(30 December 2001) Released just before this year's holiday season is the latest recording by Norway's Cecilia.Entitled Let There Be Peace On Earth (Northern Light Music (USA) 8038370111-2, 2001), the album features twelve seasonally-oriented tracks, although Cecilia's unique renditions of "Ave Maria," "Pie Jesu" and "Let There Be Peace On Earth" add to the strength of the material over and above its seasonal appeal.
Cecilia's Inner Harmony was reviewed here (review almost two years ago. Her voice has continued to strengthen; power and range are simply incredible and perfectly suited to the material on this new recording. She is accompanied by Stanley Belotinsky (piano, keyboard, synthbass, programming), whose arrangements provide the effect of a full orchestra. Benjamin Dowling accompanies Cecilia on the Scandinavian hymn "Mitt Hjerte Alltid Vanker. A stunning track, reminiscent of Gjallarhorn's album (review) and vocalist Jenny Wilhelms, Cecilia's delivery is superb.
David Lord arranged and accompanied Cecilia on her version of "When You Wish Upon A Star." Her delivery of the timeless showtune is wonderful. Michael Hoppé wrote, arranged a new song "Pie Jesu" that Cecilia sings in Latin. Performed in a lower register than the Webber tune of the same name, we especially enjoyed the vocal arrangement. Cecilia's handling of the holiday season material is outstanding--better than many of today's well known vocalists including, Charlotte Church, Sarah Brightman and others.
Special mention of Cecilia's rendition of the Schubert traditional "Ave Maria" must be made. We were astounded by the artist's keen ability to sustain the notes and carry the melody soaring well above the thick orchestral arrangement. Later in the album she performs the C. Gounod / J. S. Back traditional version over a much lighter, primarily piano arrangement in a different key with even more power.
Cecilia is has been performing secular music on the west coast of the United States during the last year. This latest release from the Norwegian recording artist is certain to be appreciated by her earlier fans and hopefully is just a whistle stop away from her next album. Lovely arrangements and stunning vocals make this album a must listen!