Lena Natalia | Second Youth

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Classical: Postmodern Classical: Minimalism Moods: Solo Instrumental
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Second Youth

by Lena Natalia

SECOND YOUTH marks the third full-length album of original solo piano compositions released by award-winning composer and pianist Lena Natalia. An elegant, post-classical collection of cinematic, minimalist and ultimately captivating textures.
Genre: Classical: Postmodern
Release Date: 

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  Song Share Time Download
1. Spinning Tops
1:57 $0.99
2. Moving On
3:17 $0.99
3. Prayer for Wisdom
2:28 $0.99
4. Rainstorm
3:27 $0.99
5. Second Youth
3:02 $0.99
6. Just Around the Bend
3:38 $0.99
7. Cafe con Leche
2:19 $0.99
8. Diary of a Railroad Conductor
2:57 $0.99
9. Waiting at the Gate
3:34 $0.99
10. The Arrival
3:00 $0.99
11. Late Apologies
4:06 $0.99
12. Transitions
3:49 $0.99
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.



to write a review

Steve Sheppard

Review from One World Music Radio (www.oneworldmusic.co.uk)
Lena Natalia has had an amazing year with her previous releases and she is back once more, with some very emotive performances, on this her latest offering called, Second Youth (Modern Classical Piano).
When I first looked at the album cover it reminded me of the summer playing fields I use to roam in England, the short form composition called Spinning Tops became a musical back ground to my mental perambulations into the past, and I found that both combined, delivered a thoughtful and emotive arrangement right into my musical heart.
The lightness of performance and spirit on this album is simply blissful and on the track Moving On that deft of hand, partnered with a totally classy performance, continued to create imagery in my mind’s eye. The repetitive nature and wonderful narration on this piece by the artist, really gives us a sense of perpetual onward movement, but one that is being done with a freshness of heart.
This is one of those albums that you cannot help listening to over and over just in case you missed something; it also has a real sense of vibrancy about it. Prayer for Wisdom is a piece of cultured magic on the keys by Natalia, she caresses them with such meaning and skill that one can literally feel that you’re right there with her.
I have longed for a piano based album to come my way that is memorably emotional and allows me a listener to create my own mental movies whilst listening and I think this release is that album, listen to Rainstorm and more of Natalia’s creative genius comes to the fore. We have the lower notes mixed with the rain fall up-tempo energy of her performance; this composition is breath taking, and rather timely as it looks like another storm is heading my way outside my studio, so it seems like I have found the perfect soundtrack for that forth coming moment.
If you were to be given another chance at life, would you make the same mistakes? Perhaps Second Youth means that you can make that change now, and live the next phase as you wish. Lena Natalia’s work on Second Youth makes me think that this is so. This is a really passionate performance and the energy alone from this arrangement is empowering and inspiring. This is a track played with a masterful degree of fluency.
I must say that this journey with Lena is wonderful, she has truthfully created something that is sun kissed and beautiful here, and if you listen to the following track you will see a fine example of that. Just Around the Bend has a lush and colourful tone about its construction, the bend could be the path way through your life’s walk, whatever, you now have one stunningly empowering melody to listen to, while you take that next bend.
Cafe Con Leche is a timeless piece, we have many coffee shops here in Cyprus and Chrissie and I often just sit there with our drinks and people watch, nothing like being in the moment. This is such a shining example of constant movement and melody and one very pretty song to listen to whilst sipping a latte in the afternoon sun.
The most interesting title on the album is up now and called The Diary of a Railroad Conductor. Natalia’s clever hand and mind have constructed a piece here that once more has a steady onward movement, but a slight pause and pace change as well, much like you would expect to experience whilst on a train journey. One can almost see the conductor making notes throughout this journey in his diary, and as the train sleeps in the siding, he sips another cup of Coffee.
We now move into the latter half of the release and while doing so dear reader, we come across a smooth, but slightly mournful piece called Waiting at the Gate. This is another deeply moving piece by the artist, and through the emotive tones, we can perhaps see a lonely child waiting forlornly at the gate for her friend to arrive, a friend who will never arrive, a beautiful and emotionally charged piece indeed.
I would love to see Lena Natalia perform the next track called The Arrival, I can imagine it would be fascinating to watch and also pick up on the empowered nature of its construction. The performance here is sublime, the power and intensity manifests something special and you even have a sweet melody to revel in as well.
Our penultimate composition is a real classic, it is called Late Apologies. Natalia is gifting us a special slice of ambience here; this is a song that has everything, a soft gentle refrain, a calmness of touch and a skilled presence on the piano that makes her in my opinion one of the finest in her style around today.
Our last piece is called Transitions, listen to the smoothness of performance here, this is one of those tracks that you could leave on repeat for hours and never get bored, the methodology and performance is simply timeless, what a wonderfully confident way to leave the album.
I have been an admirer of the work of Lena Natalia ever since she introduced me to Paris in music with her last two albums, however in my opinion this is her finest work so far. Second Youth has intent, it is abundant in the imagery that the music creates, her performance is perfection and this for me is one of the most artistic and colourful releases I think she has manifested thus so far.
If you’re a fan of the solo piano genre you going to simply adore this one, if you’re a lover of really good music played well, then I really suggest you make Second Youth part of you musical library as quick as you can, as this is really an exceptional offering.

