Denise Young | Passionata

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New Age: Neo-Classical New Age: Contemporary Instrumental Moods: Type: Instrumental
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by Denise Young

There is an ebb and flow to this album that holds on to you at every turn, ever so briefly, and then let’s you go; ghostlike. Six tracks are solo piano pieces that stands on their own as original and unique with eloquent form and developed melodies; the kind you’d expect from a master composer from the classical romantic-era. The multi instrumental pieces are equally mature and imaginative. For example, Starlight Melody, Awakened, and Above the Clouds, are beautifully arranged with cello, frequently in duet form. Performed by Grammy Award winning cellist Eugene Friesen, they each contain magical moments where the cello enters with a counter-melody and then gently slips away, leaving Denise alone again at the piano.
Genre: New Age: Neo-Classical
Release Date: 

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  Song Share Time Download
1. Passionata
5:21 $0.98
2. Above the Clouds
4:32 $0.98
3. Moon Song
4:18 $0.98
4. The Way
2:44 $0.98
5. Starlight Melody
3:44 $0.98
6. There
3:33 $0.98
7. Cobblestones in the Rain
3:09 $0.98
8. Awakened
3:50 $0.98
9. Desire
3:15 $0.98
10. Figure 8
3:04 $0.98
11. Secrets
3:21 $0.98
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.


Album Notes
My return to Imaginary Road Studios was a long awaited hope that finally came to fruition in late summer of 2012. As summer waned and autumn approached the hills of Vermont, the memorable Steinway B once again faithfully expressed the nuances of my music.

The music on Passionata embraces the love and passion that can be discovered and rediscovered in each of us - not unlike trees that lose their leaves in the fall only to grow new ones in the warmth of spring.

Through this music, I wish you all the happiness that love promises.



Produced by Will Ackerman Grammy Award winner, and Tom Eaton at Imaginary Road Studios, Windham County, Vermont,
Recorded, mixed, and mastered by Tom Eaton at Imaginary Road Studios
Photography by Evelina Pentcheva at Photo Enigmatic,
CD artwork and design by Matt Strieby at Newleaf Design,


Denise Young, Piano on all tracks
Eugene Friesen, Cello on “Above the Clouds”, “Starlight Melody”, “There”, and “Awakened”
Noah Wilding, Vocals on “There”
Tom Eaton, Bass on “There”, “Starlight Melody”, and “Desire”
Jeff Haynes, Percussion on “Awakened”, “Desire”, “Starlight Melody”, “There”

All compositions written by Denise Young © 2014 BMI, Dancing Horses Music ™
Denise would love to hear from you! You can email her at



to write a review

Serge Kozlovsky /

Writings by Serge Kozlovsky
The light of faith illuminates the path
Those, who believe wholeheartedly

The title of the album "Passionata" recorded at the Imaginary Road Studios is not by accident. Denise Young brought in her music all the passion of the artist’s heart and soul. Her compositions are very emotional and inspirational. Each of them is a particular story which cannot leave the listener indifferent.

The strong influence of classical music is felt in the compositions of Denise Young. At the same time the artist has her own style full of expression together with meditative approach. Also, her style of performance characterized with purity and clearness.

Maestros Will Ackerman and Tom Eaton produced the new project of Denise Young, a very talented artist whose album “Passionata” undoubtedly will be the bright release in the genres of acoustic and new age music. The piano music of Denise Young has rare features - easiness of performing and elegance. One wants to add that power and energy are felt in her compositions.

Remarkable musicians Eugene Friesen (cello), Jeff Haynes (African percussion) and Noah Wilding (vocal) helped Denise to create a very special, heartfelt and delicate atmosphere on the album. This release is one of those that one wants to listen to over and over. Its sounding is a real pleasure for listener’s ears.

Listen to this album and feel not only the passion that comes from the bottom of the artist’s heart but endless love which the music of Denise Young is full of…

Michael Diamond (

Review excerpt from Music and Media Focus
Denise has created “Passionata,” an emotional journey composed of eleven original songs that tell a story through classical and modern Victorian themes and motifs. Like her previous recording, this one was also recorded at Imaginary Road Studio, owned by Grammy winning producer and Windham Hill Records founder Will Ackerman. And adding to that expression are the talents of a number of top studio musicians who often grace the tracks of Will Ackerman-produced recordings. Four pieces contain beautifully layered cello orchestration, three include authentic African percussion instruments, and one is accompanied by evocative vocal melodies.

