Deep Peace - Bill Douglas

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Bill Douglas--composer, pianist, and bassoonist--excels at sentimental, romantic music. Deep Peace, a collection of modern classical compositions both instrumental and choral, fits in snugly with the musician's rather prolific output of slightly cloying melody. Drawing on his jazz background, love of folk music, and lyrical language, Douglas finds inspiration in the poetry of William Butler Yeats, Robert Burns, William Blake, and Alfred Graves. The Ars Nova Singers, a Boulder, Colorado, choral group, function here as on Douglas's Earth Prayer as another instrument used to relate the largesse of sound as worship, celebration, and tender feeling. Traditional, skilled, and dynamic, the Singers are well suited to the composer's majestic orchestral canvas. This baker's dozen--lively, reverent, and overall sweetly harmonious--is sandwiched between two versions of the title cut, a traditional Gaelic blessing, effectively setting the blissful tone for these Celtic-tinged pieces of the whole. --Paige La Grone