Sharon Fendrich - Sapphire Oak

My Review

With Sapphire Oak, Sharon Fendrich has created another stunning album of musical artistry, a remarkable follow-up to her outstanding debut album Red Sky Prairie. Sapphire Oak will take you on an ethereal cinematic journey into the realm of nature, oak groves, runes and spirits, replete with lush orchestrations and stirring vocals. This is a true gem in the neoclassical oeuvre, and this album could easily be the soundtrack to a magnificent fantasy movie. The character of the music and the cinematic soundscapes on this album remind me of movie score greats like John Barry and Howard Shore.

Sharon Fendrich has once again shown us her exceptional skills at composing, and she has also proven that she is equally adept at arranging and producing her music. Sharon not only performs the piano parts on this album, but does all of the vocals as well, including a duet with her daughter Talia Valdez, on the touching song "Under Her Canopy".

The performances by the orchestra and guest musicians on Sapphire Oak are exceptional. The beautiful lush sound of the orchestra, Symphonica Recording, is created under the skillful baton of Vladimir Martinka. As such this orchestra provides the perfect backdrop to all of the outstanding music on the album. The guest musicians on Sapphire Oak include Lisa Rydberg on violin, Klara Kallstrom on cello, Stina Hellberg Agback on harp, and Ian Harper, who incidentally has also worked with Loreena McKennitt, on uilleann pipes and Irish whistle. These talented musicians, who must have been inspired by Sharon Fendrich, have immersed themselves into this breathtaking music, and the result is an album bursting with passion and emotion.

All of the pieces on Sapphire Oak are outstanding, but I especially liked Sea of Oaks, Leaves of Glory, The Oaken Door, and Carry the Oak. Sharon Fendrich has injected her whole heart and soul into this recording, and the result is a breathtaking work of art, from the wonderful music right down to the enchanting album cover! I highly recommend this album for lovers of neo-classical, classical, and new age music, and I give it my highest possible rating!

Bravo Sharon!


- John Iverson, CKUW

Close this Window

Shades of Classics