Timothy Crane is a Colorado-based pianist and composer who released his debut album, The Other Life I Dream, in 2004. Raised on a 1917 Knabe grand piano that he still performs on to this day, he began learning to play his cherished instrument before his feet could even reach the pedals. Comprised of fifteen compositions all written and arranged by Crane, his fourth album, titled The Fall of a Sparrow, includes new versions of three pieces that were previously released on each of his three prior albums. In what could be accurately described as a cross between neoclassical and contemporary instrumental music (with varying compositions naturally trending more towards one style verses the other), Crane crafts sweeping orchestral arrangements around his expressively melodic piano-centric compositions. Additionally, he is joined throughout by a handful of guest musicians, which includes Jason Rowsell on bass, Tom Melaragno on drums, Joe Fluken on acoustic guitar and Daniel Coffey on viola.

The opening piece, “Albion”, serves as a lively introduction clocking in at just over a minute and a half, as it moves along in a hurried manner with cheerful piano, classical strings and tinkling bells effectively signaling that it’s time to rise and shine. “Come Holy Spirit” ensues with an ascending melody comprised of piano and orchestration, as it bursts with a forte like sunlight parting through the clouds. Winter themed songs are often among my favorite on any given album and the next piece, “The Sound of Snow”, is certainly no exception. Guided by celestial strings and a meandering piano melody, this lovely composition effectively illustrates a snowy day amid the winter season with its seemingly magical laced nostalgia. “Star Cross Moon” is among the album’s gentler pieces, as well as another one of my favorites, noted by its exquisitely elegant viola performance that melds perfectly into its warmly rolling piano melody. Symphonic style drumming underscores a few of the album’s pieces, such as the exuberant “Festival De Musique”, which aptly conveys the notion of watching a grand stage performance. Wrapping up the album is “At Home in the Garden”, its title seemingly alluding to the protagonist fallen sparrow having been safely returned to its nest. A tenderly melodic piece with a definite ‘coming home’ vibe, it concludes with a deluxe ensemble of piano, orchestration and gentle percussion.

Jovial and heart-warming with a theme of encouragement and inspirational tone throughout, The Fall of a Sparrow feels particularly influenced by Yanni’s signature style and will likely appeal to a similar audience. An album not intended for mere passive listening due to the inherent grandiosity of the arrangements, Timothy Crane’s musical performances overall exude a dynamic radiance and on-the-go energy like that of beaming sunrays on a clear, crisp day! ~Candice Michelle

Links & Purchase: Timothy Crane, Amazon, iTunes, CD Baby, Google Play

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