Love Divine

Artist: Jan Mulder & London Symphony Orchestra
Album Title: Love Divine II
Reviewers Name: Kelly O’Neil, New York.
Rating: 5 stars (out of 5)

Love Divine 2 is a continuation of the heavenly music found on the cd Love Divine which includes favorite and poignant hymns perfectly delivered by the London Symphony Orchestra playing the inspirational arrangements of Dutch/American pianist and composer Jan Mulder (Nashville, TN – USA)

The tranquility of dawn flows through the original work “Celtic hymn” unfolding like the sun rising over a grassy moor. A solo flute plays lead in the midsection joined by a blanket of strings that could be bowed by angels. This wonderfully rich and dynamic piece is blessed by Mulder adding his sparkling piano in the final recapitulation.

As common to Mulder’s compositions, the strings bolster Mulder’s succulent piano lead in “The beauty of Your peace”.

“Lead kindly Light” has a quiet, lush opening with oboe and piano blending into the orchestra without a ripple. This piece showcases Mulder’s talent of presenting a full, exquisitely beautiful straightforward hymn as a sparkling diamond. In the last verse he adds sixteenth note dew droplets from the keyboard that only add to the voluptuous melody.

“When peace like a river” never grows old as Mulder plays the piano lead above a soft cushion of light strings. In the midsection he is completely alone leaving the listener hanging on every note with his unassumingly powerful presence. The ending is idealistically gorgeous.

A more cinematic feel surrounds another debut piece, “Spirit of love” with the full orchestra presenting this memorable yet simplistic theme. It does boast an introspective quality leading one to bask in thankfulness and gratitude.

Following the gentle piano introduction in the hymn, “This is my Father’s world” the wind chimes usher in the childlike verse filled with awe and wonder. The timing is phenomenal and undoubtedly Mulder’s most thrilling arrangement yet capitalizing on every instrument family.

Surprisingly the arrangement of “Love most bright” is fresh and devoid of the running eighth notes under the familiar 6/8 melody. Mulder’s interpretation is tasteful and creative featuring the pianist gaily playing alongside the gallant strings.

Taken from Psalm 23, “The Lord’s my Shepherd” is slower, sweet and innocent. The charming rubato and sweeping crescendo coincides with the swell of the soul’s heartbeat, while the coda is like the winding down of an intricately carved music box.

Love Divine 2 also includes “The Lord’s prayer”. Gordan Nikolitch, the concertmaster of the London Symphony Orchestra, plays the solo violin part with ardor and lustrous vibrato. Everything about the interpretation is superb from the articulation to the crystalline high note fermata at the finale.

The light and airy keyboard dance Mulder displays in “Hours and days” are like raindrops falling through a rainbow as they melt away into the atmosphere.

The honest interpretation of “Be still for the presence of the Lord” practically has the strings flowing with milk and honey.

Mulder’s music is the gift that keeps on giving filling the listener with love, hope and peace. The world will be a better place if his creative juices keep flowing, perhaps with the possibility of a third edition of Love Divine.

Order now: Love Divine