From the opening refrains of the title track, which begins the album, I was struck by how much classical influence there is in Denise’s playing. While many piano albums that fall under the new age heading are by artists who are classically trained, the influence of classical music is often more in the background, or just hinted at. On “Passionata,” however, it is quite present in all its romantic glory. On the next track, entitled “Above The Clouds,” after a solo piano intro, Denise’s delicate musical passages are gracefully accented by sonorous strings of cellist Eugene Friesen. A frequent contributor on Will Ackerman-produced recordings Eugene is well known as a member of the legendary Paul Winter Consort. As on many recordings produced in this studio, the contributions of the session musicians are understated, and kept relatively low in the mix, although the cello does have a bit more presence on some compositions.

Sometimes a song’s title fits so well and perfectly captures the mood of the piece. Such is the case with “Cobblestones In The Rain,” with its melancholy tones in shades of gray that echo loneliness down a rain swept street. In keeping with the album’s theme, another ensemble piece called “Desire,” keeps the flame burning with some of Denise’s most heartfelt playing. The objective on this recording was to “take you on an emotional journey of love and passion,” and I think she has certainly achieved her goal. Denise’s songs are sublimely evocative and she expresses a range of sentiment with great romanticism, both in her playing and her composition.

To read a full length review of this CD, as well as others, please visit:

Kathy Parsons

From MainlyPiano
Passionata" is pianist/composer Denise Young’s third album and the first since her highly-acclaimed 2007 release, "Something You Dream Of....," which was nominated for Best Instrumental Piano Album of The Year. Produced by Will Ackerman and recorded at his Imaginary Road Studios in Vermont, this album is a combination of six piano solos and five ensemble pieces that feature cellist Eugene Friesen, Noah Wilding’s wordless vocals, Tom Eaton on bass, and Jeff Haynes on percussion. Passionata reflects Young’s love of classical music, but her stylings are fresh and contemporary - and exceptionally beautiful. A piano teacher and music therapist who started playing the piano at a very early age, Young’s touch is silky-smooth and her compositions are heartfelt and evocative. In the liner notes, Young states: “The music on "Passionata" embraces the love and passion that can be discovered and rediscovered in each of us - not unlike trees that lose their leaves in the fall only to grow new ones in the warmth of spring.” Elegant and graceful yet very approachable and accessible, I expect "Passionata" to be one of my favorite albums of the year.

"Passionata" begins with the title track, a haunting piano solo that expresses deep longing as well as anticipation and joy - what a stirring piece! “Above the Clouds” starts out as a piano solo and evolves into a flowing, magical duet for piano and cello. “Starlight Melody” opens with a quiet, very peaceful piano solo that gradually introduces cello, bass, and very light percussion - breathtaking! “There” is a piano quintet for all five musicians, including the ethereal vocals of Noah Wilding - a very recognizable component of many of Ackerman’s productions. “Cobblestones in the Rain” is my favorite of the piano solos. The rolling minor-chord arpeggios on the left hand lay an almost mournful base for the achingly beautiful melody. “Awakened” is a lighter trio for piano, cello and gentle percussion - dreamy and uplifting. “Desire” is a smoldering piano solo with some interesting percussion effects here and there. “Figure 8” has the grace of a slow dance or even a figure skating performance - a melancholy and very moving piano solo. “Secrets” closes the album with a bit more animation - something shared with only the closest of friends. It’s a fascinating piece that ends unresolved, with the final notes left hanging as they fade away.

"Passionata" was worth the seven-year wait between albums and Denise Young is likely on her way to more major award nominations. Great stuff! Very highly recommended!

Raj Manoharan (

The RajMan Review
Denise Young's latest album is a marvel of composition, performance, and musicianship and deserving of its substantial success on the contemporary instrumental charts.

The pianist brings her intricate original tunes to life with her graceful piano playing, with masterful production by Grammy Award winning guitarist Will Ackerman and Tom Eaton, and tasteful accompaniment by Eaton on bass, Jeff Haynes on percussion, Eugene Friesen on cello, and Noah Wilding on vocals.

This is a CD worth seeking out if you like piano-based music and are looking for a pleasant and enjoyable listening experience.