone | AURORA, CO USA | 03/01/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Sometimes I just pick a CD based on nothing but intuition. Sometimes I make mistakes. But when I discover a gift like Mia Jang, it makes all the mistakes worthwhile. This collection is a treasure. I listen to it daily. And the title track, Sweet Dreams, is one of the most beautiful pieces of music I've ever heard. There is magic here and heart-pounding emotion and sweet melodies that take us to new places in the soul."