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47 customer reviews

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Audio CD, October 11, 1994
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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

1994 album from the acclaimed New Age pianist. The album won the 1996 Grammy Award for Best New Age Album.

Don't let the incessant tinkle-pounding of the opener "Tamarack Pines" detour you from Forest. It's a lovely CD that meanders like a Montanan stream through the poetry of Winston's signature cinematic style. "Forbidden Forest" gently muses with an introspective, solitary air, while "Cloudy This Morning" emulates the varying shades of gray melancholy that come with an overcast sky. These are some of Winston's best moments, when his inspiration sings through his fingers and pierces the listener's soul, forcing an aching response void of language or any conscious behavior. Winston's choice of covers reflects this transcendent, poetic tension well. Unlike the more rural Plains, where several covers come across clearly as another artist's voice, the majority of covers on Forest--particularly those of Howard Blake's music to The Snowman--match Winston's emotive paintings of sound. Forest is a beautiful collection that does justice to the sublime mystique of its namesake. --Karen K. Hugg

1. Tamarack Pines
2. Forbidden Forest
3. Troubadour
4. The Cradle
5. Cloudy This Morning
6. Last Lullaby Here
7. Mon Enfant (My Child)
8. Returning
9. Graceful Ghost
10. The Snowman: Walking In The Air
11. The Snowman: Building The Snowman
12. The Snowman: The Snowman's Music Box Dance
13. Love Song To A Ballerina
14. Lights In The Sky
15. Japanese Music Box (Itsuki No Komoriuta)
16. Night Sky

Product Details

  • Audio CD (October 11, 1994)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Windham Hill Records
  • ASIN: B000000NKL
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (47 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #77,904 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

25 of 26 people found the following review helpful By Marc Ruby™ HALL OF FAMEVINE VOICE on December 18, 2003
Format: Audio CD
One of the things that set this album apart from George Winston's earlier work is his clear development away from pure textural complexity to an introspective style that relies on a certain sparseness to achieve its expressiveness. Several of the opening tracks - Tamarack Pines, Forbidden Forest, and Troubadour could not have fewer notes and still be music. This isn't a criticism, but an honest compliment to a class of musical genius that is deeply aware of its expressive intent.
Not that there aren't pieces that are reminiscent of Winston's previous work (Cradle, Cloudy This Morning, and Last Lullaby Here). But even these are presented without a lot of flurry, and have a light air that often echoes jazz rhythms and chordal work. Winston prefers to avoid the technical flash of composers like Jason Rudess, but prefers the musicality of theme and variations. This isn't because he is any less capable, his mastery of the instrument has been demonstrated too msny times to be arguable. But overall, he is a stylist, rather than a virtuoso and, frankly, that suites me fine.
For variety, Winston servers up the aforementioned experiment of Tamarack Pines and the bluesy, stride sound of Graceful Ghost. Most listeners will quickly find favorites that bear repeated listening. Winston has crafted this album with considerable care, managing to create a sense of continuity that will often pick the listener up and deposit him or her several tracks later with no sense that time has ever passed. Even now, after listing to Forest for amny years, I still find surprises in the music. Which is not always true in New Age work. Of course, Winston's music is what became New Age work - it's not the genre he is in, but the genre he helped create.
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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Tanja L. Walker on January 5, 2001
Format: Audio CD
"Tamarack Pines" was my first introduction to the incomparable George Winston. I heard it as a sample in a store and had to buy the album, the first such "new age" type CD I'd ever bought. Some reviewers have mixed opinions about "TP," but I absolutely love it. It is a moving, exciting, signature piece that makes me think of falling pine needles, of active squirrels, of a sense of urgency in nature that things are about to change. I love all the pieces on this CD, but a few stand out. I love the music box sound -- with oh-so-subtle variations -- on "Japanese Music Box." And, "Walking in the Air" can move me to tears. If you only get one George Winston CD, this is the one to get!
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on September 10, 2003
Format: Audio CD
Among the new age pianists, George Winston is among the best. While he can play slow melodies, he is best known and best respected for his fast melodies with their precise staccato notes. The music he uses is quite varied, with some of it written by himself, some of it coming from classical or traditional music, and some of it coming from contemporary new age, jazz, blues, and even soundtrack music.
Forest is one of the two best albums by George Winston, with the other being December. The music in this album spans a broad range of moods and tempos, all demonstrating Winston's many piano-playing skills.
Quite a number of the songs stand out. The opening song, Tamarack Pines, is a very swiftly played piece that consists mainly of very short, high pitched notes to form the melody. Those who have seen George Winston in concert would know that at his most intense he physically matches the energy of musical pieces like this one. The next piece, Forbidden Forest, chooses a slower tempo. Here, however, Winston plays the piano so that it sounds almost like a plucked guitar. Later in the CD, three songs from the animated short "The Snowman" are featured. The best of these is Walking on Air, which simply contains a slow, sweet melody with some rapid, staccato interludes played in the middle of the song. Towards the end of the CD, the Japanese Music Box is simply a sweet melody that repeats several times with a tempo that is almost reminiscent of a wound music box that is gradually slowing down.
This CD is the best of new age music as well as the best piano music recorded. It belongs in everyone's music collection.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By "Gimpy" Peach Johnson on December 6, 2005
Format: Audio CD
I have all of George Winston's solo albums (right up to the recent Montana disc) and of them all, this is probably my favorite, with "Linus and Lucy" the other candidate. The pieces are beautiful and haunting--especially the suite of pieces from the animated short "The Snowman." This disc is worth the price for those few tracks alone. Sometims I just put on "Walking in the Air" and set the CD player to repeat the track three or four times in a row. I don't consider myself a "new-age" music fan; a lot of it just sounds too corny to me--as if it's trying to be more profound than it is. Somehow, George Winston manages to escape the new-age clichés; his style has more than a hint of jazz (surely the result of his Fats Waller and stride influences) and I get something out of his performances that I don't with most other Windham Hill or Narada artists. When I bought this CD nearly ten years ago, I played it frequently for many months. Long after most other discs go to my shelf, in all likelihood never to be heard again, I still pull "Forest" out several times a year--on a snowy night with a mug of hot chocolate, a cool afernoon while studying, or even just doing work around the house. It's a beautiful CD, and my favorite among George Winston's many fine recordings. Highly recommended!
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