Bruce Von Stiers
Stanton Lanier has a wonderful touch with gentle piano compositions. He has several albums out. One of Stanton's latest albums is a collection of songs from those earlier albums, along with a song written just for this one. The title of the album is Treasures of Peace: The Stanton Lanier Collection.
The album, like the ones before it, was produced by Will Ackerman. Some of you might remember Will from his days at the helm of Windam Hill Records.
Helping out on the various songs are a terrific group of musicians. Philip Aaberg does keyboard orchestration on one song. Will Ackerman played guitar and hopi drum on a few of the songs. Tom Eaton played bass and electric guitars. Eugene Friesen played cello on four songs and Jill Haley was on English horn for three songs. French horn music was done by Richard “Gus” Sebring. Jeff Oster played the flugelhorn and Jeff Haynes did percussion on a song. Noah Wilding provided what the album credits called “angelic vocals.” And Stanton played piano on every song on the album.
Each of the songs on the album were inspired by a specific biblical scripture.
The first song is titled Peace. It first appeared on the album The Voice. It has a couple of different recurring segments that blend together to make it a very beautiful song. About halfway through the song, there are those angelic vocals that I mentioned earlier. The song was inspired by the Bible verse John 14:27.
Spirit And Grace was featured on the album Open Spaces, an album I reviewed a couple of years ago. It is an endearing song with grace as its foundation. It is based on Zechariah 12:10.
Backed by beautiful cello music is the song Awaken the Dawn. This terrific song was featured on the albums Unveiled and December Peace and was inspired by Psalm 108, verse 1 and 2.
A Thousand Years was the first album I reviewed of Stanton's. A song from that album, Vive Le Joye, is featured on this one. A bit of a homage to Beethoven is given in this song. Its biblical inspiration was Psalm 16.
Tears of Lament was one of the songs on the album The Voice. Inspired by several verses in Lamentations, it is gentle, with an almost sad quality to it.
Bread of Angels is another song from A Thousand Years. The theme of this song is mana from heaven, with a light harmony in parts of the song. The song was inspired by Psalm 78.
Not only is Stanton a fan of Beethoven, he is a fan of Bach as well. The song Jesu, Joy or Man's Desiring was inspired by Johann Sebastian Bach and Luke 2. It was featured earlier on the December Peace album.
In the eighth position on the album is Open Spaces. From the album of the same name, it has some great cello music. It was inspired by Psalm 119:41-48 which is about being able to move around in open spaces because of the freedom that God gives us.
The album Still Waters was where the song Silence first appeared. The longest song in this collection, it is simplistic, yet beautiful. The inspiration for it was Habakkuk 2:20.
Discovery is a little more forceful in its delivery in places, with some outstanding cello. Inspired by Luke 23, the song first appeared on the album Unveiled.
This Very Moment was the final song on the album Open Spaces. Included here, the song is a gentle, reflective piece that was inspired by John 5:24.
The song Thanksgiving appeared on both Walk In The Light and December Peace albums. It reflects an attitude of peace by not becoming anxious with things in life and turning it over to God.
Dreams In The Night is an interesting song. It has a light, yet almost other worldly sense to it. Which is probably the intention as it is based on a couple of verses in Job where he is visited by a spirit. The song first appeared on the album Unveiled.
Alleluias Dancing is another song from the A Thousand Years album. Once again there is gentleness and serenity in the tone of the song, which is based on a Psalm of praise for King David. It is similar in nature to a hymn that is done often in churches.
First Love was a song that Stanton wrote over a decade ago, yet revised recently. It appeared on the album Draw Near. A little more modern in its sound, the song was inspired by John 4:16-19 and Psalm 63.
The final song on the album is Far Away From Home. It is the only song on the album not to be previously released. The song, like the previous one, has more of a modern, smooth jazz sound to it. It is about not being afraid as God is always with us.
As I had mentioned in my reviews of both A Thousand Years and Open Spaces, music outlets don't quite know how to categorize music such as is on this album. Amazon.com lists the album as meditation and New Age. As the songs are gentle and serene, the meditative label might be somewhat appropriate. But as each song is inspired by biblical scripture, I don't think that the New Age label is appropriate.
Fans of Stanton Lanier will appreciate this collection as a nice cross sample of his work. People new to Stanton's music will be just as appreciative if they like gentle and serene piano music that is faith based.
Treasures of Peace: The Stanton Lanier Collection is available on amazon.com and other online and traditional retailers. It is also available through Stanton's official web site. That site can be found at www.stantonlanier.com .
Back to the BVS Reviews Main Menu
© 2016 Bruce E Von Stiers