Candice Michelle

Review from Journeyscapes Radio
Chicago-based pianist and composer, Lena Natalia, released one of my favorite piano albums earlier in 2016, titled Rendezvous in Paris. She is back with a follow-up, titled Second Youth, an album comprised of twelve solo piano compositions that, as with her previous two releases, showcases her unique brand of mostly minimal, neoclassical-style craftsmanship. Also, like her prior efforts, Second Youth seems to tell a story throughout its course, with this newest installment alluding to the revisiting of childhood memories, perhaps with a longing to relive that era of one’s life again.

“Spinning Tops” is a two-minute opener which reminds me of a ballet performance introduction, with its graceful and flowing classical flair. In fact, one of the key defining characteristics of Lena’s compositions is their often spinning and twirling-like interlocking patterns, of which are in constant melodious movement. Likewise, her gorgeous melodies often become immediately memorable upon just the first listen or two, boasting a substantively intricate yet inherently simplistic elegance that is largely free of elaborate excesses. “Moving On” follows next, and although representative of some of the brighter, sunnier compositions herein, it still retains an inherent sense of nostalgic reflection that permeates the rest of the album. Continuing with “Prayer for Wisdom”, this solemnly exquisite piece is easily among my favorites, as it conveys a sense of reverence and solitude in a minimally classical fashion. Ensuing next is the slightly more dramatic “Rainstorm”, another favorite which is characterized by rippling higher register notes and starker lower register notes that move along in a galloping manner. The aptly-titled seventh track, “Café Con Leche”, is among the album’s more contemporary sounding pieces, conveying the comforting warmth and subtle sweetness of the beverage it’s named after. Another particular highlight is the tenth track, “Waiting at the Gate”, which possesses a somewhat melancholic feel, as it’s gently carried along by a steadily cascading and wistful melody. Tenderly concluding the album is “Transitions”, a subtly poignant piece which conveys the notion of ‘moving on’, perhaps from one phase of a person’s life to another.

With Lena having resided in Paris for several years – hence the inspiration for her previous two albums, Rendezvous in Paris and Sundays in Paris – it perhaps comes as little surprise that a perfectly understated romantic mystique finds its presence on much this album as well. I was often reminded of quaint cafes and venues along cobblestone streets, as well as picturesque scenes of solitude both in the cities and countryside. Lena’s music is at once deeply emotive and tenderhearted yet never bombastic or saccharine, thereby perfectly allowing its listener to either dive into the story and engage in the emotions expressed herein, or simply relegate it to aesthetic background listening. A simply brilliant pianist-composer, Lena’s memorably beautiful melodies are in themselves her strongest asset, only further supported by her idiosyncratic compositional techniques. Every bit as lovely as its predecessor, Second Youth is another masterwork from one of my favorite rising stars in the field!