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Rick Wakeman
"Morning Has Broken"

© Kevin Mayhew

September 19 - 25, 2021

Year of Release: 2000
Rating:
  • Now Thank We All Our God
  • There Is A Green Hill Far Away
  • Glad That I Live Am I
  • All Things Bright And Beautiful
  • Jesu Lover Of My Soul
  • Jersualem
  • O Come O Come Emmanuel
  • All People That On Earth Do Dwell
  • I Vow To Thee My Country
  • Hills Of The North Rejoice
  • When I Survey The Wondrous Cross
  • Morning Has Broken
  • Abide With Me
  • The Day Thou Gavest

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    The uniquely gifted Rick Wakeman plays variations on favourite hymns

    Uniquely gifted is correct. Rick Wakeman is definitely the most gifted keyboardist ever. As a huge fan, and fellow keyboardist myself, Rick Wakeman's solo releases are just truly beautiful. He appears once again with another classically gifted album, Morning Has Broken, released in in the year 2000.

    For those who may (or may not) know, Rick Wakeman played piano on Cat Stevens' "Morning Has Broken." The story behind this song was that the opening of this song was currently being worked on, for Wakemna's album, The Six wives Of Henry VIII. Cat Stevens was in a recording froom down the hall from where Wakeman was, and overheard Wakeman playing the piano piece for one of the upcoming tracks for his album, "Catherine Howard." Impressed by what Stevens had heard, Wakeman used this piece from his song for what would be one of Cat Steven's biggest hits, "Morning Has Broken."

    Decades later, Wakeman would record his own version, an instrumental of "Morning Has Broken." The album of the same name has 14 beautiful arrangements. Both Classical music mixed with New Age. The first track, "Now Thank We All Our God" mixes both Classical and New Age. "There Is A Green Hill Far Away" has more Classical overtones, yet it has New Age to it as well. Another beautiful piano piece, "Glad That I Live Am I" shows just how talented Wakeman is. Likewise, the piano is brilliant on "All Things Bright And Beautiful." (That title says it all.)

    "Jeus, Lover Of My Soul" has a more theatrical sound, quite impressive, and just brilliant, with piano and synthesizers. The beautiful piano returns on "Jerusalem." New Age synthesizers booming on the next track, the famous hymn O Come, O Come, Emmanuel." "All People That On Earth Do Dwell" displays more great piano work by Wakeman, truly an exceptional musician. "I Vow To THee, My Country" (again) combines the piano and synthesizers for another brilliant track. Classical + New Age gets it again on "Hills Of The North, Rejoice." More beautiful piano (and synth) on "When I Survey The Wondrous Cross."

    Then there's the title track, in full instrumental form. "Abide with Me" is another pure and beautiful track. Ending the album is "The day Though Gavest," as it has some very fast piano playing (which is always impressive). (My all-time favorite Wakeman fast piano playing track, is "Waterfalls.")

    Rick Wakeman does it once again, recording great and beautiful piano music on his Morning Has Broken album. A great combination of Classical and New Age. Also a great combination of both piano and synthesizers. Wakeman is incredible, as always. At age 72, he is still recording and creating musical projects. Many refer him to the Progressive Rock band Yes, but his solo work in Classical music is really his specialty, and worth checking out. Great, soothing, relaxing music will just be what we all need to listen to. Rick Wakeman - the best piano musician ever lived.




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