(As published in Rejoice! ... )
Peace in the Midst of the Storm
All Creation Sings
Dino Kartsonakis's detractors regard him as a schockmeister with good reason: He is. His admirers regard him the same way; it's just that they think "schlockmeister"'s a compliment. Well, if ever the twain shall mmet, they'll do so on these two schockmeisterpieces. The gimmick on both is to blend Dino's soothingly tickled ivories with "nature sound effects"--babbling brooks, chirping birds, zygogenetic zephyrs, and other somniferous simulations. And it's a pretty good gimmick. For once Dino's background music has something in the foreground, and for once recorded nature noises aren't merely hypnotic. Granted, the "rain" sometimes sounds like a kitchen faucet left on, and the song selection--Andrew Lloyd Webber's "Phantom of the Opera Medley" excepted--is predictable. Granted also that people with a taste for this stuff will still prefer George Winston. But at least it's Winston and not Liberace that Dino's evoking these days.