At first listen Reflections comes across as a rather discordant series of pieces that eventually mellows into the ambience of Christmas; a Christmas that perhaps is something held in memories and dreams, a Christmas filled with magic and mystery, a concoction of many things, each special to those who choose to reflect backwards while looking forwards.
But as Stephen Wallack is noted for his rather edgy improv interpretations the work comes as an alternative presentation to the traditional compositions such as Deck The Halls, Rudolf and so many of the favourite pieces much loved over generations.
Like so much in the world of right now, Wallack’s music could also be considered as a reflection on the strange and unusual times in which we all find ourselves, with a season upon us all that is the same and yet very, very different: a time when the traditions of yesterday are changed but in doing so, offers a time to change those same traditions to another version that perhaps fits the world of today in a different style, but still contains and hold the precious memories of yesteryear.
The titles are all familiar: We Three Kings, a slow and considered piece, fitting of the three wise men whom travelled to meet the new born Christ child; Jingle Bells beloved of children and adults worldwide is a 4:02 minute piece that is a rather intriguing version of what was originally barely 1:50 minutes in length.
Joy to the World is a melodious reconstruction with the sound of bells ringing out across the air to bring with it the emotion of joy, before a depth of rich melody joins the traditional with the non-traditional chords created on solo piano.
The very beautiful, traditional and historic piece Silent Night presented in a soft and gentle style completes a somewhat alternate version of Christmas carols that resonates with the changing world; a collection offering solace, with a slightly different take on the familiar and traditional, allowing through the glorious medium of music, the chance to accept change and create new beginnings. A Christmas gift to cherish.